BUDAPEST — The sky above the Hungaroring turns red with hope, at the end of a day of free tests who sees in front of everyone the Ferrari Of Charles Leclerc: if the Magyar track – slow, technical, similar to the one in Montecarlo – really suits the current characteristics of the SF-23, then there's no better way to start the weekend and try to immediately forget the melancholy Sunday at Silverstone. Carlos Sainz he finished with the 10th time trial. There's no need to delude yourself too much, also because Charles in the second session - the first, in the rain, hadn't said anything significant - took advantage of the opening laps and the right combination of tyres. But this Friday leaves a good taste in the mouth, waiting for Saturday's qualifying which, with the small "revolution" of tires – in Q1 it will be compulsory to use the hard tyres, in Q2 the medium ones, in Q3 the soft ones – could further disrupt the plans of those overbearing Red Bulltoday even out of the top 10.
Red Bull and Mercedes in difficulty
Max Verstappen he finished 11th, but still impressed in the last part; the mexican Sergio Perez, who crashed immediately in the morning practice, 18th. The Mercedes couple is also very far away: Lewis Hamilton 16th, George Russell even 20th, last. They have it in for this new format – the Hungarian one will be a test that will be repeated at Monza - which takes two sets of tires away from each driver and today would not have given him the opportunity to express himself. Instead, he continued to go fast, confirming the good sensations of the English GP, Lando Norris with McLaren: 2nd time for him ahead of Gasly's Alpine. The Alfa Romanians did well, in the top 10 (Bottas is 7th, Zhou 9th). The best of the Alpha Tauris was Tsunoda (4th), 4 tenths and a half better than the returning Ricciardo (14th).
Hamilton: "New format to be reviewed, there are other ways to be green"
Verstappen seemed decidedly annoyed: “It's difficult to interpret the data, also because we didn't want to use different tires so as not to waste them in view of tomorrow's qualifying. We would have liked to work more freely, I'm also sorry because the public didn't see a great show. But the car didn't give me bad sensations." Hamilton, another sulking: “This new format doesn't seem like a great idea to me, there are other ways to be green and save on the use of tyres. Today the sensations weren't good, but it happened last year too: we'll work on the set-up, tomorrow will be better”.