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Hamilton fastest in practice for Hungarian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) has been the quickest around the Hungaroring in free practice for the 2019 Formula 1 Grand Prix of Hungary.
Hamilton fastest in practice for Hungarian Grand Prix

The British five-time world champion had a best lap of 1:17.233 in Free Practice 1, followed by Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) and Germany's Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) on Friday.

Though he dropped to third in a rainy FP2, Hamilton's earlier performance held up as the best of the day, reports Efe news.

Verstappen, winner of last Sunday's German Grand Prix, retained second place in FP2, behind French teammate Pierre Gasly.

Mercedes came in the last race before the summer break determined to recover from Sunday's debacle in Hockenheim, which the German automaker intended as a celebration of its 150 years in Motorsport.

Instead, Hamilton barely finished in the top 10 and his teammate, Valtteri Bottas of Finland, was one of four drivers to crash out in the rain.

Despite the disappointment in their home Grand Prix, Mercedes retains a formidable lead in the battle for the constructor's trophy and Hamilton sits atop the 2019 driver standings with 225 points, 41 more than Bottas.

The Briton has a 63-point edge over Verstappen and leads Vettel, a four-time world champion, by 84 points, even after the German came from 20th on the grid to finish second at Hockenheim.

Problems with his power unit kept Bottas from setting a time in FP1 on Friday, but he managed to grab the fourth spot in the second session.

Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) was fifth in FP2, followed by Finland's Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo) and Vettel's teammate at Ferrari, Charles Leclerc of Monaco.

Rounding out the top 10 were Germany's Nico Hülkenberg (Renault), Italian driver Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Russia's Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso).

Spanish driver Carlos Sainz (McLaren) finished ninth in FP1 before dropping to 14th in the afternoon with a different power unit.

( With inputs from IANS )

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