Rosberg on top as Hamilton crashes

Fri Jul 22, 2016 1:24pm EDT
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By Abhishek Takle

BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Nico Rosberg was fastest on the opening day of practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix after Mercedes team mate and title rival Lewis Hamilton crashed out.

World championship leader Rosberg, fresh from signing a two-year contract extension with the team, lapped the 4.3-km Hungaroring in one minute 20.435 seconds in the afternoon, after being second quickest in the morning.

"It's been a good start to the weekend and I think better than we expected," the German driver told reporters.

Hamilton, bidding to seize the championship lead for the first time this season, was fifth fastest after crashing with just four laps on the board.

The Briton, who was quickest in the morning, lost control of his Mercedes 15 minutes into the post-lunch session and skated across the run-off before clouting the barriers side-on.

"They've got new white kerbs here," said Hamilton. "I think I put my rear wheel slightly over the white line and touched the kerb."

He underwent a precautionary check at the medical center and appeared fine but his car had to be fully tested, ruling him out for the rest of the session.

The crash prompted a brief red-flag stoppage as marshals repaired the damage to the barriers in a session run in hot conditions with temperatures in the 40s.   Continued...

Mercedes' Nico Rosberg during practice. REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh