Mercedes' George Russell ends Hungaroring F1 test on top

Mercedes protégé George Russell clocked a new unofficial track record at the Hungaroring as Formula 1 in-season testing drew to a close on Wednesday.

Hot and dry conditions greeted the participants throughout the two four-hour sessions at the Hungarian Grand Prix venue, with Russell putting Mercedes on top.

Formula 2 title leader Russell took on a batch of Pirelli’s Hypersoft tyres – that were not available for use at the preceding Grand Prix – to finish with a time of 1:15.575.

Russell’s best lap was just under a tenth faster than the time Antonio Giovinazzi managed in Ferrari’s SF71H on Tuesday.

Morning pacesetter Kimi Raikkonen improved during the afternoon and eventually got to within just 0.074s of Russell, using the Hypersofts, a mere 0.001s slower than Giovinazzi’s Tuesday benchmark.

Red Bull simulator driver Jake Dennis was another to find gains in the afternoon as he placed third.

Tuesday leader Giovinazzi exchanged red overalls for white ones as he jumped back into Sauber’s C37 and finished fourth, 1.9s off the pace.

Force India youngster Nikita Mazepin has a disrupted day as he caused the only two red flag periods, one in the morning and one after lunch, amid suspected mechanical gremlins with the VJM11.

The Russian was nonetheless able to return to action and moved up to fifth with a flurry of improvements late in the session.

Almost a year to the day since he launched his Formula 1 comeback in a public forum Robert Kubica had another outing in his role as Williams’ test and development driver.

Kubica’s fans in the grandstands opposite the pit lane were the most vocal as he finished sixth overall, ahead of McLaren’s reserve driver Lando Norris.

Renault test and development driver Artem Markelov wound up eighth as he sampled current-spec F1 machinery for the first time, ahead of a trio of Toro Rosso drivers.

Sean Gelael switched to the STR13 run by the team and rounded out the top 10, in front of regulars Pierre Gasly and Brendon Hartley, who shared tyre testing duties on behalf of Pirelli.

Formula 1 will return to action at Belgium’s Spa-Francorchamps from August 24 to 26

1 G. Russell Mercedes 1:15.575   116
2 K. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:15.649 0.074 131
3 J. Dennis Red Bull 1:17.012 1.437 131
4 A. Giovinazzi Sauber 1:17.558 1.983 120
5 N. Mazepin Force India 1:17.748 2.173 51
6 R. Kubica Williams 1:18.451 2.876 103
7 L. Norris McLaren 1:18.472 2.897 73
8 A. Markelov Renault 1:18.496 2.921 108
9 S. Gelael Toro Rosso 1:19.046 3.471 122
10 P. Gasly Toro Rosso/Pirelli 1:19.790 4.215 75
11 B. Hartley Toro Rosso/Pirelli 1:20.221 4.646 67