Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo set the quickest time of the opening practice session for the Hungarian outpacing Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen by just over two tenths of a second.
The Australian, who was at the wheel of a much updated RB13, set a best time of 1:18.486s on the supersoft Pirelli tyres. Raikkonen was 0.234 behind the Azerbaijan Grand Prix winner, with Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton a tenth of a second further back in third place. Ricciardo’s P1 time was just 0.05 seconds off the fastest ever lap of the circuit in a an F1 car, set by Rubens Barrichello in 2004 in a Ferrari.
Ricciardo’s team-mate Max Verstappen was fourth quickest in the morning session, setting a time of 1:19.162, just under a tenth of a second clear of Mercedes Valtteri Bottas. Championship leader Sebastian Vettel endured a tricky run to sixth place, with the Ferrari driver complaining of excessive understeer as he finished over eight tenths of a second adrift of team-mate Raikkonen.
On a circuit where power sensitivity is less of an issue McLaren enjoyed a positive start, with Fernando Alonso finishing in seventh place, though he was 1.5s off Ricciardo’s pace. The Spaniard was followed by team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne who was just 0.032s slower than the two-time world champion.
The final two top-10 positions were filled by Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer, with the German ahead of his team-mate by three tenths of a second.
The unlucky Palmer once again suffered problems in the session and late on he ran wide at Turn 4 and clattered across the kerbs. The mistake led to a broken front wing and to debris being scattered across the track. As Palmer tried (and ultimately failed) to limp back to the pits with a puncture, the session was red flagged.
Earlier, Haas driver Antonio Giovanazzi, standing in for regular driver Kevin Magnussen in the session, also encountered trouble. The Italian brought out the red flag when he lost the rear at Turn 11 and hit the barriers.
2017 Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 31 1:18.486
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 20 1:18.720 0.234
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 31 1:18.858 0.372
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 27 1:19.162 0.676
5 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 30 1:19.248 0.762
6 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 21 1:19.563 1.077
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 21 1:19.987 1.501
8 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 24 1:20.005 1.519
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 25 1:20.150 1.664
10 Jolyon Palmer Renault 27 1:20.461 1.975
11 Felipe Massa Williams 28 1:20.540 2.054
12 Sergio Perez Force India 23 1:20.574 2.088
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 27 1:20.780 2.294
14 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso 25 1:20.917 2.431
15 Lance Stroll Williams 29 1:20.974 2.488
16 Romain Grosjean Haas 20 1:21.313 2.827
17 Alfonso Celis Jr. Force India 24 1:21.602 3.116
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 31 1:21.785 3.299
19 Antonio Giovinazzi Haas 8 1:22.251 3.765
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 29 1:22.490 4.004