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Hungarian GP: Charles Leclerc tops Practice Two to seal Ferrari double; Lando Norris impresses for McLaren

Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in FP2 at the Hungaroring; Lando Norris second for McLaren ahead of Carlos Sainz and Max Verstappen; Watch Practice Three and Hungarian GP Qualifying live on Sky Sports F1 from 11:45am on Saturday

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Anthony Davidson compares Charles Leclerc's Ferrari and Lando Norris' McLaren during Practice Two at the Hungarian GP.

Charles Leclerc completed an emphatic Ferrari practice double at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday, as Lando Norris led a hugely impressive performance from McLaren by taking second.

Leclerc bounced back from last weekend's disastrous crash from the lead of the French GP to set the Practice Two pace with a 1:18.445 at the Hungaroring, with Norris a little more than 0.2s behind in the Budapest heat.

The other Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, who topped the timesheet in Practice One, was marginally behind Norris in third, while World Championship leader Max Verstappen was also within 0.3s of Leclerc in fourth.

Daniel Ricciardo completed an impressive McLaren display by taking fifth ahead of Alpine's Fernando Alonso and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, with the latter appearing to benefit from the introduction of a controversial rear wing design on his car.

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Lewis Hamilton loses the rear at Turn 4 and tells the Mercedes garage that his car is 'unstable'.

Having appeared reasonably competitive in the opening session, Mercedes were well off the pace in Practice Two, with George Russell eighth and Lewis Hamilton 11th, with their only consolation being that contrasting wet conditions are forecast for Saturday's qualifying.

It was also a disappointing day for Sergio Perez, with the second Red Bull once more well behind his team-mate Verstappen in ninth.

In the far more eventful of the day's sessions, Leclerc immediately set the pace as most cars began on medium tyres, turning the tables on Sanz after the Spaniard had kept up his recent strong form in FP1.

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When a switch was made to soft tyres midway through the session, Leclerc maintained his advantage, but the surprise came in the fact it was the McLaren of Norris behind him.

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Verstappen, who extended his World Championship lead to 63 points by winning in France, was on this occasion unable to keep pace with Leclerc, with the pair having been even matched for pace for much of the season.

The Dutchman's advantage in the title race has largely resulted from Ferrari errors, with both reliability issues and driver errors having cost Leclerc and Sainz significant points, leaving the Italian with little margin for error over the final 10 races of the season.

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Leclerc suffers a gear scare followed by a failed garage exit in Practice Two of the Hungarian GP.

There was a reminder of Ferrari's fragility in the closing stages of the session, as Leclerc was called into the pits after complaining of an apparent engine issue.

Thankfully it was quickly resolved, but the Monegasque made a slapstick exit from the garage as he bumped into the pit crew's front jack as he attempted to return to the track.

Verstappen accepted that Ferrari appear to have the edge in Budapest, but they will undoubtedly need to avoid any more careless moments to prevent gifting the ruthless Dutchman any further advantage.

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Max Verstappen says that it will be hard for them to beat Ferrari this weekend.

"I think they are a bit ahead of us and I think it will be hard for us to beat that but overnight we will try to close the gap as much as we can and see what the weather will give us tomorrow," Verstappen said.

"I think in the dry we can't compete and in the rain maybe we can, who knows."

McLaren shine as Mercedes struggle

After notching an impressive P4 finish in Practice One, Norris went two places better later in the day, in a performance that suggests McLaren could challenge Mercedes for the best of the rest places behind the title contenders this weekend.

The presence of Norris' McLaren team-mate Ricciardo in fifth, just a couple of tenths of his team-mate was of further encouragement for the British team.

Despite the impressive performance, Norris insisted that he didn't expect McLaren to be fighting for pole on Saturday.

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McLaren driver Lando Norris says his car is in a good position but is not expecting to be fighting for pole at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"Things are feeling good, the car is in a good place and seems to be suiting this track or characteristic a bit more for sure," Norris said. "But we are always a little bit quicker in Practice Two than we are normally (on Saturday)."

"We turn up a bit more than others do to get our first reading for Qualifying which is what we got today but Ferrari, Red Bull, Mercedes normally step it up a lot for tomorrow.

"We are probably a little bit ahead of where we were in Paul Ricard but I am not expecting to be fighting for pole or anything."

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Alex Albon suffers a high-speed spin in Practice 2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

McLaren appear to be in a two-horse race with Alpine for fourth in the constructors' championship, with the French team holding a four-point lead going into this weekend's race, but Friday's display will give them hope of overhauling that deficit.

In complete contrast, Friday's running represented a disastrous day for Mercedes, who were left stewing on another weekend they had entered hoping to close the gap on Ferrari and Red Bull.

The Silver Arrows secured a first double podium of the season last weekend, but that was partly thanks to Leclerc's crash and a grid penalty for Sainz forcing the much faster Ferraris out of the top three.

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Lewis Hamilton says that it was a difficult day in his Mercedes but thinks the gap to the front two is similar to France.

There had been encouraging signs in Practice One as Mercedes appeared to be in striking distance of their rivals, but they took a significant step backwards in the second session.

Hamilton expressed shock in the early stages as he trailed Leclerc by almost two seconds on the medium tyre, and although the seven-time world champion's final flying lap was ruined by traffic, potentially denying him a top-six spot, it was clear that only extreme weather is likely to enable Mercedes to challenge the Ferraris and Verstappen this weekend.

His issues were compounded as damage to the floor of his car, caused by running off track at Turn 4, slowed down his longer run simulations in the closing stages of the session.

"The car's a bit of a struggle," Hamilton said. "It's crazy how much it swings from track to track but yeah, we've just got to figure out how to get it working. At the moment it's a little bit loose and it's not doing what we wanted to do."

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