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FP1: Russell heads Piastri in rain-hit first practice in Budapest as Perez crashes out

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George Russell set the pace in a rain-affected opening hour of running in Budapest, with the Briton topping the timesheets ahead of the McLaren of Oscar Piastri and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll – while Sergio Perez crashed out early in the session.

With 60 minutes on the clock, Russell led the drivers out on to the track for a busy hour of running, with many teams looking to gather as much information as possible on their new upgrades, especially before the rain which had been forecasted for FP1, hit the track.

READ MORE: Perez intrigued by Red Bull’s upgrades as he looks to end ‘rough patch’ in Hungary

However, those plans were scuppered by an early red flag caused by Sergio Perez crashing out.

Red Bull are one of the teams who have brought upgrades to the Hungaroring this weekend, but their plans to see how their new updates would fare on the RB19 would have been hampered by seeing the Mexican dip a tyre on to the grass at Turn 5, sending him straight into the barriers.

Hungary 2023

Practice 1 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1RUS1:38.795
2PIA+0.359s
3STR+1.218s
4NOR+1.482s
5ALO+1.892s
View Full Results

As the session got going again 10 minutes later, the drivers were met with very different conditions to the one they had left, with the rain now falling. This forced the swap from slicks to the intermediates.

Many drivers opted to stay in the garage as conditions worsened, before Valtteri Bottas and the Williams pair of Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant set the first times of the session. However, that was before Carlos Sainz spun into the barrier on the exit of Turn 3.

READ MORE: Norris says McLaren in a 'good place' but plays down chances of repeating Silverstone success in Hungary

While more red flags were brought out, Sainz was able to get going, but not without sustaining minor damage to his new front-wing. With over 10 minutes to go the session was once again restarted, with Nico Hulkenberg initially going quickest.

As times began to drop and the drivers traded fastest laps, it was Russell who set the quickest time of the session. The Mercedes driver lapping the wet Hungaroring circuit in a 1m 38.795s, leading Piastri by 0.359s.

Stroll was third quickest for Aston Martin, ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris, fresh from his first podium of the season at Silverstone, with Stroll's team mate Fernando Alonso in fifth.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 21: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW45 Mercedes

It was a dry start to FP1, but rain soon arrived to spice up the action

Bottas ended up sixth fastest, ahead of his Alfa Romeo team mate, Zhou Guanyu, in eighth, as they sandwiched the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc in seventh.

Logan Sargeant survived going off at Turn 4 to set the ninth quickest time of the session, with Hulkenberg rounding out the top 10, ahead of his Haas team mate, Kevin Magnussen, in 11th.

PADDOCK INSIDER: Ricciardo and Norris – the former team mates with all eyes on them in Hungary

Another driver to damage their front wing after making contact with the barrier was Yuki Tsunoda, although he was still able to set the 12th quickest time, with the other Williams of Albon down in 13th – last of the drivers that set a time.

Daniel Ricciardo marked his comeback by joining his former team mates, Max Verstappen and Esteban Ocon, in not setting a lap in the session. Also failing to set a time were Lewis Hamilton and Pierre Gasly, as well as Perez and Sainz.

The drivers and their teams will now debrief, look over the data and get ready to go again for the second practice session in Budapest later today at 1700 local time.

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