Sebastian Vettel provided a reminder of the talents that won him four drivers’ world titles on Friday when he topped the times for Ferrari in a wet second practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The German driver, who is looking for a new team for 2021 after being told he will be surplus to Ferrari’s needs, clocked a best lap in one minute and 40.464 seconds to outpace nearest rival and championship leader Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes by 0.272s.
For Vettel and Ferrari, it was a welcome boost after last Sunday’s ignominious exit from the Styrian Grand Prix where Charles Leclerc collided with him on the opening lap, causing both men into early retirement.
Carlos Sainz, the man chosen to replace Vettel at Ferrari, was third fastest for McLaren ahead of Lance Stroll and his Racing Point ‘pink Mercedes’ team-mate Sergio Perez.
Pierre Gasly, who sat out the morning opening session topped by Lewis Hamilton and his Mercedes team-mate Bottas, was sixth ahead of Max Verstappen of Red Bull, Romain Grosjean of Haas, Kimi Raikkonen of Alfa Romeo and Leclerc.
Defending six-time champion Lewis Hamilton was one of several drivers who decided to sit out the session without clocking a flying lap in the difficult conditions, the Briton choosing only to do a single installation lap.
More wet weather conditions are forecast for Budapest and the surrounding region on Saturday, making it likely that another wet qualifying session will take place. Last weekend’s qualifying at the Styrian Grand Prix was a thrilling spectacle in which Hamilton produced one of his greatest laps to take pole.
Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix for the 35th consecutive year, is the third to be run this year in the COVID-19 delayed season and takes place behind closed doors and under strictly-controlled protocol conditions that do not allow anyone from the travelling F1 circus to go anywhere other than their hotels, the circuit or the airport.
Bottas won the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix and Hamilton last Sunday’s Styrian Grand Prix. Bottas leads Hamilton by six points in the title race.
Topics mentioned in this article