Hamilton fastest as Perez rolls in opening practice

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Lewis Hamilton set the pace during an incident packed opening practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix, interrupted by a dramatic accident for Sergio Perez.

Perez prompted the first of two red flags after suffering a heavy accident at Turn 11.

A suspected failure of the right-rear suspension pitched the Force India into a spin, with the car rattling off the barriers before rolling over its trapped front-right tyre and ending up upside down.

The Mexican clambered out of his broken car and after a brief assessment at the circuit’s medical centre returned to the pits on foot.

With the debris cleared after a lengthy stoppage, Hamilton, who had gone fastest in the opening runs, improved with a 1m25.141s to end the session fastest for Mercedes, a tenth of a second clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

Kimi Raikkonen lapped third fastest, but suffered a bizarre failure in the final five minutes of the session as his front wing collapsed as he ran across the curbs at Turn 12, prompting a late stoppage.

Daniil Kvyat beat Red Bull team-mate Daniel Ricciardo to fourth, ahead of Sebastian Vettel, who spent the opening half of the 90-minute session confined to the garage.

Carlos Sainz was seventh quickest for Toro Rosso, as Perez, Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen rounded out the top 10.

The two McLarens of Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were 11th and 12th, ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, who was confined to the garage following Perez’s accident.

Felipe Massa was 14th in the second Williams, from the Sauber duo Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson.

Pastor Maldonado was 18th as Lotus completed limited running after Pirelli withheld the team’s tyres until late on Friday morning owing to a financial issue.

Will Stevens was the best of the Manor cars in 19th, ahead of reserve driver Fabio Leimer, who was 19th quickest on his maiden F1 practice run.

Jolyon Palmer, standing in for Romain Grosjean in the second Lotus E23, failed to complete a flying lap owing to the teams tyre delays.

This report first appeared on Richland F1 – Image courtesy of Mercedes AMG PETRONAS

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