Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton again set the pace in Friday’s second practice in Hungary, but this time the Red Bulls of Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were his closest challengers – despite the latter’s car coming to a smoky halt late in the session.
Kvyat’s best lap was three-tenths down on Hamilton’s, with Ricciardo a further two-tenths adrift. Nico Rosberg, fourth fastest in the second Mercedes and seven-tenths off his team mate, was the only other man to get within a second of the world champion’s leading time.
Kimi Raikkonen was the front-running Ferrari in fifth, separated from team mate Sebastian Vettel by the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz. Fernando Alonso was an encouraging eighth for McLaren, with the Williams of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa completing the top ten.
It was Hamilton who looked the most hooked up however, as the Briton – a four-time winner in Hungary – set the fastest time of 1m 26.132s on the medium tyres and then did likewise on the softs with 1m 23.949s.
Kvyat and Ricciardo sprang surprises with 1m 24.300s and 1m 24.451s respectively, although it remains to be seen what fuel loads the top teams were running. The day also ended on a slightly downbeat note when Ricciardo ground to a halt, smoke spewing from his Renault engine, at the end of the session – although it was not his race engine, meaning the rest of his weekend will not be affected.
Rosberg had to be content with fourth on 1m 24.668s after never really getting going on the softs, and then there was another gap to Raikkonen who continued to spearhead the Ferrari challenge. The Finn managed 1m 25.134s – which was momentarily the fastest time as he was the first to set time on the soft rubber. Vettel meanwhile had another lacklustre session and was only seventh, behind Sainz’s Toro Rosso, after also spinning in Turns 12 and Turn 1. The German lapped in 1m 25.660s to the Spaniard’s 1m 25.599s.
Alonso was next up, as he brought smiles to McLaren faces with the eighth fastest time of 1m 25.752s. That was fractionally quicker than Bottas’s best of 1m 25.881s, while Massa was similarly close, registering 1m 25.920s to book the final spot in the top 10. Max Verstappen, who continued to struggle with his Toro Rosso and complained of a funny-sounding engine, claimed 11th with 1m 25.935s, which was less than one tenth of a second faster than Jenson Button, who managed 1m 25.994s in the second McLaren.
Lotus got going properly this time after their tyre problems were resolved, but time lost this morning held Pastor Maldonado back to 1m 26.090s and 13th place, while Romain Grosjean spun in Turn 13, went off in Turn 4, and ended up 15th on 1m 26.442s. Felipe Nasr put his Sauber between them on 1m 26.379s, but team mate Marcus Ericsson suffered brake-by-wire issues and was only 16th on 1m 26.831s.
That left the Marussias in 17th and 18th as Roberto Merhi beat Will Stevens by two thousandths of a second, 1m 29.113s to 1m 29.115s.
The Force Indias didn’t run as the team continued to investigate the causes of Perez’s morning accident.
Besides those mentioned above, the afternoon’s miscreants included Kvyat, who spun in Turn 4, and Hamilton, Verstappen, Maldonado, Bottas, Ricciardo and Ericsson, who all briefly went off at the same corner.
|Hungarian Grand Prix Second Practice Results|
|Pos.||Car #||Driver||Best Time||Behind||Gap||Laps|
|6||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||1:25.599||-1.650||-0.465||37|