Mercedes talks on the track

Bottas and Hamilton lead some high-tension practice at the Hungaroring. Verstappen was third and Ferrari did not improve the morning time.


After the trickery, with cross accusations that lasted from the Silverstone crash until the very morning of this Friday, Mercedes and Red Bull put their cars back on the track with a certain advantage for the Brackley factory in the GP free practice from Hungary. Bottas commanded, ahead of Hamilton (just 27 thousandths) and Verstappen remained three tenths behind the Finn. Valtteri starts the weekend inspired, as he was not used to seeing lately. His future is at stake in the World Cup, although it will be difficult for him to aspire to victory while Sir Lewis fights for the World Cup. The Englishman can achieve his 100th victory in Formula 1 here on one of his fetish circuits, he won eight times before. Pérez was fifth.

Red Bull technicians have resorted to a different, more aggressive aerodynamic setup, which appears to generate less downforce. Verstappen, the championship leader with eight points over Hamilton, reported to his engineers "oversteer problems" on a burning asphalt, which exceeded 60ºC in temperature and which will devour tires if these conditions are maintained on Sunday, for the race. There is a threat of a storm for Saturday, with a 60% chance of rain during qualifying remaining the following day. That would alter the strategies, although it seems that the calculations will matter little when Verstappen and Hamilton meet on the first hard stop. Without going any further, sparks already flew when they crossed when leaving the garage.

Alonso was sixth in the morning training and seventh in the afternoon with the Alpine, and Ocon confirmed the good feelings of the Enstone team by planting his A521 fourth in the most relevant practice, second. The Frenchman had the chassis changed at Silverstone and has since regained the tone of the first races of 2021. Although it is not uncommon for Alpine to shine on Fridays and give way on Saturday, when the Ferraris, McLaren and other cars squeeze significantly faster.

Ferrari did not improve on Sainz's fourth place in the morning

The Ferrari case was disturbing: they did not improve the times of the first practice. Carlos Sainz was fourth in Free 1 and twelfth in second, but his best lap of the day places him sixth in overall qualifying. Here there are no differences between the two Maranello drivers. Difficult to draw conclusions about race pace, because training sessions of only one hour (until 2020 they were one and a half hours) limit long runs. There are high hopes for the SF21 for the Hungaroring because the type of the circuit, with low and medium speed corners and few straights, favors the characteristics of the Italian car and makes up for the shortcomings of its engine.For the rest, Kubica got into Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo for a session and gave a joy to the hundreds of Polish fans who made their way to the Mogyoród track. The cross of the day was taken by Tsunoda, who crashed in the morning with the Alpha Tauri and caused a red flag and could barely complete a lap in the afternoon, as his mechanics had to repair the rear suspension and diffuser of his mount.

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