George Russell set the fastest time of testing for Mercedes, finishing 0.074s clear of Kimi Raikkonen on the second day in Budapest.
Formula 2 championship leader Russell carried out both days of testing for Mercedes, and broke the 100-lap barrier on Wednesday on his way to the fastest time. He set the pace with a 1m15.575s on the hypersoft compound tire to top the times for the two-day test.
Russell’s lap was quicker than Raikkonen’s despite the Ferrari also running the hypersofts at the very end of the day when the track was rubbered in. Raikkonen was less than 0.1s adrift; his 1m15.649s actually 0.001s slower than Antonio Giovinazzi managed in the Ferrari on the opening day, but the Finn was typically dismissive of the standings.
“It’s testing, I don’t really care about lap times,” Raikkonen said. “You guys care, but I don’t. It’s the same story as a Friday or Saturday. In practice it makes no difference.”
Jake Dennis was third for Red Bull on a productive day during which the simulator driver posted 131 laps – the same number as Raikkonen – with a best of 1m17.012s also coming on the hypersoft tire that was used by all of the top five cars.
There was another strong showing for Giovinazzi, who also registered more than 100 laps and ended up fourth on the timing screens with a 1m17.558s. The Italian’s time was over half a second quicker than race driver Marcus Ericsson managed on the hypersofts,
While the top four drivers all completed a significant amount of mileage, the man in fifth had a less productive day; Nikita Mazepin causing the two red flags that interrupted running.
Mazepin stopped at Turn 11 in the morning with a brake-by-wire issue that confined him to the garage for the rest of that part of the session, and hadn’t added a huge amount of mileage in the afternoon when the Force India again stopped, this time at the penultimate corner. The second delay came with over two hours of running still to go in the day, and Force India was able to get the car back out on track in the final 15 minutes, with Mazepin ending up with 51 laps to his name.
But the main focus of interest was once again Robert Kubica, with the Williams reserve and development driver enjoying some boisterous support from Polish fans in the main grandstand. Kubica was sixth-fastest overall on the ultrasoft compound, completing 103 laps and ending the day with a car covered in four different shades of flo-viz paint.
Some minor issues limited McLaren to just 73 laps on the second day, with Lando Norris 0.021s adrift of Kubica on soft tires, while Artem Markelov’s debut in a current F1 car ended with his finishing eighth-fastest, half a second clear of Sean Gelael in the Toro Rosso. Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley propped up the times after carrying out tire testing for Pirelli.