Sainz and Alonso start strong

The Madrilenian was fourth, behind Verstappen and the two Mercedes, and the Asturian sixth with the Apine. Tsunoda crash that caused a red flag.


Hot morning and hot sun at the Hungaroring with tens of thousands of fans in the stands, many of them dressed in orange. Those will be happy now, Max Verstappen led the first free practice of the Hungarian GP with a small lead, 61 thousandths, but good feeling after the incident two weeks ago at Silverstone. In addition, the RB16B mounted the Honda power unit that they carried in that accident to confirm that it has no damage. They are followed closely by the Mercedes with Bottas ahead of Hamilton, although the Englishman had a couple of incidents when he had to mark his good lap and was boxed in behind Leclerc.

The good news for Ferrari is that they are not far either: Carlos Sainz was fourth, half a second from the lead, and it is a significantly lower difference than that of the previous circuits. The SF21 is gaining positions on this twisty track, without straights, and they are aiming for a better than usual result. Logic places them fifth and sixth on the grid, but any loss among those who are always up would translate into a podium. And that is worth a lot this year. Leclerc was eighth, three tenths behind Madrid, although comfortable within the top-10. McLaren started further.

Nor was Alonso left behind, sixth with the Alpine just eight tenths behind Red Bull. The Asturian completed a different work program from that of his partner, Ocon, who was eleventh with more aerodynamic tests in his plan. For the rest, there was a Tsunoda accident at turn four that stopped the session for a few minutes with a red flag (it was a point with several scares, Alonso himself spun there) and Kubica got on Kimi Raikkonen's Alfa Romeo to the delight of the fans. Polish fans who traveled to the Hungaroring.

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