Daniel Ricciardo puts Red Bull on top in first Hungary practice
Hungarian Grand Prix - FP1

Daniel Ricciardo puts Red Bull on top in first Hungary practice

Daniel Ricciardo set the pace in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull looks set to be a serious contender at the Hungaroring.

The tight and twisty layout of the circuit plays to the strengths of the Red Bull's chassis and both Ricciardo and teammate Max Verstappen are expected to be competitive throughout the weekend.

Ricciardo's fastest time was 0.079s quicker than Sebastian Vettel in second, but was set on the soft compound tyre which is two steps harder than the ultra-soft used by the Ferrari. Max Verstappen was third fastest, 0.088s off his teammate, and also used the soft compound for his quickest time. Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, 0.335s off Ricciardo in the second Ferrari using the softs.

As much as the Hungaroring's mix of slow and medium-speed corners suit the Red Bull, they do not play to the strengths of the Mercedes. Lewis Hamilton was fifth fastest using soft tyres, 0.423s off Ricciardo using the same compound, while Valtteri Bottas had to settle for sixth and was a further 0.434s off his teammate. The Finn ended his session early after a huge lock up -- his second of the session -- ruined the medium compound tyres he had planned to use up until the chequered flag.

Nico Hulkenberg's session was also limited after he stopped on the side of the track with a loss of power. The lap he had set prior to the car's shutdown was still good enough to hold eighth place by the end of the session, with a quick lap from Romain Grosjean knocking him down a place in the closing minutes. Hulkenberg was 0.103s faster than teammate Carlos Sainz in ninth while the second Haas of Kevin Magnussen was tenth fastest ahead of Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly in 11th.

Fernando Alonso managed the 12th fastest time for McLaren using the medium compound tyre, ahead of Brendon Hartley in the second Toro Rosso, who spun right at the end of the session. Lance Stroll was the fastest of the two Williams in 14th with a 0.295s margin over teammate Sergey Sirotkin in 19th.

Esteban Ocon was 15th on a circuit where Force India is expecting to struggle for performance and was 0.094s faster than teammate Sergio Perez in 17th. The Force Indias were split by Stoffel Vandoorne, who is using a replacement McLaren chassis this weekend after data from his car showed a significant amount of missing downforce compared to teammate Alonso at recent races. He finished the session 0.461s off Alonso.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 18th in the Sauber after replacing Charles Leclerc for Friday morning's session. The Ferrari junior driver is believed to be a potential replacement for Leclerc should the Monegasque go to Ferrari next year but had a scrappy 90 minutes after a nasty lock-up on his first set of tyres.

Marcus Ericsson was slowest of all after two spins in the other Sauber. The first came at the final corner just before the team handed its first set of tyres back to Pirelli, but the second -- at Turn 4 -- was more costly as it ruined the ultra-soft set of tyres he had planned to use for the rest of the session. Both Sauber and Haas used Ferraris third and final specification of power unit, which is believed to offer a significant step in power.

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