Ricciardo fastest in improved Red Bull

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Hungarian Grand Prix on the BBC
Dates: 28-30 July Venue: Hungaroring
Coverage: Practice on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra (online only), and qualifying and race on BBC Radio 5 live. Live text commentary, leaderboard and imagery on BBC Sport website and app.

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completed a clean sweep of Friday practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Australian, benefiting from an aerodynamic upgrade, was fastest in both sessions, heading Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel by 0.183 seconds in the second session.

Lewis Hamilton, trailing Vettel by a point at the head of the championship, was struggling for grip on the fastest super-soft tyres and only fifth fastest.

But the Mercedes driver was quickest of all on the soft tyres early the session.

Nevertheless, Hamilton did appear to be struggling in the second session. Mercedes said he was lacking grip on his qualifying simulation run on the super-soft tyres and he also lacked pace on the laps on race fuel later on.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas was third fastest overall, 0.2secs off Ricciardo’s ultimate pace and 0.1secs ahead of the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

As it stands for the Mercedes and Ferrari drivers so far in 2017…

The second Red Bull driver Max Verstappen trailed Ricciardo by 0.4secs and was sixth.

Bottas was quickest on the race runs on the soft tyres but Ricciardo led the way on heavy fuel on the super-soft tyre.

More trouble for Palmer

The session was stopped twice because of accidents involving Sauber’s Pascal Wehrlein and Renault’s Jolyon Palmer.

Wehrlein suffered a heavy crash at Turn 11 in the Sauber. The German was taken to the medical centre for a routine check and given the all-clear.

Palmer then crashed shortly after the session was re-started, losing the rear on the entry to the final corner and sliding into the barriers.

The Englishman is under pressure for his drive. Renault have been considering for some time whether to replace him, and on Wednesday the former F1 driver Robert Kubica is testing for them at this track.

The team are seeking to establish whether the Pole can make a comeback to F1 despite only partial movement in his right arm following a rally crash that curtailed his career in 2011.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer may have damaged the floor which has given him such an improved performance in Hungary

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