F1: Perez flips in Friday practice as Hamilton goes fastest
Lewis Hamilton led the opening two practice sessions on Friday for Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
Both practice sessions held saw the red flag, with Force India’s Sergio Perez walking away unscathed from a crash that turned his car over in FP1 and then Kimi Raikkonen bringing the red out again when the front wing broke off of his Ferrari. In the afternoon session, the Renault engine on Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull expired engulfing the track in smoke for the sole red flag during FP2.
Video of Perez’s crash is available on Formula1.com’s video page.
Perez flipped his Force India car on Turn 11 one hour into FP1, with the rear skidding out from under him and sending him into the barriers and toppling slowly over. Force India blamed a suspension problem for the incident.
Fears for Perez's safety were quickly eased as he waved to fans on his walk to the medical center for a mandatory check.
Checo returns to the garage waving to the crowds in the stands after a quick check with the doctors. Thumbs up, a big relief. #HungarianGP— Sahara Force India (@ForceIndiaF1) July 24, 2015
Other teams sent tweets of encouragement and relief that the 25-year-old Perez was fine. He was able to conduct a television interview soon after, where he said dirt on the track caused him to lose control of the rear of the car.
Force India decided not to start either Perez or Nico Hulkenberg in the afternoon's second practice run because the team is investigating the suspension problem.
"Sergio's car suffered significant damage to the bodywork, wings and floor, and repairs are ongoing," the team said in a statement. "The team will work hard to fully understand the cause of the failure and find a resolution in order to be ready for Saturday's (third) practice session."
Many drivers are wearing tributes to Jules Bianchi this weekend, with race stickers such as "Ciao Jules" or "JB 17" on their helmets. Bianchi died last Friday from injuries sustained last October in a crash at the Japanese GP.
The track temperature on Friday was 59 degrees C (138 degrees F), the hottest in F1 in two years, according to Pirelli. But that was little deterrent to Hamilton, who loves racing on the tight and sinewy 4.4-kilometer (3-mile) Hungaroring, winning four times.
The veteran Finn Kimi Raikkonen lost his front wing during FP1, which dropped off a few minutes from the end of the session, bringing out the red flag for a second time.
"I don't know what happened," Raikkonen said on team radio.
There was hardly time for more than one lap once the session resumed.
Daniel Ricciardo’s engine expired with around 20 minutes to go in FP2, but the Hungarian Grand Prix promises to be an encouraging race for the team, with Ricciardo winning the race last year and Daniil Kvyat and Ricciardo putting up the second and third times respectively in FP2.
In the overall standings, Hamilton leads teammate Nico Rosberg by 17 points, and four-time champion Sebastien Vettel of Ferrari by 59.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Full FP2 results:
Full FP1 results: