Hamilton leads Hungarian GP 1st practice; Bottas struggles

World champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time in the first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday, while Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas’ session ended because of engine problems.

It is another blow to Bottas, who is fighting for his Mercedes future. He crashed last weekend while chasing a podium position at the German GP.

Bottas headed out onto the track but was recalled by his team after they detected a misfire in the engine and had to change the power unit.

Hamilton placed a narrow .165 seconds ahead of Red Bull driver Max Verstappen, who won the rain-soaked and chaotic German GP with a brilliant drive, and .166 clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel in overcast conditions.

Verstappen had a couple of nervy moments, spinning his car twice.

His Red Bull teammate Pierre Gasly had the fourth best time, about half a second behind Hamilton — who finished ninth in Germany but still extended his overall lead over second-place Bottas to 41 points.

There is a second practice session later Friday.

The Hungarian GP is the last race of the season before the summer break.


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