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Ricciardo continues to set the pace in Hungary

NEWS STORY
28/07/2017

Ahead of today's second session, the air temperature is 26 degrees C, while the track temperature is 31 degrees.

While this morning's session was somewhat unrepresentative, if only because it was a lot cooler than we can expect on Sunday, and even Saturday afternoon, it was clear that Red Bull's much anticipated upgrade is paying dividends.

Daniel Ricciardo was the pace-setter, 0.234s quicker than second-placed Kimi Raikkonen, while Max Verstappen was fourth.

While we haven't seen the best of the Mercedes yet, it would appear that if nothing else, Ferrari has a new fight on its hands.

While the little used track is notoriously green and dusty, the addition of strong headwinds and increased cornering speeds this year saw plenty of incidents in FP1.

Almost everyone had an off at some point or another, but most were able to continue. On the other hand, Romain Grosjean damaged his rear wing after clouting the barriers, with (FP1) teammate Antonio Giovinazzi doing a bit more damage to his Haas shortly after.

In the final moments of the session the red flag was brought out once again when Jolyon Palmer suffered a puncture, ran wide and ripped off his front wing on the unforgiving kerbs at T4.

Understeer, oversteer, you name it, drivers had it all, and none more so that Monsieur Moany.

The lights go green but there is no immediate rush to return to work. This applies even to Ocon and Magnussen who didn't run this morning, both having handed their cars over to their teams' third drivers.

Eventually Raikkonen breaks the deadlock and heads out, followed by Grosjean, Vettel, Ocon and the Toro Rossos.

All are on the soft rubber.

Raikkonen posts the first time of the afternoon, the Finn crossing the line at 20.085. Moments later Vettel posts 20.057.

"Guys, is the balance correct?" asks Grosjean, "I have a mountain of understeer." The Frenchman subsequently runs wide in T4.

Going quickest in all three sectors, Bottas crosses the line at 49.591. Vettel subsequently posts 19.698.

Another off for Grosjean, this time at T7 and then again at T11.

"OK, guys we've got a problem, it's getting worse and worse" says the Frenchman. Asked to explain, he says: "Understeer..." before emitting a series of "woos"... and not in the style of Homer Simpson. Though told to box he asks to keep going.

Hamilton goes third with a 19.761.

Impressive this morning, as was his McLaren teammate, Alonso posts 20.864 to go seventh.

A 19.546 sees Ricciardo go second, only to be demoted when Hamilton bangs in a 19.373 and Verstappen a 19.474.

Hamilton improves with an 18.779 as the camera cuts to his father Anthony.

A 19.324 sees Ricciardo leapfrog his Red Bull teammate, though both are over 0.5s off the pace.

Stroll runs wide at T4 where Palmer came a cropper, the Canadian appearing to have learned from the Briton's experience makes a point of not running over the kerbs.

Talking of Palmer, the Briton, like Magnussen, has yet to appear this afternoon, both drivers cars having incurred damage in FP1.

"Everyone on the soft tyre at the moment," says Pirelli, "which is going to be quite central to race strategy."

The Sauber engineers look distinctly unimpressed as Wehrlein runs wide and over the kerbs at T11.

With just over an hour remaining, Palmer heads out. However, shortly after a worrying amount of smoke is seen coming from the rear of the car. His team inform him that it's his plank.

On the supers, Raikkonen goes second with an 18.980, an improvement of just over a second.

Vettel (supers) posts an 18.638 to go quickest as Hamilton also switches to the softer rubber.

An 18.656 sees Bottas (supers) go second while teammate Hamilton fails to improve.

"Has anyone improved on this tyre," asks Hamilton, only to be told the bad news that (thus far) Vettel, Bottas and Raikkonen have.

As Massa spins at T5, Raikkonen appears to be parking his Ferrari at T13. "I don't have any power," he complains. When given instructions how to get going again, he warns firmly that he has no throttle.

"Listen, I have no throttle, what can I do?" he snaps. Moments later a couple of friendly marshals are about to come to his rescue and get him going again when Ferrari re-sets the car and the Finn heads back to the pits.

Check out our Friday gallery from Hungary, here.

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