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F1 Hungarian GP: Perez crashes before rain hits first practice

Sergio Perez crashed his Red Bull early in opening practice for Formula 1's 2023 Hungarian Grand Prix before the rain hit a session topped by George Russell.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19 crash

Photo by: Ronald Vording

With two minutes completed and before anyone had set a time, Perez lost control of his RB19 after dipping his left rear tyre on the outside grass through the long right of Turn 5.

The car snapped away from him in a full 360-degree spin and speared into the wall on the outside, which damaged the newly upgraded sidepods on its left side, as well as both front corners.

The session was suspended for eight minutes by red flags as the Red Bull was recovered, after which most of the pack headed back out again, but quickly found conditions had changed with the rain coming down.

Kevin Magnussen was set to produce the first timed lap while running the mediums, but as he reached the final turns where the rain was falling heaviest first he came across Valtteri Bottas recovering from a spin in his Alfa Romeo and all the cars then piled back into the pits.

That led to a lengthy lull in action. Charles Leclerc ventured out just before the halfway point before he too pitted, shortly after which McLaren sent both Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri out, just as the rain got heavier.

Piastri had a big sliding moment exiting the fast left of Turn 4 at the end of the first sector, with both McLarens and Magnussen, who had joined them in the brief excursion, quickly returning to the pits.

Norris informed McLaren he did not agree with the call to pit at this stage with just over 25 minutes remaining as Pierre Gasly likewise tried a single tour on the inters, but Norris nevertheless joined his team-mate in the pits.

Bottas headed out with 20 minutes remaining and declared conditions "drivable", with the Finn then attempting the session's first flying lap to big cheers from the crowd watching the pit straight.

Bottas, his C43's rear end twitching as he traversed the soaked circuit, plunged on and duly set the benchmark first time at 1m47.787s, some 30s slower than would normally be expected here in FP1.

A gaggle of cars had headed out in Bottas's wake, with the Williams pair forging ahead with their first timed laps, first Albon's 1m47.407s and then Logan Sargeant's 1m46.838s put them American into first place.

The session was then stopped again after Sainz spun accelerating onto the short straight between the fast, downhill Turn 3 right and clipped the wall on the inside lightly with both left-side corners of his Ferrari.

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

George Russell, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

He tried to get going again from facing backwards but got beached on the kerb and had to be pushed away by the marshals under red flag conditions, when they did it was revealed that Sainz had knocked off the left-side endplate of his front wing.

FP1 resumed with 11 minutes remaining and most the drivers headed back out – although many including Max Verstappen and Hamilton did not, which meant they ended the session without a time on the board.

In the final two minutes, Russell took over with a 1m40.44s that was beaten by Piastri's 1m39.906s before the Mercedes driver nipped back ahead just before the chequered flag fell.

Piastri's final lap was a 1m39.154s, but Russell had stayed on it and nearly two minutes after the chequered flag had first come out, he finally set the session's best time ahead of Piastri at 1m38.795s.

Lance Stroll completed the top three ahead of Norris, who shuffled Alonso – in the pits for the final minutes – down to fifth.

Then came Bottas and Leclerc, with Zhou Guanyu able to head out and secure eighth late on after Alfa had had to investigate an electrical energy deployment issue on his car following the brief early dry running.

Sargeant and Hulkenberg ended up closing out the top 10, with Magnussen 11th and Yuki Tsunoda 12th – the AlphaTauri racer crawling back to the pits late on after an unseen incident that knocked off the right side of his front wing.

Albon ended up 13th as the final runner with a time on the board, a group that did not include F1 returnee Daniel Ricciardo in the other AlphaTauri.

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom G. Russell George Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 13 1'38.795   159.639
2 Australia O. Piastri Oscar Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 14 +0.359 0.359 159.061
3 Canada L. Stroll Lance Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 10 +1.218 0.859 157.695
4 United Kingdom L. Norris Lando Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 13 +1.482 0.264 157.280
5 Spain F. Alonso Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 8 +1.892 0.410 156.639
6 Finland V. Bottas Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 14 +2.237 0.345 156.104
7 Monaco C. Leclerc Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 12 +2.347 0.110 155.935
8 China Z. Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 9 +2.568 0.221 155.595
9 United States L. Sargeant Logan Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 15 +2.621 0.053 155.513
10 Germany N. Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 12 +3.911 1.290 153.560
11 Denmark K. Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 14 +4.111 0.200 153.262
12 Japan Y. Tsunoda Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 7 +6.780 2.669 149.387
13 Thailand A. Albon Alex Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 10 +8.612 1.832 146.839
14 Australia D. Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 AlphaTauri Red Bull 7      
15 Spain C. Sainz Carlos Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 6      
16 Mexico S. Perez Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 2      
17 France E. Ocon Esteban Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 4      
18 France P. Gasly Pierre Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 3      
19 Netherlands M. Verstappen Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 4      
20 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 3      

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