Rosberg Quickest In Practice As Hamilton Crashes Out

Nico Rosberg was the quickest man in practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, after team mate Lewis Hamilton crashed in the opening parts of the afternoon session.

Hamilton was setting quick laps on the Soft tyre, going quickest initially ahead of Rosberg. But like many other drivers found the newly painted white line on the resurfaced track, which sent him spinning off into the barrier in the latter parts of the lap.

The only visible damage looked to be to the front wing, but Mercedes elected to sit Hamilton out for the remaining hour of the session in order to strip the car to see if anything else had been damaged.

That set Rosberg up to produce a 1m20.435s on the Super Soft, five tenths quicker than Daniel Ricciardo and nearly a second quicker than Sebastien Vettel. Rosberg’s time was a second quicker than the one set by Hamilton in the morning session on the Soft tyre, and with the times tumbling it looks like the Mercedes drivers could get close to the outright record in Qualifying tomorrow.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Ferrari SF16-H. 22.07.2016. Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Budapest, Hungary, Practice Day. - www.xpbimages.com, EMail: requests@xpbimages.com - copy of publication required for printed pictures. Every used picture is fee-liable. © Copyright: Photo4 / XPB Images

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Red Bull are closer than expected after Ferrari struggled with balance issues. The team did a rear wing comparison run in FP1, with Raikkonen getting the new bits. But it seems it only made a small difference as they look to increase their pace on the Soft tyre.

Williams were also doing front wing companions with their last three iterations. Felipe Massa and Valterri Bottas were both outside of the ten in both sessions – the latter under investigation for crossing the white line at pit entry. But it looked more like they were focusing on setup work than outright lap time.

McLaren had a decent showing, getting their drivers in the top ten on both occasions. Jenson Button complained about balance issues early on, but they were rectified despite a spin in the opening parts of the lap on the Super Soft tyre.

At the end of the second session Button was eighth quickest behind Fernando Alonso who was seventh, after making the switch to the Soft tyres in the closing stages to do high fuel runs.

Further back Force India were also doing long runs on the Soft tyre with Nico Hulkenberg finishing ninth fastest ahead of Sergio Perez on the timesheet, who rounded out the top ten.

Meanwhile former GP2 rivals Jolyon Palmer and Felipe Nasr finished 19th and 20th respectively. The Renault driver was curtailed with sensor issues in both sessions which cut them short, while Nasr stopped on track with problems with just a couple of minutes remaining.

Carlos Sainz also stopped with a problem just before the chequered flag came out, reporting a problem at the rear of the car before grinding to a halt at the first corner.


Photo Credit: XPB Images

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