Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc led the second practice session of the weekend at the Hungarian Grand Prix with a lap in 1:18.445 – just hours after his teammate stormed to the top in FP1.
McLaren’s Lando Norris improved to lift his car two places from fourth in FP1 to second in FP2, showing promising performance at the hungaroring.
The other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who topped the timesheet in Practice One, was behind Norris in third – but only marginally trailing the British driver – while World Championship leader Max Verstappen was within 0.3s of Leclerc’s pace in fourth.
Daniel Ricciardo had an impressive hour on track and took fifth ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel – Aston Martin continued to benefit from the introduction of a new rear wing design.
Mercedes were well off the pace in FP2, with George Russell eighth and Lewis Hamilton further behind in 11th – however, they’ll be happy with the prediction of wet conditions are forecast for Saturday’s qualifying.
It was a disappointing day for Sergio Perez, who failed to meet the pace of his teammate on both occasions. He finished well behind his teammate Verstappen in ninth.
In the far more eventful of the day’s sessions, Leclerc immediately set the pace as most cars began on medium tyres, turning the tables on Sanz after the Spaniard had kept up his recent strong form in FP1.
When a switch was made to soft tyres midway through the session, Leclerc maintained his advantage, but the surprise came in the fact it was the McLaren of Norris behind him.
Ferrari is coined to be the team most comfortable at the Budapest location for the final race ahead of the summer break, and it seems Verstappen accepted that Ferrari appears to have the edge so far.
Speaking after the session, the Dutchman said: “I think they are a bit ahead of us and I think it will be hard for us to beat that but overnight we will try to close the gap as much as we can and see what the weather will give us tomorrow,” Verstappen said.
“I think in the dry we can’t compete and in the rain maybe we can, who knows.”