Albon bins the STR14 at the Hungaroring

Date published: August 2 2019

It was a Friday to forget for Toro Rosso’s Alex Albon who suffered a heavy crash in FP2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Here is how Friday practice played out in Hungary…

George Russell got the rally going for Williams team-mate Robert Kubica.

Poor guy, Kubica gets that point in Germany, his first in a recordΒ 8 years and 256 days, and now George is reduced to being his hype man.

Lance Stroll rocked up at the Hungaroring still scratching his head over how that podium in Germany slipped away.

A muggy session was to come but the rain was on its way. Here we go again.

On came the green light and indeed the heavens opened as soon as Kubica exited the pit lane.

With the drivers out there early Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel used the soft rubber to trade fastest times.

Valtteri Bottas looked set for a spot of bother after a late call to pit from Mercedes after they saw a “misfire” in the PU.

He wasn’t able to go to the right of the bollard on entry to the pits, the crime which cost Hamilton in Germany.

Lance Stroll went for a spin…

30 minutes gone and Hamilton was in the lead with Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly behind.

Verstappen was looking to cut that 0.6s gap to Hamilton and pushed a little too much when he spun at the final turn.

Soon after the teams chickened out, not just Alfa Romeo to be fair.

A few drivers went out for some intermediate running including Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg, “a very gentle lap” was the instruction.

Meanwhile Mercedes told us what was going on with Bottas.

Hamilton was next for a steady lap on the inters with an eagle-eyed Paul Di Resta pointing out that doing this earns them an extra set.

The drops slowed again as the drivers re-emerged for some slick tyre running.

It was proving a difficult morning for SportPesa Racing Point.

Perez was soon in the wars again following his chicane error after a lock-up sent him off at Turn 1.

Vettel promoted himself to P2 with a 1:17.399 to go 0.16s shy of Hamilton, while Verstappen was less than a tenth further back.

Verstappen moved up to P2 but went for another spin, claiming he couldn’t believe how “sensitive” the RB15 was.

With just a few minutes to go we also knew Bottas wouldn’t be setting a time in FP1.

A mixed session for the Silver Arrows with Hamilton topping the standings, while Bottas propped them up.

Lando Norris was called to the stewards room between sessions for stopping in the fast lane of the pits in FP1, he escaped after it turned out he had stalled the MCL34.

The red flags were out early when Alex Albon binned his Toro Rosso at Turn 14.

Daniil Kvyat, the sole surviving Toro Rosso returned to the pits with just over an hour to go as the rain got heavier.

He was joined in doing so by most of the drivers.

Bottas, Norris and Antonio Giovinazzi had a trip around the circuit on inters.

The drizzle put the circuit in an awkward position between compounds and on-track action became extremely limited.

But, as the rain came down heavier, a few thought ‘ah what the hell let’s go for it’.

Gasly headed a Red Bull one-two ahead of Verstappen, not that it will mean much in the context of the race weekend.

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