Charles Leclerc turned in the quickest time at the end of the first day of F1 testing around the Hungaroring with an impressive late flier on the soft tyres.

Getting his chance in the Hungarian Grand Prix winning Ferrari SF70H this week, the Formula 2 championship leader had the chance to do a quick lap with just two minutes of the session remaining, his time of 1m 17.746secs putting him a tenth up on Stoffel Vandoorne.

Better still for the highly-rated Monegasque racer – who has been linked with a Sauber drive for 2018 following this weekend’s engine announcement – the lap was set on the soft tyres, unlike Vandoorne on the ultra-soft.

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Vandoorne had hit the top of the timesheets towards the end of the morning session, only to then stop with a mechanical problem that kept the MCL32 in the garage until midway through the afternoon.

When he did eventually emerge he’d post a super-soft run of 1m 17.834secs – 0.060secs faster than the lap that placed him eighth on the grid in Sunday’s race.

Consigned to Pirelli testing duties in the Mercedes W08, Valtteri Bottas turned in the third quickest time and a mammoth 155 laps, while the team’s junior driver George Russell marked his F1 test debut with a solid run to fourth and a 1m 19.231secs lap.

Lance Stroll returned to the Williams cockpit to put in 138 laps on the Williams FW40, with Nikita Mazepin sixth and quickest of the two Force India drivers trying out the VJM10, DTM driver Lucas Auer ninth best in the substantially hotter afternoon session.

Nicholas Latifi marked his F1 test debut in seventh place ahead of Robert Kubica’s much anticipated test return in the Renault tomorrow, ahead of Toro Rosso’s Sean Gelael in eighth and Santino Ferrucci in tenth.

Hampered by a technical issue that consigned him to just 11 laps in the morning, Max Verstappen was 11th best as the team worked on set up, with Sauber’s Gustav Malja bringing up the rear in 12th.


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