Hungarian Grand Prix: Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz fastest in first practice

Formula 1
Hungarian GP

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz headed Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in first practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Sainz was 0.130 seconds quicker than the world champion, whose title rival Charles Leclerc was third in the other Ferrari, 0.289secs off the pace.

Leclerc was ahead of Verstappen at the mid-point of the session but failed to improve as much as Sainz later on.

Leclerc needs to win on Sunday after losing major ground in the championship by crashing in France last weekend.

He now trails Verstappen by 63 points with 10 races remaining.

McLaren’s Lando Norris was fourth quickest, ahead of the Mercedes of fellow Briton George Russell.

The Red Bull of Sergio Perez was sixth fastest, ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes, McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo ands the Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso.

There were no major incidents, although Hamilton and Alonso both ran off the track – Hamilton at Turn 12 and Alonso the much faster Turn 11.

Sebastian Vettel, who announced on Thursday that he would retire at the end of the season, was 11th fastest in the Aston Martin, which features a controversial new rear wing.

Aston Martin have introduced a design that reintroduces a form of end-plate.

The 2022 regulations were written in a way that intended to prevent these parts of the rear wing being used, replacing them with a curved transition from the sides of the wing to the downforce-creating elements.

This was part of a package of changes to reduce turbulence and make it easier for cars to follow each other.

The other notable upgrade was on the Haas, which features an extensive package of changes and has been dubbed the ‘white Ferrari’ for its similarity to the car that has been the qualifying king this season.

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