Hamilton tops second practice in Hungary ahead of Rosberg

Leave a comment

Lewis Hamilton has picked up where he left off in FP1 by finishing fastest in the second free practice session for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver posted a fastest lap time of 1:24.482 to finish two-tenths of a second clear of teammate Nico Rosberg at the top of the timesheets, as the Silver Arrows dominated proceedings once again in practice at the Hungaroring.

The session took place under sunny skies on the outskirts of Budapest, and saw drivers complete one-lap qualifying simulations in tandem with their long runs in preparation for the race on Sunday. In both trims, Mercedes was the dominant force, and was rarely bothered by the chasing pack during the session.

Sebastian Vettel finished as the best of the rest for Red Bull, and did lead for a short period of time after his first option tire run. The German driver pulled out an impressive gap over teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who could only finish seventh on Friday afternoon.

Fernando Alonso finished fourth for Ferrari, showing signs of good pace at the track where he claimed his first race win. The Scandanavian duo of Kevin Magnussen and Kimi Raikkonen finished behind him in fifth and sixth place respectively.

Williams improved on its poor FP1 result to get both of its cars inside the top ten. Valtteri Bottas finished eighth for the British team, followed by McLaren’s Jenson Button and teammate Felipe Massa.

Mercedes is clearly the team to beat once again this weekend, although both Rosberg and Hamilton were reporting problems towards the end of the session. Further back, there is an interesting battle developing between Red Bull, Ferrari, McLaren and Williams for the final podium position which should make for a great race on Sunday.

The next opportunity the drivers will get to head out on track is in the final practice session tomorrow morning. You can watch the session live on Live Extra and online from 5am ET.

If you missed the session live, or just want to watch FP2 again, be sure to tune in to NBCSN at 12pm ET today for the encore.

Reaction to INDYCAR/NBC Sports Group announcement: Mario Andretti, Roger Penske, Bobby Rahal and social media

Getty Images
Leave a comment

Like countless others on the East Coast, Mario Andretti was fighting through a snowstorm Wednesday morning.

But emotionally and personally, it was a very bright and sunny day for the legendary Indy car driver.

In an exclusive interview with NBCSports.com, Andretti spoke in glowing terms about this morning’s announcement of a multi-year media rights partnership between INDYCAR and NBC Sports Group beginning next year.

“I think this is awesome,” Andretti said. “It’s music to my ears and all of us. NBC has been very familiar with IndyCar racing, so they’re a great partner. I’m elated that it’s all nailed down, secured and I’m looking forward to the future.

“It’s also great for the young lads in Indy Lights coming on, and it’s great for all the sponsors to have that kind of exposure. It’s a good day for INDYCAR today.”

Andretti lauded the fact that all elements of INDYCAR coverage – TV, digital and streaming – will now be under one corporate roof, so to speak.

“Personally, I think it’s huge,” Andretti said. “Everybody is going to be very familiar with everything, the storylines are going to flow perfectly from event to event. There’s nothing like continuity.

“It’s okay sometimes if you have two networks, but to me, the best possible solution is this. That’s why I think this is really a great day for INDYCAR racing to have NBC involved and the continuity is huge for us.”

MORE: NBC Sports Group, INDYCAR partner on new TV and digital rights agreement starting in 2019

MORE: Optimism abounds with new INDYCAR media partnership


Several other high-profile individuals within the IndyCar community also gave their take on Wednesday’s announcement, including statements from team owners Roger Penske and Bobby Rahal.

Roger Penske: “As an industry, we are very fortunate to have the NBC Sports Group grow their presence and coverage of INDYCAR racing and really invest in the future of the sport. We believe there is a great deal of positive momentum in the Verizon IndyCar Series right now, from the development of the new race car, to the very talented group of young drivers and new teams coming into the sport this season.

“With the announcement of the enhanced broadcast partnership with NBC, it certainly adds to the excitement for the future. We know that the ways our fans are watching races and viewing INDYCAR content is rapidly changing, so staying ahead of the curve and the developing technology with our partners is important to the growth of our sport. We look forward to working with the NBC team to continue to build INDYCAR and take the sport in new directions.

“We also need to thank ABC and ESPN for all their terrific coverage over the years. The ABC network helped bring some of the most memorable moments in racing to life – including many of our team’s Indianapolis 500 victories – and we appreciate all of their hard work and passion for INDYCAR racing.”

Bobby Rahal: “It’s great news. I think the fact that the IndyCar Series will be under one roof, so to speak, network-wise can do nothing but great things for our sport. To increase to having eight races on network TV is also great news of course.

“The quality of the NBC broadcasts have gotten better and better over the last several years. They do a great job of providing interesting and entertaining content for the viewers and I think that will only continue to grow with the relationship going forward. That type of storytelling is also what helps bring new fans to the sport.”



Follow @JerryBonkowski