Verstappen keeps the Mercedes at bay in the first free practice

Max Verstappen, at the Hungarian GP.

Max Verstappen, at the Hungarian GP.

Max verstappen (Red Bull), leader of F1 World Cup, dominated this Friday the first free practice for him Hungarian Grand Prix, the eleventh of the championship, which is disputed in the Hungaroring; where the spanish Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Fernando Alonso (Alpine) were fourth and sixth; and the Mexican Sergio Pérez, the Dutchman’s partner, eighth.

In the best of his 21 laps, Verstappen covered – with a soft tire, with which the vast majority set his fastest lap – the 4,318 meters of the Hungarian track in one minute, 17 seconds and 555 thousandths, 61 less than the Finn Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) and with 167 on the captain of the latter, the sevenfold English world champion Lewis hamiltonsecond in the World Cup, eight points behind the Dutch-, who did 25 laps.

Sainz –seventh in the World Cup– marked the fourth time of training. The talented driver from Madrid turned 24 times on the circuit outside Budapest and in his best attempt he turned in 1: 18.115 and was half a second behind Verstappen’s time; in a hot workout that ended with 31 degrees Celsius ambient and 60 on the asphalt.

Alonso, who turned 40 on Thursday, repeated 26 times the track where he celebrated – in 2003 – the first of his 32 F1 victories. In the best of them, the Asturian double world champion, eleventh in the contest, stopped the clock at 1: 18.385 and stayed eight tenths behind ‘Mad Max’.

In a rehearsal that was briefly interrupted, with a red flag, by the runway exit -in the fourth of the 14 curves-, without major consequences, from the Japanese Yuki tsunoda (Alpha Tauri). In an area where both the Japanese and Oviedo spins had already made a couple of spins.

The Mexican Sergio perez (Red Bull), fifth in the World Cup, registered eighth in the timesheets. In the best of his twenty laps – like all those previously mentioned, with soft compound – ‘Checo’ stopped the clock in one minute, 18 seconds and 466 thousandths, nine tenths more than his teammate, the leader of the championship.

The second free practice will be played from three in the afternoon (13:00 GMT).

Times table for the first training session:

.1. Max Verstappen (HOL / Red Bull) 1: 17,555

.2. Valtteri Bottas (FIN / Mercedes) at 0.061

.3. Lewis Hamilton (GBR / Mercedes) at 0.167

.4. Carlos Sainz (ESP / Ferrari) at 0.560

.5. Pierre Gasly (FRA / Alpha Tauri) at 0.626

.6. Fernando Alonso (ESP / Alpine) at 0.830

.7. Charles Leclerc (MON / Ferrari) at 0.836

.8. Sergio Pérez (MEX / Red Bull) at 0.911

.9. Lando Norris (GBR / McLaren) at 1,094

10. Lance Stroll (CAN / Aston Martin) at 1,200

11. Esteban Ocon (FRA / Alpine) at 1,210

12. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN / Alpha Tauri) at 1,215

13. Sebastian Vettel (GER / Aston Martin) at 1,434

14. Daniel Ricciardo (AUS / McLaren) at 1,710

15. George Russell (GBR / Williams) at 2,169

16. Nicolas Latifi (CAN / Williams) at 2,269

17. Mick Schumacher (GER / Haas) at 2,828

18. Robert Kubica (POL / Alfa Romeo) at 3,084

19. Nikita Mazepin (RUS / Haas) at 3,437

20. Antonio Giovinazzi (ITA / Alfa Romeo) at 4,334


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