FP2: Leclerc narrowly leads Norris and Gasly during mixed up second practice session in Budapest
Charles Leclerc narrowly led the way in an action-packed second practice session in Budapest, as the Ferrari driver set the pace ahead of the rapid McLaren of Lando Norris and the speedy Alpine of Pierre Gasly.
With running having been hampered by rain in FP1, the drivers were quick to make their way out on a dry track for FP2 and familiarise themselves with the Hungaroring circuit – many also looking to gather intel on their new upgrades.
And after a frantic first 20 minutes of running that saw multiple drivers set the quickest lap, it was the slippery Williams of Logan Sargeant who held P1, with a time of 1m 18.836s, leading the Red Bull of Max Verstappen by 0.075s.
Following the first runs on high fuel, the teams strapped on a set of the soft tyres to conduct some qualifying simulation laps, and it was Leclerc who set the fastest lap of the day with a time of 1m 17.686s, leading Norris by just 0.015s.
FORMULA 1 QATAR AIRWAYS HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX 2023
Practice 2 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:17.686|
|2 Lando Norris NOR McLaren||+0.015s|
|3 Pierre Gasly GAS Alpine||+0.232s|
|4 Yuki Tsunoda TSU AlphaTauri||+0.248s|
|5 Esteban Ocon OCO Alpine||+0.359s|
Gasly was third fastest, with his Alpine team mate Esteban Ocon just over a tenth and a half behind in fifth. His former team mate, Yuki Tsunoda, was sandwiched between the French pair in fourth for AlphaTauri.
Nico Hulkenberg was sixth for Haas, ahead of the impressive Valtteri Bottas in seventh, as both he and his Alfa Romeo team mate, Zhou Guanyu, in ninth, opted not to run the soft tyre in the session, meaning their fastest times were on mediums.
The Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso – who scored his first career victory at Budapest back in 2003 – slotted between the two Alfa Romeos in eighth and finished ahead of his compatriot, Carlos Sainz, who was down in 10th in the other Ferrari.
Championship leader Verstappen was back in 11th, although he did not do a low-fuel run on the soft tyre. However, his time was quick enough to keep in front of the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll in 12th, and the Williams of Alex Albon in 13th – who also set his fastest time on the mediums.
Daniel Ricciardo, winner of the 2014 Hungarian GP, marked his full-time return to the grid with AlphaTauri by finishing 14th, ahead of the other Haas of Kevin Magnussen in 15th.
Eight-time winner in Hungary Lewis Hamilton and his team mate, George Russell, were 16th and 20th respectively for Mercedes. However, both drivers also did not strap on a set of the soft tyres, opting to focus on their long runs on the mediums.
After setting the pace in the initial stages of the session, Sargeant ended up 17th, ahead of Sergio Perez, who attempted to recover from his crash in FP1 to finish 18th. Pipping Russell to 19th was the other McLaren of Oscar Piastri, whose running was limited after he sustained damaged to his floor.
That brings a close to the first day of running in Budapest, with the drivers and their teams left to analyse the data as they ready themselves for the third practice session 1230 local time tomorrow, before qualifying at 1600.