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Ferrari's Sainz fastest in first Budapest practice, Vettel 11th

Budapest: Ferrari's Carlos Sainz was quickest in first practice on Friday for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix.

Germany's four-times world champion Sebastian Vettel, who announced on Thursday that he will retire from F1 at the end of the season, was 11th fastest in his Aston Martin as a difficult final year continued.

Vettel won twice in Budapest in 2015 and 2017, rare successes during his time at Ferrari having never triumphed there in his Red Bull heyday.

Spaniard Sainz set a best lap of 1 minute 18.750 seconds, just 0.130 seconds ahead of Red Bull's standings leader Max Verstappen.

Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who crashed out last weekend in France while leading, was third fastest.

Dutch defending champion Verstappen leads the standings by 63 points from Leclerc after 12 of 22 races.

Verstappen pitted after straying just off the track and causing sparks from the bottom of his car, but returned to set a faster lap.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, a season-high second in France, was seventh on the time sheets at a twisty track where he has tasted F1 victory a record eight times.

Alpine's Esteban Ocon, the shock winner at the Hungaroring last year, finished ninth quickest. Team-mate Fernando Alonso, on his 41stbirthday, was 10th.

A second practice session takes place later on Friday ahead of the final session on Saturday, which precedes qualifying. -- dpa

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