Daniel Ricciardo made it two out of two as he finished top of the timesheet in Hungary for the second successive session. In a disjointed 90-minute second practice which was twice halted by red flags, the Australian finished 0.183s clear of championship leader Sebastian Vettel, whose Ferrari appeared to be handling much better than it had been in the morning.
Once again Mercedes had to settle for third and fifth with Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton sandwiching Kimi Raikkonen’s Ferrari, while Max Verstappen ensured the top six were covered by just 0.496s, despite his Red Bull looking more of a handful than team mate Ricciardo’s.
It was Hamilton who had been fastest from Ricciardo as the drivers began the session on Pirelli’s soft tyres. After the switch to supersofts, however, Mercedes seemed to lose their edge. Hamilton did not improve on his soft-tyre time and fell to fifth as Vettel went quickest with 1m 18.638s. Ricciardo then overtook the Ferrari with 1m 18.455s - again tantalisingly close to Rubens Barrichello’s 2004 lap record of 1m 18.436s.
Nico Hulkenberg gave Renault hope by finishing 'best of the rest' for Renault, but team mate Jolyon Palmer endured yet more woe as he crashed at the final corner in the second half of the session, bringing things to a standstill.