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.
Much would need to be worked out, starting with how much garage and grandstand access would be afforded for a 2021 season opener that likely would occur during a still ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
He was a spectator (with racing legend Mario Andretti) at four-time champion Jeff Gordon’s final Cup race as a full-time in the 2015 season finale at Homestead-Miami Speedway. In 2011, Hamilton swapped cars with three-time champion Tony Stewart at Watkins Glen International.
Having rubbed shoulders with other racing greats so often, it only would be fitting if Hamilton — who is one victory from tying Michael Schumacher’s career record and also could tie the F1 record with a seventh championship this season — spent some time with the greatest basketball player of all time.