Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2020

Black Mercedes lead ‘pink Mercedes’ in first practice

2020 Hungarian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton led team mate Valtteri Bottas in a close Mercedes one-two in first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Behind the pair of W11s at the top of the times sheets came the two cars closely based on its predecessor – Racing Point’s RP20s. The pink team entered the third weekend of the season under a protest from rivals Renault concerning similarities between parts of its car and last year’s Mercedes.

Sergio Perez set the third-quickest time in the disputed machine, half a second off Hamilton, with team mate Lance Stroll the best part of a second away in his RP20.

Ferrari, who endured a difficult start to the season in F1’s two races at the Red Bull Ring, showed better form in the first 90 minutes of running at the twisty Hungaroring. Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc ended the session well inside the top 10, beaten to fifth by Daniel Ricciardo’s Renault.

Max Verstappen, whose Red Bull was widely tipped to be the closest threat to Mercedes this weekend, could only manage the eighth-fastest time. He told the team he “completely destroyed the left-front” tyre early in his final run, and was frustrated at being held up by Nicholas Latifi at one point during proceedings. Alexander Albon put the other Red Bull 13th.

Lando Norris, whose sore chest has been attended to since last weekend, took ninth for McLaren ahead of the second Renault of Esteban Ocon and his team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr.

Pierre Gasly did no laps during the session due to problems with his power unit. “We’ve seen an anomaly on the data of Pierre’s [power unit] and we need to carry out physical checks which will take some time,” said Honda on social media.

The slowest driver to set a time was Robert Kubica, who made his second practice appearance for Alfa Romeo this year, at the wheel of Kimi Raikkonen’s car.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.00336
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’16.0890.08637
311Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’16.5300.52720
418Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’16.9670.96435
53Daniel RicciardoRenault1’17.2001.19728
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’17.2381.23526
716Charles LeclercFerrari1’17.4041.40129
833Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.4351.43228
94Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’17.5231.52026
1031Esteban OconRenault1’17.6151.61234
1155Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault1’17.6751.67232
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’17.7131.71034
1323Alexander AlbonRed Bull-Honda1’17.7271.72427
148Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’17.8901.88735
156Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’17.9691.96631
1626Daniil KvyatAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.2922.28935
1799Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.4252.42230
1863George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’18.5742.57129
1988Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’19.1503.14726
2010Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda0

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’16.003

+0.086 Valtteri Bottas – 1’16.089

+0.527 Sergio Perez – 1’16.530

+0.964 Lance Stroll – 1’16.967

+1.197 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’17.200

+1.235 Sebastian Vettel – 1’17.238

+1.401 Charles Leclerc – 1’17.404

+1.432 Max Verstappen – 1’17.435

+1.520 Lando Norris – 1’17.523

+1.612 Esteban Ocon – 1’17.615

+1.672 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’17.675

+1.710 Kevin Magnussen – 1’17.713

+1.724 Alexander Albon – 1’17.727

+1.887 Romain Grosjean – 1’17.890

+1.966 Nicholas Latifi – 1’17.969

+2.289 Daniil Kvyat – 1’18.292

+2.422 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’18.425

+2.571 George Russell – 1’18.574

+3.147 Robert Kubica – 1’19.150

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2020 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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38 comments on “Black Mercedes lead ‘pink Mercedes’ in first practice”

  1. The headline, LOL.

    1. It got me thinking: Is this the place to read F1 news?

    2. Very racist.

  2. Ouch! Mercedes .5s ahead of third placed man and 1s ahead fourth. Ham time set on 10 lap old hards.

  3. We should call them Black Panthers…I mean we call the Racing Point Pink Panthers…

    1. You love to hear it xD

    2. @krichelle I like it! Just turn the ‘Petronas’ logo into ‘Panther Nation’, awesome.

  4. Blackpink lead the chart. For once I’m glad RaceFans didn’t allow gif comments.

    1. Blinks will be going crazy after reading the headline.

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    17th July 2020, 11:51

    Mercedes are so far ahead they’re almost in a different category and the replica of their old car is still better than the entire ‘new’ grid. Its quite shocking. I suppose it’s great if you’re a fan of them but if you’re not, or just want to see anyone else win – just for the variety, it’s pretty disappointing.

    1. What’s more shocking to me is how the rest of the top 3 with comparable budgets fail year after year in their development efforts to challenge Mercs. And it’s tiring to hear F1 fans keep moaning about dominance of Mercedes when they should be complaining about RB and Ferrari’s lack of innovation and operational efficiencies.

      1. @rockgod: amen to that. Add Renault to that list too. So bored of reading/hearing the “rebuilding year” BS.

      2. proud_asturian
        17th July 2020, 13:00

        When Mercedes are allowed to cheat year on year, it’s fair to complain…

        1. Any evidence to back that up ? They seem to cheat far less than Ferrari of late.

      3. @rockgod how is anyone supposed to catch up?? Merc aren’t relaxing, they started this era with a massive advantage and that advantage continues. Given more or less even developments, it’s impossible to catch up. During the RBR years, the sport made repeated efforts to slow them down with aero reg changes. Curiously, no such moves with this era (fric? please). It’s almost like they want these titles to drop into Hamilton’s lap. With no competition to speak of, might as well predetermine the rewriting of the record book. Sure, it’s fixed (and boring), but who cares when we get to ‘watch history being made’?

        1. The 2017 and 2019 changes were an attempt to “reset” the field at least partially @asherway. It’s not Mercedes’ fault that the so called aero overlords at Red Bull couldn’t take that chance and consistently outperform Mercs even at the high downforce tracks.

          1. @rockgod this is the hybrid era. as i said, no changes, and none to come. so i’ll ask again, how is anyone supposed to catch up??

    2. I remember 2000 – 2004.
      3 championships in a row is cool. 4th is ok. After that it felt boring.

    3. *just for the diversity

      1. Adam (@rocketpanda)
        17th July 2020, 12:25

        To be honest that’s a fair point and a question I’ve asked myself. What are the other teams doing? They’re not terrible, they’ve got great drivers, great technology, have won championships before and huge sums of money and what are they doing with it? How are they this far behind so consistently? With a sport that operates on such finite margins I just cannot grasp how one team is perfecting the rules every time and everyone else just isn’t close – to the point a copied version of their old car is as good if not better than all the new ones!

        1. @rocketpanda It doesn’t help that Mercedes has had a power unit advantage of varying degrees over the past 6 seasons, apart from a period when Ferrari seemingly found a way to cheat. Having even a small power deficit, the other teams have to overcome that disadvantage by making their cars superior in other ways. And that’s difficult to do when Mercedes have the budget they have, and possibly the most well-oiled, well-organised operation that F1 has ever seen.

        2. @rocketpanda I think the PU regulation is too specific for any other manufactures to recover even from minor mistakes when the one who got it right had the time to develop other things. The gap is just getting bigger.

          And now we arrived at the time for F1 to froze development. Just when one manufacture is so far ahead.

    4. When you think about it, if FP1 times are representative it kind of makes Mercedes look bad the fact that a team with a budget 1/6th the size using concepts that are a year old are only 0.5 seconds off them.

  6. Damn… if Vettel moves to Aston Martin next year, he’s might going to be in the hunt for some wins… more likely at least than if he stayed at Ferrari.

  7. If the pundits and experts wonder why would Mercedes supply RP with technical data, saying that it doesn’t make sense for such a dominating team, this is exactly the answer – if anything could preserve the competitive advantage and decimate the opposition even more, having four top cars in the field is exactly it. Not only bad for competitivness and completely demoralizing other teams, it also makes a huge sense from the perspective of 2022 – Mercedes will practically have twice the allowed budget, all the necessary additional work will be outsourced from there to Aston Martin and believe me, their data will be far more valuable then from AT, Haas or Alpha Tauri.

    1. Such collaboration is not possible.
      And assumption that they are breaking regulations are baseless at best, just looks just biased and because your team is not winning.

  8. Can we just appreciate that heading for a moment?! No one ever thought this was possible😁😁

  9. Quite frankly Rob Kubica should now walk away from F1 and make room for someone who can drive.

    God bless Orlen and help them decide to sponsor some other person/event that might bring them some return on their money. This short break before Silverstone should give Kubica ample time to pack….

  10. Calm down dear, it’s only FP1.

    Was Bottas on softs?

    1. Lewis on Hard, Bottas on the medium……

      I think season is over Mercedes win RP second…

      1. This season was over when they announced the technical regs would change in 2021. 2021’s season was over when they announced the new technical regs were delayed.

        No-one is getting near Mercedes and Bottas isn’t good enough to sustain a challenge over the season.

        Now that we have 4 Mercedes on the grid, it’s even tougher for us to pretend that anyone else might be able to put up any sort of challenge.

        1. Oh I expect Max and RBR to have a say in this and over the season I expect them to split the Mercs. Max P2 in the WDC, RBR P2 in the WCC.

          1. Yas muchas I hope that you are right I just can’t see it happening. That Mercedes is so far ahead of the competition it would take a huge stroke of luck for Max to be anywhere near them in the race

      2. Did everyone forget about Austrian GP 2 weeks ago and how FP times mean nothing when it comes to the outcome of the race?

  11. Apparently RB had their engine turned down for FP1.

    1. As opposed to Mercedes who were running in qualymode? Every team has the engine turned down in FP.

  12. So Robert is still behind Russell. Is he going to blame it on being sabotaged by Alfa Romeo.

Comments are closed.