Hamilton: Pace ‘clearly there’ in Hungary despite practice crash

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Lewis Hamilton took heart from Mercedes’ display in practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday despite bringing his running to an early end after a crash in the afternoon.

Hamilton topped FP1 ahead of teammate Nico Rosberg, but was sidelined after just 10 minutes in FP2 after spinning into the barrier at high speed.

The angle of the impact meant that Hamilton’s car emerged relatively unscathed, allowing the Briton to return to the pits under his own steam.

Mercedes opted to strip down Hamilton’s car to check for damage, preventing him from heading back out and costing him mileage compared to the rest of the field.

Rosberg went on to finish quickest in FP2, marking the first time since Romain Grosjean led FP3 in 2013 that Hamilton did not lead a practice session at the Hungaroring.

Despite crashing, four-time Hungarian Grand Prix winner Hamilton says he has a good feel for the car around the resurfaced track.

“Obviously not the greatest session for me,” Hamilton said.

“My apologies to the crew for all the hard work they have ahead to strip the car and get it back together.

“Fortunately, I got a good feel for it in the few laps that I did have and the pace is clearly there, so hopefully tomorrow I can make up for the time lost today during the morning session and come back strongly in qualifying.”

Mercedes confirmed that it is changing the front suspension on Hamilton’s car after the crash, as well as some bodywork that was damaged in the shunt.