Ferrari topped both opening practices in Hungary, Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in FP2 after Carlos Sainz led FP1 – and the Monegask said he had a “very productive day” as the Scuderia set the pace.
Leclerc, who entered Hungary with a win in his sights after disappointment in France, finished third in FP1, then led FP2 by a 0.217s margin ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, with Sainz just 0.014s behind in P3 to Max Verstappen fourth behind to leave in the late session at the Hungaroring.
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“It was a very productive day, quite a few things have changed on the car on my side,” said Leclerc. “FP1 was quite difficult, in FP2 we took the right path, so confident that we did the right work for Sunday.”
And he wasn’t too alarmed at the prospect of heavy rain on Saturday, saying: “It looks like it’s going to rain tomorrow so we need to be on top of it and obviously put the tires in the right window, which is always a difficult thing.” when it rains. This will be our main priority, but hopefully we’ll still have this advantage if we manage to put them in the right window.”
2022 Hungarian GP FP2: Aboard for Charles Leclerc’s fastest lap
Sainz, on the other hand, set the fastest time in FP1 to leave Verstappen in second with 0.130s, Leclerc another 0.159s behind in P3. The Spanish driver suffered almost the opposite fate from Leclerc on Friday, as he explained that changes to the set-up cost him both performance and confidence in FP2.
“Certainly straight out of the box in FP1 I felt very comfortable, very happy with the balance of the car, but of course you always feel there are things to improve, things to find,” Sainz said. “We’ve tried a number of different line-ups going into FP2, which left us with a bit of a loss of confidence in performance, but we know exactly why and for tomorrow and Sunday we think we can go back to where we were in FP1 and be a bit more competitive.”
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He added that Friday was almost a “test day” given the approaching thunderstorms in Hungary.
“It’s hard, but today was a good day to test a few things as the conditions were very stable all day. And we certainly managed to clear a few doubts with the direction to take all weekend and yes, I think it was a very interesting Friday. Let’s call it a test day, shall we?
“And for tomorrow and Sunday we will be putting on whatever we think is more competitive.”