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Formula One

FP1: Hamilton beats Verstappen, as Bottas suffers engine trouble

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They say the best way to get over disappointment is to forget about it and come back stronger next time around – and that’s exactly what Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton did as he set the pace in Friday’s opening practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix…

The five-time reigning world champion left rain-hit Germany with just two points, his worst haul of the season, and the remnants of an illness that had left him feeling unwell all weekend. But he said he was feeling much better on arriving at the Hungaroring and wasted no time getting back on the pace.

The Briton had a busy session – completing the most laps of anyone with 41 – and clocked a 1m 17.233s to go top of the pops, 0.165s quicker than Max Verstappen, winner of two of the last three races, in a Red Bull that the Dutchman found distinctly twitchy at times.

It was incredibly close between Red Bull and Ferrari, with Sebastian Vettel, just 0.001s slower in third.

Vettel showed blistering pace in the first sector, but lost speed as the lap went on – particularly in the final sector, which is made up of mostly low-speed corners.

The session was disrupted by light rain throughout, but teams were able to get a decent amount of dry-weather running in the final third of the 90 minutes.

Red Bull’s Pierre Gasly bounced back from his frustrating retirement in Germany in fourth, 0.449s off the pace and around three-tenths slower than his more decorated team mate Verstappen.

Kevin Magnussen, running the upgraded spec as Haas continue their back-to-back testing, was fifth, ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who failed to get a tidy lap under his belt.

Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg, the McLaren duo of Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen completed the top 10.

There was frustration for Valtteri Bottas, second in the championship standings, as Mercedes engine trouble meant he didn’t set a flying lap at any point during the session. After heading out on track, he was recalled with a very late pit call after the team detected a misfire.

They opted change his power unit with one already in the pool to allow the team more time to trace the problem.

Racing Point, who updated their car for the second successive race, had a challenging session with both Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez having spins at the same place before continuing.

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