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Formula 1

Perez has big early crash, Russell fastest in wet Hungary FP1

by Ben Anderson
7 min read

Daniel Ricciardo’s Formula 1 return with AlphaTauri was massively disrupted by heavy rain and two red flags, after Sergio Perez crashed his Red Bull heavily during first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Key moments

– Perez crashes heavily, causing early red flag
– Ricciardo fails to complete a timed flying lap
– Russell sets pace in disrupted wet session

Ricciardo headed straight out at the start of the 60-minute session, planning to push immediately and try to get up to speed quickly having replaced Nyck de Vries with two races to go before F1’s August break.

The Australian was just getting into his first proper lap on medium-compound Pirelli tyres when Sergio Perez crashed his Red Bull heavily, bringing out red flags.

Perez’s crash couldn’t have come at a worse time, given Ricciardo’s return, his explicit targeting of Perez’s seat in the future, and the fact Red Bull has upgraded the RB19 for this race.

The Mexican crashed at Turn 5 on his first flying lap of the session, smashing the front-left corner of his Red Bull heavily against the outside barrier having run both outside wheels onto the grass as he braked for the right-hander.

“I cannot believe this,” Perez said over team radio after spinning into the barrier and causing a stoppage within the first four minutes of the session. “I clipped the grass, I think, on braking.”

Team principal Christian Horner cut a pensive figure on the Red Bull pitwall, describing the crash as “unfortunate” and “frustrating” while indicating his hope Red Bull’s mechanics can repair the damage in time for FP2.

“He just misjudged it and made a mistake,” Horner told Sky Sports F1. “You can hear the frustration in his voice and he stuck his hand up. It is what it is.

“Hopefully he won’t have lost too much because of these conditions, but not the ideal way to start the weekend.”

Rain shortly after the session resumed made the track “undriveable” on slicks, according to Valtteri Bottas – who spun his Alfa Romeo coming into the twisty final sequence of corners at the end of the lap.

The rain arrived before anyone managed to set a meaningful laptime, and became significantly heavier as the session timer ticked past 30 minutes gone.

F1 2023 R11 Fp1

Apart from a few exploratory laps on intermediate tyres, no meaningful running occurred until the final 20 minutes.

But even then only three drivers – Alex Albon, Logan Sargeant and Bottas – managed to put times on the board using intermediate tyres before Carlos Sainz spun his Ferrari exiting Turn 3, glanced the barrier then got stuck on a raised kerb as he tried to rejoin the circuit.

After another red flag delay, during which Sainz was able to drive his Ferrari back to the pits, the session resumed with just under 11 minutes to run.

Charles Leclerc and Fernando Alonso both took turns at the top of the timesheet during that late flurry of action, before Russell and Oscar Piastri traded fastest times.

In the end, Russell’s Mercedes topped the session from Piastri’s McLaren, with Lance Stroll, Lando Norris, Alonso and Bottas rounding out the top six.

Leclerc was seventh for Ferrari, ahead of Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo, Sargeant’s Williams and Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen.

Yuki Tsunoda and Albon were the only other drivers to set a time as Ricciardo, Sainz, Alpine pairing Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly, Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen remained in the pits without completing a flying lap – though ironically Ricciardo was about to complete one when Perez crashed.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 George Russell Mercedes 1m38.795s
2 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m39.154s +0.359s
3 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m40.013s +1.218s
4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m40.277s +1.482s
5 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m40.687s +1.892s
6 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m41.032s +2.237s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m41.142s +2.347s
8 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m41.363s +2.568s
9 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m41.416s +2.621s
10 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m42.706s +3.911s
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m42.906s +4.111s
12 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m45.575s +6.78s
13 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m47.407s +8.612s
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