BUDAPEST, Hungary — Three days after his podium finish at the Hungarian Grand Prix, Kimi Raikkonen was back behind the wheel of his Ferrari to set the fastest time on the second morning of this week’s Hungaroring test.
Raikkonen’s best lap was a 1:16.171 set on soft tyres, putting him 2.2s clear of Williams’ Robert Kubica in second place. The Ferrari driver’s lap was over 0.5s slower than Antonio Giovinazzi’s quickest time in the same car on Tuesday, but comparisons mean little given the different run plans — Giovinazzi was on the hyper-soft for example — and track conditions from day to day.
Kubica was back in action for Williams, one year on from his return to a current F1 car at the same test last season. Twelve months ago he was driving for Renault as he looked to get his career back on track seven years after the rallying accident that left him with severe injuries to his right arm. That test helped secure his current test driver role at Williams and he has completed two FP1 sessions with the team this season as well as four days of testing at the start of the year. He added another 38 laps to his tally on Wednesday, setting his fastest time on ultra-soft tyres much to the delight of his fan club camped in the main grandstand opposite the Williams garage.
F2 and McLaren reserve driver Lando Norris was third fastest as he completed his second day at the wheel of the MCL33. Norris, who is racing in F2 this year, is highly rated by McLaren but is not guaranteed a promotion to the F1 team next year even if he wins the F2 title. He completed 50 laps on Wednesday morning, which he will hope have helped his cause of making a step up next year.
After crashing out of Tuesday’s session, Sean Gelael set the fourth fastest time as he got back behind the wheel of one of the two Toro Rossos taking part in this week’s test on Wednesday. After spending Tuesday in the car dedicated to testing Pirelli’s 2019 tyres, he was working on the team’s own programme on Wednesday as race regular Brendon Hartley took over the Pirelli car.
George Russell was fifth fastest for Mercedes as he continued in the championship-leading W09 for a second day. By lunch on Wednesday he had already exceeded his lap tally from Tuesday when a gearbox issue and wet weather curtailed his running.
After setting the fastest time of the test on Tuesday for Ferrari, Antonio Giovinazzi switched to Sauber for the second day of the test. His time was quick enough to finish ahead of Nikita Mazepin in the Force India, who caused the only red flag of the morning when his Force India stopped on track with a technical issue.
Russian F2 driver Artem Markelov was at the wheel of the Renault and completed 49 laps to finish the session ahead of Aston Martin GT racer Jake Dennis, who took over the Red Bull from Daniel Ricciardo on Wednesday. Hartley, on a Pirelli-prescribed run plan, finished in last olace overall.
Haas has opted not to take part in this week’s running as the American team had no new parts to test ahead of the second half of the season.
Times at 13:00
1. Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:16.171 – 69 laps
2. Kubica – Williams – 1:18.451 – 38 laps
3. Norris – McLaren – 1:18.768 – 50 laps
4. Gelael – Toro Rosso – 1:19.046 – 61 laps
5. Russell – Mercedes – 1:19.156 – 56 laps
6. Giovinazzi – Saunder – 1:19.413 – 64 laps
7. Mazepin – Force India – 1:20.016 – 27 laps
8. Markelov – Renault – 1:20.54 – 49 laps
9. Dennis – Red Bull – 1:20.177 – 56 laps
10. Hartley – Toro Rosso – 1:20.221 – 67 laps