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Vandoorne tops morning timesheets in Hungary

NEWS STORY
01/08/2017

While there are ten teams on duty today, there are eleven names on the timesheets as Mercedes is running two cars.

While GP3 Series leader George Russell is on duty for the German team on both days of the test, Valtteri Bottas is also at work today as part of Pirelli's test programme for its 2018 compounds.

A busy morning saw the 11 drivers complete just under 500 laps, with Max Verstappen emerging just 45 minutes before the break.

No sooner had proceedings begun than the red flag appeared, though it subsequently turned out to be a false alarm.

While attention centred on F2 champion elect, Charles Leclerc, it was Bottas who set the early pace however.

Though Bottas continued to set the initial pace, the Finn racking up the laps, Leclerc soon began to get to grip with the Ferrari and posted a very respectable 1:20.253.

Lance Stroll, standing in for a still recovering Felipe Massa, subsequently went third, Williams understood to have made a number of significant changes to the FW40 following a run of poor performances.

No sooner has Latifi gone fourth (22.575) than we got a red flag for real, Toro Rosso's Sean Gelael stopping out on track.

Vandoorne's first time of the day saw the Belgian shoot straight to the top of the timesheets, the McLaren driver posting 19.402 and subsequently improving to 19.040.

As Max Verstappen's fans began to grow impatient at the lack of action from their man, the Red Bull driver suffering an engine issue, it was noticeable that there is a large contingent of Robert Kubica fans ready and waiting for their man's 2017 F1 debut tomorrow.

While Bottas continued to rack up the laps and Vandoorne consolidated his position at the top of the timesheets, Mazepin, Russell and Ferrucci quietly got on with the job in hand.

Shortly after going quickest (18.463), Leclerc blotted his copybook (slightly) with a spin, while Mazepin finally dipped into the 1:19s.

As Verstappen finally emerged, Ferrucci notched up his 50th lap, though the American remained 3.2s off the pace.

Shortly after retaking the top spot, Vandoorne ground to a halt, thereby bringing out the red flag, a not too unfamiliar sight in terms of McLaren and testing.

The car was recovered in time for a few more laps, Gelael finally getting back to work following his earlier issues.

This afternoon, Mazepin hands the Force India over to Lucas Auer, the two sharing driving duties again tomorrow.

Check out our Tuesday gallery from Hungary, here.

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