herald

Saturday 16 December 2017

Lewis too fast despite braking problem

Lewis Hamilton overcame another braking scare to set the fastest times in both of yesterday's free practice sessions with championship-leading Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg close behind.

The winner of the last two Hungarian Grands Prix lapped the Hungaroring circuit outside Budapest with a best time of one minute 25.814 seconds in the morning and 1:24.482 in the afternoon.

But in the second session Hamilton could be heard enquiring over the team radio whether there was something wrong with his car's front brakes - a worrying sign after a front-brake disc failure pitched him out of qualifying in Germany last weekend.

The Briton had to battle back in that race from 20th on the grid to third, with Rosberg winning.

Yet the Mercedes driver held his nerve to set the best times with Rosberg second fastest in both, 0.183 and 0.238 slower than the 2008 champion in the sessions with track temperatures rising to a sweltering 55C after lunch.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso were the closest to the dominant duo - who have won nine out of 10 races so far between them - in the morning with third and fourth places respectively on the timesheets.

However Red Bull's quadruple champion Sebastian Vettel, who has never won in Hungary, was third fastest in the second practice with Alonso fourth.

Hamilton is 14 points adrift of Rosberg, despite having won five races to the German's four, but has a good record in Hungary with four victories.

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