First free practice session on the Hungaroring track and Max Verstappen immediately returns to the lead. Red Bull number 33 mounts the Power Unit protagonist of the great Silverstone bang to verify, after the tests carried out in Japan by Honda, that everything is working at its best. In this reliability test setup it is evident from the data how the power delivery was extremely contained.
Already in the first straight the difference in draw length between Verstappen and the first of the Mercedes, that of Valtteri Bottas, is huge, 13 km / h. However, the trend is repeated in all the other stretches of the track, albeit short given the tortuosity of the track. Bottas in fact recorded +4 km / h between curve 2 and curve 4 and +5 km / h between curve 11 and curve 12. In the mixed sections the two cars are similar, but Verstappen seems to have an advantage in almost all types. of curves. Both in the slow and long ones (1, 2, 12,13,14) and in those with violent changes of direction and at high speed such as the sequence 8,9,10, and especially to the 4, a very difficult and particularly indicative curve how far a driver is pushing or not. There Verstappen already seemed to want to try to find his limit, passing 13 km / h faster than Bottas, and in any case much faster than all the other drivers on the track. Given the only free practice session covered and the so conservative attitude on the Power Unit front by Honda (to say that the thing is true for now also for the other Honda engines) it is very early to draw any conclusion, but the impression is that the Dutch still leader of the world championship still has a lot of potential to express compared to the rest of the group.
Ferrari not far away, awaits a chance – We also compared Verstappen’s lap with that of Carlos Sainz, the first of the two Ferrari drivers, to try to get an idea of the level of the red in these early stages of the Hungarian weekend.
Sainz is also much faster than Verstappen on the main straight, 311 versus 303, but the SF21 performs well in the mix of the central sector, with good detections in the sections of Turn 5, Turns 6 and 7 and Turn 9, all low speed corners. and traction. Considering that in this type of traits the Red Bull is certainly the reference of the grid, the proximity of the red however, it is a confirmation of a good performance at an absolute level. Ferrari will therefore try to confirm itself as third force, waiting for some event ahead to try to close with another podium before the summer break.