Sainz leads Verstappen and Leclerc in first practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix

Carlos Sainz led the first free practice session of the 2022 Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Budapest, Hungary.

Max Verstappen finished in second position, 0.130 seconds slower than the Scuderia Ferrari driver. Charles Leclerc finished in third position at the end of the session.

The first free practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring in Budapest started under clear skies with air temperature at 32 degrees C and track temperature at 52 degrees C.

Rain is forecast for Saturday and cooler conditions for race day on Sunday.

The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4), the middle range of compounds in the Pirelli tyre range.

Robert Kubica drove in place of Valtteri Bottas for the Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN in this session.

The drivers were on the track as the lights went green with Sebastian Vettel leading the way. The German has announced his retirement from Formula 1 at the end of the season. Fans will be keen to watch the four-time world champion for the last time at different venues.

The Oracle Red Bull Racing and Scuderia Ferrari drivers were on the soft compound tyres at the start of the session and set the early pace.

Verstappen set the early pace with a lap time of 1m21.235s. Sainz, Leclerc and Verstappen took turns at the top of the time charts. Leclerc went under the 1m20s barrier with a lap time of 1m19.863s to slot into first position.

Verstappen was 0.245 seconds slower in second position and Sainz in third position. Sergio Pérez was in fourth position ahead of Daniel Ricciardo on medium compound tyres.

With thirty minutes to go, Lewis Hamilton, George Russell and Mick Schumacher switched from the hard compound tyres to the soft compound tyres.

Russell slotted into second position between Leclerc and Verstappen on his first run, 0.180 seconds slower than Leclerc. Hamilton went fifth fastest ahead of Pérez.

The Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team has a new large rear-wing for extra downforce on this twisty track with slow speed corners. Vettel and Lance Stroll were at the bottom of the time charts in the early running.

Yuki Tsunoda had a huge lockup at Turn 1 and flat-spotted his new soft compound tyres.

Sainz briefly took over the top spot before Verstappen with a lap time of 1m18.880s went fastest, 0.384 seconds faster than Sainz.

Leclerc then took over second position, 0.159 seconds slower than Verstappen. On the used soft compound tyres, Sainz went fastest with a lap time of 1m18.750s.

The session ended with Sainz leading Verstappen and Leclerc. Norris with a late run on the soft compound tyres was in fourth position ahead of Russell, Pérez and Hamilton.

Ricciardo, Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso rounded off the top ten positions.

2022 Hungarian Grand Prix First Practice Results:

Pos No Driver Nat. Team Time Gap Laps
1 55 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1:18.750 25
2 1 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:18.880 +0.130s 23
3 16 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1:19.039 +0.289s 25
4 4 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1:19.299 +0.549s 20
5 63 George Russell GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:19.606 +0.856s 27
6 11 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Red Bull Racing 1:19.622 +0.872s 23
7 44 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team 1:19.710 +0.960s 24
8 3 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1:19.841 +1.091s 27
9 31 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:20.348 +1.598s 29
10 14 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 1:20.377 +1.627s 26
11 5 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:20.383 +1.633s 25
12 18 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant F1 Team 1:20.414 +1.664s 24
13 10 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:20.456 +1.706s 27
14 22 Yuki Tsunoda JAP Scuderia AlphaTauri 1:20.695 +1.945s 26
15 24 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo Racing 1:20.810 +2.060s 22
16 23 Alexander Albon THA Williams Racing 1:20.834 +2.084s 27
17 20 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1:20.921 +2.171s 23
18 47 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 1:21.027 +2.277s 24
19 88 Robert Kubica POL Alfa Romeo Racing 1:21.179 +2.429s 19
20 6 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1:21.413 +2.663s 26