BUDAPEST, Hungary, Jul 27 – Daniel Ricciardo topped the times for Red Bull ahead of Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari in Friday morning’s opening free practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
The big-smiling Australian, who is expected to be confirmed as remaining with Red Bull in the next few days, clocked a best time of one minute and 17.613 seconds in a hot and dusty session at the Hungaroring.
Ricciardo, who spent much of the German Grand Prix weekend concentrating on preparations for the Hungarian contest after being handed gird penalties, went top with 20 minutes remaining.
Vettel bounced back from his home humiliation last weekend, when he crashed out of the lead at the rain-hit German race, to top the times with his first timed lap earlier in the session.
He wound up second ahead of Dutchman Max Verstappen in the second Red Bull, Ferrari team-mate Finn Kimi Raikkonen and the Mercedes of championship leader Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
On a circuit that delivered very little grip, most of the field used the session for tyre-testing and slithered around looking for adhesion as the track ‘rubbered’ in for the weekend.
Frenchman Romain Grosjean was seventh for Haas ahead of German Nico Hulkenberg and his Renault team-mate Spaniard Carlos Sainz with Dane Kevin Magnussen 10th in the second Haas.
The session was without major incident, Swede Marcus Ericsson spinning twice in his Sauber and Hulkenberg suffering an engine cut-out.
Typically, Hamilton, who had a set-up overhaul during the session, summed up his and others’ feelings when he said: “These tyres are terrible, man” on his team radio.