Charles Leclerc beat Lando Norris to the top spot in second practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix. Leclerc guided his Ferrari to the top of the order with a best time of 1m18.445s with a fresh set of softs, pipping Norris by 0.217s.
The Monegasque’s only blip for the day was an engine complaint that forced him back to his garage late in the hour, but he was released without problem shortly afterwards — albeit after striking a jack while trying to leave his garage.
Norris’s best time had come slightly earlier in the session, the Briton being one of the first to lap on low fuel, and the lap proved quick enough to split the Ferrari drivers when time expired on the session, with Carlos Sainz a further 0.014s down in third.
Max Verstappen was fourth and 0.052s off the pace, but the Dutchman complained of “oscillations” at Turn 4 and Turn 11, two of the higher-speed corners on the track. Several other drivers endured bouncing throughout the day around the twisty layout.
Daniel Ricciardo ended the hour fifth and 0.427s off the pace, reinforcing McLaren’s pace in the week after the team applied a major update to its car. The Australian was more than 0.15s quicker than the Alpine of Fernando Alonso.
Sebastian Vettel was an impressive seventh, 0.8s off the pace in his Aston Martin equipped with its controversial rear wing upgrade, usurping George Russell’s Mercedes by 0.1s
Russell’s time came at the end of his second flying lap on softs, his first having been abandoned for yellow flags; but the Briton was generally unhappy with his car, particularly with its tendency to lock up into the first turn and subsequently with the need to lift and coast to manage temperatures.
Sergio Perez was ninth and more than 0.9s off the pace, just pipping 10th-placed Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas.
Lewis Hamilton struggled to 11th, 1.1s off the pace. The eight-time Hungarian Grand Prix winner was exasperated by the gap to the front, though he abandoned his second attempt on softs rather than complete a lap that looked likely to put him halfway up the top 10.
His long runs weren’t much better, the Briton complaining that the car was unstable after righting to stay on track at Turn 4.
Zhou Guanyu was 12th for Alfa Romeo ahead of Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.
Pierre Gasly beat Haas teammates Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher to 15th. Nicholas Latifi was 18th for Williams ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, while Alex Albon brought up the rear after locking ruining his softs in an unusual rear-axle lock-up at the first turn at the beginning of his flying lap.