Sebastian Vettel is adamant there is no tension in the Ferrari ranks despite enduring a difficult start to his final campaign with the team.

While Charles Leclerc sits fourth in the Formula One drivers' standings following impressive back-to-back races at Silverstone, former world champion Vettel finds himself in 13th.

The German was in poor form at the British circuit, qualifying far behind his team-mate before taking just one point from the two races, with the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix a particularly difficult one for Vettel.

After spinning on his own at the first corner, Vettel appeared to have been angered by team strategy to leave him in 11th place compared to Leclerc's fourth-placed finish.

However, Vettel, who was been linked with a move to Racing Point, refuted the suggestion tensions were increasing between himself and Ferrari.

"I don't agree with the statement. I think we're trying to do everything we can," he said ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix.

"Obviously it's never relaxed if things don't go your way or they go wrong, so naturally I think if you judge just the emotions right after the race or during the race, then I don't think that's a fair reflection of what actually is going on, hence why I would tend to disagree.

"I didn't have a great race, we tried to come back up and we could have opted for maybe a different strategy but we didn't.

"We've talked about it, sorted it out and moved on, so there's not much difference in terms of climate compared to the week before, or even before that.

"I've been in a happier place. I love, obviously, fighting at the front. I love winning and feeling that you can achieve great results and that we haven't done yet.

"Overall if you sum it up, it's not the best season start that I ever had, but I wouldn't go as far as frustration."

Vettel heads to Barcelona with a new SF1000 chassis, though he is not anticipating it will make too much difference.

"Only time can tell [if it's better]," he added.

"The thinking behind it is that we changed it because the other one was broken. We found a little crack after the weekend in Silverstone and it's back to get repaired.

"We will see. I don't expect miracles, but hopefully I'll have a smoother weekend and a smoother race on Sunday."

Sergio Perez believes rumours linking Sebastian Vettel with a move to Racing Point will soon disappear.

Four-time Formula One champion Vettel is without a team for 2021 after Ferrari opted not to renew his contract.

At the British Grand Prix, the German was pictured bumping elbows with Racing Point owner Lawrence Stroll – the father of Perez's team-mate Lance Stroll – and sharing a ride in team principal Otmar Szafnauer's Ferrari.

However, Perez, who will return to the paddock at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix after missing the previous two races due to positive coronavirus tests, has no concerns about his future with the team.

"With the rumours of Sebastian, I think there's nothing I can do," said Perez.

"What I've heard from the team is that we all want to keep going, to continue. So I believe it's just a matter of time before those rumours can go away."

Asked if he had spoken to the team about a seat for 2021, he replied: "No, not really, given that my position with the team looks quite secure.

"That's the feeling that I've been getting. We are fully on this package, and we want to continue as well."

Vettel's interactions with two high-ranking people at Racing Point did not make Perez feel that his seat was in jeopardy.

"I think Otmar, he's a very proud Ferrari owner!" Perez said.

"What do I make of it? Nothing. I think everyone is free to do what they want, especially outside the racing.

"Between the elbow with Lawrence, nothing really to say. I don't make anything of it."

Charles Leclerc celebrated a fourth-placed finish at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix, claiming the result felt "like a victory" in his faltering Ferrari car. 

The Scuderia are struggling in 2020 but Leclerc was pleasantly surprised by the pace in his SF1000 at Silverstone on Sunday. 

With a number of his rivals - including both Mercedes cars - suffering in testing conditions for tyres, Leclerc required just one stop, a strategy shared by Renault's Esteban Ocon and Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen. 

Having started eighth on the grid, Leclerc was delighted with the achievement, even if fourth represents a modest prize compared to Ferrari seasons past. 

"I'm so happy today. For me, it feels like a victory," Leclerc told Sky Sports. "It's not looking good once we call a fourth place a victory, but at the moment it's where we're at. 

"Last year, I think my weakest point was the tyre management and I've worked very hard. Every time that I work, and I see the results on track, it's a huge satisfaction. 

"To get fourth place today... I expected to go eighth in a best-case scenario this morning - or further down the grid. I'm extremely happy with fourth place. 

"We were very happy and, to be honest, we need to analyse to understand why we were so quick, because I don't really understand for now." 

However, while Leclerc was pleased with a result that took him up to fourth in the drivers' standings, things went from bad to worse for team-mate Sebastian Vettel. 

In his final season at Ferrari, the four-time world champion could only manage 12th and claimed his strategy "didn't make any sense". 

Asked why he trailed so far behind Leclerc in the same car, Vettel added to Sky Sports: "I don't know. I guess something's there that I am missing. 

"I'm not sure what it is. Nevertheless, I get out of bed and try to do the best that I can. 

"For sure, today, we could have been higher up. With my side, there was the spin - I'm not quite sure what happened there - and also the strategy we could have recovered better. 

"The main difference is that we didn't have clean races from when we started. He had a couple of clean races so far."

Max Verstappen stunned Mercedes by guiding his Red Bull to victory at the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix at Silverstone.

Mercedes had won the opening four Formula One races of the 2020 season, but the brilliant Verstappen ended that run by triumphing from fourth on the grid as his tyre strategy paid dividends.

Pole-sitter Valtteri Bottas had to settle for third place after being passed late on by team-mate and championship leader Lewis Hamilton.

Charles Leclerc took fourth for Ferrari ahead of Verstappen's team-mate Alex Albon and Racing Point's Lance Stroll, with Nico Hulkenberg dropping down to seventh and Sebastian Vettel finishing outside the points.

Valtteri Bottas will be hoping to make up for lost ground after qualifying on pole for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix this weekend.

Following the disappointment of a late puncture that saw him slip from second to 11th at the British Grand Prix and fall 30 points adrift of Lewis Hamilton in the drivers' standings, Bottas is primed to bounce back in part two of the Silverstone double-header.

In the same week he signed a Mercedes contract extension for the 2021 season, the Finn outpaced his team-mate to ensure he will start from the front of the grid on Sunday.

After a dramatic finale last weekend, the two Silver Arrows appear destined to fight it out for glory again.

WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

Hamilton was on provisional pole and slightly improved on his time on his final lap. Unfortunately for him Bottas went even quicker and he had to settle for second.

Standing in for Sergio Perez due to the Mexican testing positive for coronavirus, Nico Hulkenberg guided his Racing Point to third after splitting the Mercedes in Q2.

It was another day to forget for Ferrari. They were outqualified by AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly and saw Sebastian Vettel fail to get out of Q2; the four-time champion will start 11th after Esteban Ocon received a three-place grid penalty for blocking George Russell in Q1.

THE STARTING GRID

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes), 2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
3. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point), 4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault), 6. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
7. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), 8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
9. Alex Albon (Red Bull), 10. Lando Norris (McLaren)
11.  Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari), 12. Carlos Sainz (McLaren)
13. Romain Grosjean (Haas), 14. Esteban Ocon (Renault)
15. George Russell (Williams), 16. Daniil Kvyat (AlphaTauri)
17. Kevin Magnussen (Haas), 18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
19. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo), 20. Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)

70th ANNIVERSARY GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Much of the discussion this weekend has centred on Racing Point's 15-point sanction and €400,000 fine after an FIA investigation found their rear brake ducts were designed by Mercedes, breaching the sporting regulations.

The team maintain their innocence and intend to appeal the decision, while four rival squads – Renault, who lodged the initial complaint, McLaren, Williams and Ferrari – have also challenged the outcome.

Racing Point will continue to use the parts that earned the punishment so a strong display at Silverstone, something Hulkenberg will be desperate to produce having lost his seat this season, will cause further discontent in the paddock.

Verstappen starting the race on the hard compound means he will be running a significantly different strategy to the leading Mercedes.

WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID

Valtteri Bottas (pole): "To be honest I think one stop could be quite difficult here with the compounds we have here this weekend. So I think things are going to be a bit different than last weekend in terms of strategy. I'm sure the guys will be looking at all the options overnight and obviously myself the expectation tomorrow, there's nothing more than to win the race when you start from pole."

Lewis Hamilton (2nd): "At the end of the day we're drivers, we go out and continue to push. I improved over this weekend also but Valtteri did a better job at the end. I don't feel any way about it, we've got a long race tomorrow and I’ll be giving everything I can to try and beat this guy."

Nico Hulkenberg (3rd): "To be honest it's very difficult [to get a podium] and challenging circumstances, but I know I have a fast car beneath me, so it's just trying to make sure to do everything right. Obviously starting, lap one, it's going to be also new for me. But I think I'll just try to get it right with all the experience I have and then we'll race. I'll try not to think too much, just keep my head down and have a good race."

Max Verstappen (4th): "I just hope that I can have a clean start on the hard tyre. The hard tyre was last weekend's medium, so I don't think it will be too bad compared to what [the rest of the top 10] are starting on. Of course, you might lose a little with the initial launch, but I think it will be better for the first stint. Of course, it depends also if there are safety cars or not. So we just have to wait and see, but at least it's different to what other people are doing around me, and we'll see if we can do a better job."

Sebastian Vettel (11th): "We tried a lot of things and I was happy with my laps, but I don't think that there was any more to get out of the car today. I need more grip to go faster. I must congratulate my engineers for improving the car compared to last weekend, but if you look at the stopwatch there is no difference. It seems we are stuck and of course it is disappointing to be in 12th [before Ocon's penalty] with that gap between our two cars. We are where we are for a reason, we are just not fast enough. It will be difficult tomorrow to fight for points but I will do my best."

Esteban Ocon (14th): "It's a disappointing session overall as I felt my lap in Q2 was pretty good. The gap to Daniel [Ricciardo] was clearly big in that session so we need to investigate why. It could be something we just didn't understand entirely on the car after yesterday. The car felt very capable today with a bit more in hand. I just couldn't carry the speed when I needed to. We also have the incident with George [Russell]. It was no one on track's fault, but it's something we should have managed better."

CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 88
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 58
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 52
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) 36
5. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) 33

Constructors

1. Mercedes 146
2. Red Bull 78
3. McLaren 51
4. Ferrari 43
5. Renault 32

Valtteri Bottas pipped Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton to pole position in a thrilling finish to qualifying for the 70th Anniversary Grand Prix on Saturday.

In the same week he was handed a contract for the 2021 Formula One season, Bottas produced a time of one minute 25.154 seconds to ensure he will start Sunday's race from the front of the grid.

Hamilton's final lap was 0.063secs slower than the Finn's, denying him an eighth pole at Silverstone, which would have equalled a feat only achieved by Michael Schumacher at Suzuka and Ayrton Senna at Imola.

In the midst of a difficult week Racing Point had reason to celebrate with Nico Hulkenberg – standing in for Sergio Perez after he tested positive for coronavirus – taking third ahead of Max Verstappen, while Sebastian Vettel failed to get out of Q2.

A late puncture saw Bottas slip from second to 11th in last weekend's British Grand Prix and fall 30 points behind Hamilton in the drivers' standings.

However, he put himself in a great position to make up for lost ground in with a fine final lap late on in Q3.

Hulkenberg staked his claim for a seat next season by taking a spot on the second row alongside Verstappen, who will start the race on the hard compound.

It was a significant positive for Racing Point, who were on Friday docked 15 points and fined €400,000 after an FIA investigation found their rear brake ducts were designed by Mercedes, contravening regulations.

The team have appealed against the decision, while Renault, who lodged the initial complaint, Williams, McLaren and Ferrari have also confirmed their intention to challenge it.

Vettel showed a lack of pace on the medium compound and, despite switching to soft tyres for his final run in Q2, could only go 12th quickest.

With Charles Leclerc only fast enough for eighth, Ferrari's, and Vettel's, lacklustre campaign showed little sign of abating.

Provisional classification:

1. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 1:25.154
2. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) +0.063s
3. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point) +0.928s
4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) +1.022s
5. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault) +1.143s
6. Lance Stroll (Racing Point) +1.274s
7. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri) +1.380s
8. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) +1.460s
9. Alex Albon (Red Bull) +1.515s
10. Lando Norris (McLaren) +1.624s

Lewis Hamilton will once again start from the front of the grid as he goes in search of a third straight win in 2020 at the British Grand Prix.

The six-time world champion posted a new lap record at Silverstone to finish Q3 in front of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who is the only other driver to record a victory so far this year.

It will be the 71st edition of the famous race - seeing it move out of a tie with the Italian Grand Prix for most appearances on the Formula One calendar - and Mercedes are chasing a seventh win since 2013 at the track.

No driver has done so more often at the venue than Hamilton, with six to his name. He will be a red-hot favourite to add to that tally on Sunday and, in the process, extend his advantage in the drivers' standings.

Can anyone not named Bottas possibly deny the Briton yet another home triumph?


WHAT HAPPENED IN QUALIFYING

There were two battles going on during qualifying. While the Mercedes duo contested pole, the rest battled it out to decide the order behind the obvious front row.

Hamilton did have cause for concern when he spun in Q2, yet recovered impressively to set a new lap record in the next session - a time he then bettered on his final attempt as he finished 0.313 seconds clear of Bottas.

Worryingly for those hoping to see another team mount a challenge, Max Verstappen was over a second adrift in third place in his Red Bull, with team-mate Alex Albon struggling to 12th.

Ferrari received a much-needed boost as Charles Leclerc claimed fourth place, though Sebastian Vettel's struggles continued. The German was slowest of the group involved in Q3 after having his fastest time deleted and will start the race on the softer tyres compared to his team-mate, too.

Lando Norris and Carlos Sainz were fifth and seventh respectively for McLaren, Racing Point's Lance Stroll splitting the pair. Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg - summoned to make a comeback at short notice to stand in for Sergio Perez, who tested positive for COVID-19 - will start from 13th position.


THE STARTING GRID 

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) 2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) 
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) 4. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
5. Lando Norris (McLaren) 6. Lance Stroll (Racing Point)
7. Carlos Sainz (McLaren) 8. Daniel Ricciardo (Renault)
9. Esteban Ocon (Renault) 10. Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) 
11. Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) 12. Alex Albon (Red Bull)
13. Nico Hulkenberg (Racing Point) 14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
15. Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) 16.  Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo)
17. Romain Grosjean (Haas) 18. Daniil Kvyat (Alpha Tauri)
19. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)  20. George Russell (Williams)

BRITISH GRAND PRIX TALKING POINTS

Hamilton clearly relishes the chance to drive in his own back yard. While there will be no crowd to cheer him on due to these unprecedented times, he is racing for the chance of yet more history.

A 91st career pole has him primed to break clear of a tie with Alain Prost for the most victories by a driver at a home race. In terms of the season as a whole, Mercedes are turning the constructors' title into a procession, such is their complete dominance.

"I guess we're not making many new friends," team principal Toto Wolff said afterwards. Of course, it is all about gathering points to win the prizes, rather than a popularity contest, but the rest of the paddock should be seriously concerned by what they have seen from the Silver Arrows so far.

Still, the most successful team historically at Silverstone has been Ferrari, albeit they seem a way off competing this time. The Scuderia have recorded just one podium finish in the opening three races, their worst start to a campaign since 2014.


WHAT THE DRIVERS SAID

Lewis Hamilton (pole): "Valtteri was pushing me right to the end. It was a real struggle out there. We had that spin, I was struggling through the first section. I managed to compose myself. The first Q3 lap was clean and the second was even better. We're still powering ahead, we're not resting on the performance that we have, we're trying to push the boundaries and the limits and that's the most impressive thing about this team."

Valtteri Bottas (2nd): "For me, the balance was shifting more and more towards oversteer as the session went on. Maybe the track temperature was getting high, I don't know. He [Hamilton] had a great lap in the end, a better lap than mine. It's still very close between us in the championship points, so of course I'm going to do everything I can and of course will look overnight with the engineers what we can do and if there’s anything different I can do. Last year [Hamilton won from second] with a pretty different strategy to mine [from pole]."

Max Verstappen (3rd): "I had a pretty good qualifying lap and starting third gives us the chance to fight for a good race result. We just hope to have a clean start and from there onwards I just try to do the best I can in the car and if that is just try to follow them a bit, we can be happy with that and score some points."

 

Lando Norris (5th): "It was very difficult with the wind – the cars are so sensitive. I'm very happy – it was better than I thought I could do. I think we out-qualified a few cars that are quicker than us, but that is only going to make Sunday's race more difficult. We have to convert it into a good result at my home race."

Sebastian Vettel (10th): "I struggled to find the rhythm. The car was not too bad, but it didn’t fit me. We made it to Q3, but with the wrong tyre, and then we didn’t make enough progress in Q3, so not a good day. We have to start with the soft tyre, which is probably not good news. Nevertheless, I’ll try everything I can, we’ll see what we could get."

Nico Hulkenberg (13th): "I feel there was more potential and I didn't get everything, but given the circumstances it is also very hard. I don't know if you can expect to get 100 per cent from the car. We were so close to making it to Q3, and I'm happy with that considering I've come in from the cold this weekend! It's a big ask after eight months away to come back and jump into a completely different environment – and into a Formula One car I've never driven before and immediately perform with a challenging circuit and conditions."


CHAMPIONSHIP STANDINGS

Drivers

1. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) – 63
2. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 58
3. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) - 33
4. Lando Norris (McLaren) – 26
5= Alex Albon (Red Bull) - 22
5= Sergio Perez (Racing Point) - 22

Constructors 

1. Mercedes – 121
2. Red Bull – 55
3. McLaren - 41
4. Racing Point – 40
5. Ferrari – 27

Ferrari have announced a restructure of their technical department as the famous team strives to become a force again following a dismal start to the Formula One season. 

The Scuderia have earned only 27 points from the first three races of the year, hitting a new low when Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel retired early in the Styrian Grand Prix after they crashed on the first lap. 

Team principal Mattia Binotto stated Ferrari will be forced to revisit "the entire car project" but said there would not be sackings after Vettel finished a season-best sixth at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, with team-mate Leclerc in 11th place. 

Binotto warned there is no quick fix to their problems, but the Italian team have acted swiftly in making changes behind the scenes. 

A Ferrari statement said: "Scuderia Ferrari has restructured its technical department to render it more effective and assure a more holistic emphasis on performance development. 

"This has been achieved by instituting a chain of command that is more focused and simplified and provides the heads of each department the necessary powers to achieve their objectives. 

"To this end, it has also established a new Performance Development department, headed up by Enrico Cardile. 

"The other main areas are unchanged with Enrico Gualtieri in charge of the power unit, Laurent Mekies as sporting director and in charge of trackside activities, while Simone Resta will continue to lead the chassis engineering department."

Binotto said: "As hinted at a few days ago, we are making changes to the technical side of the organisation so as to speed up the design and development on the car performance front. A change of direction was needed to define clear lines of responsibility and working processes, while reaffirming the company's faith in its technical talent pool. 

"The department run by Enrico Cardile will be able to count on the experience of Rory Byrne and established engineers such as David Sanchez. It will be the cornerstone of the car's development. 

"We believe Ferrari personnel are of the highest level and we have nothing to envy about our main competitors in this respect, but we had to make a decisive change, raising the bar in terms of the responsibilities of the department heads. 

"We have said it several times, but it's worth repeating: we have started to lay the foundations of a process which should lead to a new and enduring winning cycle. It will take some time and we will suffer setbacks like the one we are experiencing right now in terms of results and performance. 

"However, we must react to these shortcomings with strength and determination to get back to being at the very top of this sport as soon as possible. This is what we all want and what our fans all over the world expect of us." 

Lewis Hamilton earned a share of Formula One history by romping to victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday, while Max Verstappen was second despite a pre-race crash.

Reigning champion Hamilton finished first at the Hungaroring for the third straight season and eighth time in his career, matching Michael Schumacher's record for the most triumphs at the same grand prix.

The 35-year-old Briton converted his 90th pole into a second successive win this season, sending him above Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas to the top of the drivers' standings.

Bottas was unable to make it a one-two, however, with Verstappen on the second step of the podium despite qualifying seventh and requiring a new front wing before lights out.

Hamilton got away well and was three seconds clear of Lance Stroll - who took fourth ahead of Alex Albon and Sebastian Vettel – after the first lap, with Bottas having fallen back through the field after a bungled start.

Despite sounding concerned about the status of his engine during the first half of the race, Hamilton negotiated his first major stint well and had a 20-second advantage after pitting for medium tyres as an anticipated downpour held off.

Verstappen was running in second at that point, the Dutchman producing a brilliant performance after coming so close to being unable to start.

He undercut Bottas by pitting for hard tyres at the end of lap 36 but the Finn made an additional stop as Verstappen stayed out.

Bottas got into DRS range on the main straight at the start of the final lap but was unable to get close to enough to make a pass, with Hamilton getting an additional point by setting the fastest lap after switching to softs with four laps remaining.

Otmar Szafnauer says Racing Point are happy with Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez but declared "watch this space" after the team held talks with Sebastian Vettel.

Vettel on Thursday confirmed he had been involved in "loose talks" with Racing Point over a potential move for the 2021 Formula One season.

Stroll and Perez remain under contract for what will be the first year for the team as Aston Martin following a rebrand. 

Racing Point team principal Szafnauer on Friday stated Vettel's credentials cannot be questioned, but gave little away as to whether the German will join the Silverstone-based squad after leaving Ferrari.

"He definitely knows how to win. He's very competitive. I know him as a friend, he's a lovely guy," said Szafnauer.

"I've known him for a long time, he's straight-forward, honest and can be very fast – he's a four-time world champion."

Szafnauer said is to too early to be discussing who will be behind the wheel for Aston Martin next year on a day that saw Vettel go fastest in FP2 at the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Asked about the futures of Perez and Stroll, he replied: "They are both contracted and we are happy with the drivers we have.

"It is the silly season already, which I can't fathom as we have only done two races, and we are already talking about driver changes. But we are happy with the two we have and they are contracted."

Quizzed about Perez in particular, Szafnauer said: "Like I said, he's contracted. Checo's focus is to do the best he can this year with our car.

"I think he's had two great races. Checo has to focus on the task at hand, which is qualifying the best we can and putting good races in."

He added: "It's tough to predict the future. What they need to do is do the best they can. They are contracted. Watch this space, we'll see where we go. But our intention is never to not honour our contracts."

Sebastian Vettel was quickest in a wet second practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix after Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the morning.

Ferrari suffered a nightmare at the Styrian Grand Prix last weekend, with team-mates Vettel and Charles Leclerc retiring following a first-lap collision at the Red Bull Ring.

Vettel will leave the Scuderia at the end of the season and on Thursday confirmed he has held talks with Racing Point over a move to a team that will be rebranded to become Aston Martin for 2021.

The four-time Formula One world champion let his driving do the talks at a sodden Hungaroring on Friday afternoon, clocking the quickest lap of one minute, 40.464 seconds in FP2.

Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas was second on the timesheets in the later session, 0.272secs slower than the German, with Carlos Sainz third for McLaren.

Racing Point duo Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez were fourth and fifth respectively, while Hamilton and Red Bull's Alex Albon did not set a lap time as drivers split their running between intermediate and full wet tyres.

Hamilton, winner of the second race of the season in Spielberg last weekend, earlier outpaced Bottas as the Silver Arrows made it a one-two in FP1.

The reigning champion set a quickest time of 1:16.003s, with Bottas 0.086s slower. Perez and Stroll were third and fourth respectively.

Hamilton will match the great Michael Schumacher's record of eight victories at the same track if he takes the chequered flag in Budapest on Sunday.

Sebastian Vettel confirmed he has held talks with Racing Point but the Ferrari driver says his future is still up in the air.

Ferrari announced in May that Vettel will not keep his seat when his contract expires at the end of this season.

Racing Point, who will be rebranded to become Aston Martin for the 2021 Formula One season, are the latest team to be linked with the four-time world champion despite Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll being under contract.

Vettel on Thursday stated that he has held discussions with the Silverstone-based squad, but is unsure whether he will be on the grid next season.

"At this stage, I think it's talks. I said last week I have been in talks with Renault for example, it's also talks," the German said ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

"At a later stage with anyone I think it would become a bit more concrete. The truth is that there is nothing to announce and nothing more concrete than loose talks."

Vettel added: "Rumours are called rumours for a reason. Anyway, now only a couple of days after Austria, there's not much that has changed. The fact is there is no news.

"If you ask about Racing Point, everyone is talking about Racing Point, the first two races have been impressive, the performance on track.

"When it comes to myself, no news, nothing has changed in a week. I said last time it will probably take some time, most importantly for myself to make the decision, the right decision for myself. Once there is something to say, I think that will be the right time in future to do so.

"Anything at this stage is still open - driving next year, not driving next year and maybe coming back or not driving and doing something different. I'm not pressured to make my decision too quickly.

"I have been around for a long time and you never know, things can always change. Irrespective of that, I have to make the decision myself, and see if there is something suitable in that direction."

Vettel also said he did not feel aggrieved to see his former employers Red Bull rule out re-signing him. 

"As far as I can see, they have two drivers there," the 33-year-old said. "So it's not a surprise. All I said was my honest and open opinion.

"Coming back again [to my future], it would depend what options there are, what I want to do, and find the best solution for myself."

Racing Point driver Sergio Perez knows there are no guarantees he will be kept on for 2021, but reiterated he is under contract amid reports linking Sebastian Vettel with his seat.

Bild reported that Vettel has had talks over a potential move to a team that will be rebranded to become Aston Martin in the next Formula One season.

There has been almost non-stop speculation over Vettel's future since it was announced he will not be kept on by Ferrari in May.

Racing Point team principal Otmar Szafnauer last week stated that it was flattering for Vettel to be talked of as a potential driver for the Silverstone-based squad, but both Perez and Lance Stroll have long-term deals.

Perez is not worried that he may be deemed surplus to requirements.

"As far as I know, I have a contract," the Mexican said ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend.

"The answers to these questions will only be a matter of time. Let's see what happens in the coming weeks.

"But from my point of view, I have a contract with the team and I fully believe in the future of the team."

Perez revealed he has been contacted by a rival team following the speculation over Vettel being targeted by his current employers.

"I know that during the week the rumours came out and we actually got contacted by a team in the paddock. I won't say names," said the 30-year-old.

"Also other teams in other categories, which was quite a surprise because we have a contract for the next few years here but at the moment they are just rumours around.

"It's part of the game. The team has taken a good step forward so it's now. It's good to have big names related to the team because that means we are making a good job, we are making progress, and I think the team should be proud of it. And the rest, I've been in F1 for 10 years so I'm used to this stuff."

Eddie Irvine thinks Ferrari should have got rid of Sebastian Vettel before this season to avoid the "screwed-up dynamic" they are faced with, saying it is "destructive" having the German on the team.

The Scuderia announced in May that Vettel would not be kept on for 2021 and swiftly confirmed Carlos Sainz will replace him.

Vettel has endured a nightmare start to his final season with the Italian team, retiring from the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday after a first-lap collision with his team-mate Charles Leclerc, who admitted being at fault.

The four-time world champion finished back in 10th in the first race of the year in Spielberg following contact with Sainz, before upgrades to both his and Leclerc's cars were fast-tracked.

Former Ferrari driver Irvine thinks the 33-year-old should have been paid off rather than be kept on knowing he had been deemed surplus to requirements.

He told Stats Perform News: "The problem is with Vettel and I've said it many, many times, he makes way too many mistakes. At the weekend, even though it was Leclerc's fault, he left the door so wide open. 

"He waved Leclerc down and then when Leclerc got in there Vettel had to turn right because the car was to his left, but he really did leave a massive gap that sucked Leclerc in. It was Leclerc's fault, but I'd put five per cent of the blame on Vettel."

He added: "At Ferrari, the pressure is second to none, it's a tough situation but I think now it's even tougher, because Ferrari are stuck with a driver that knows he's getting sacked at the end of the year.

"Really the loyalty is not there and Leclerc is their number one hope, so I just think it's a really screwed-up dynamic.

"I would have got rid of Vettel this year to be honest, just paid him to go and taken a young guy, or anybody.

"I think it's destructive having Vettel there, but they had their reasons, I guess. Maybe they didn't want to pay so much money for a guy to do nothing, I don't know."

Eddie Irvine thinks Ferrari should have got rid of Sebastian Vettel before this season to avoid the "screwed-up dynamic" they are faced with, saying it is "destructive" having the German on the team.

The Scuderia announced in May that Vettel would not be kept on for 2021 and swiftly confirmed Carlos Sainz will replace him.

Vettel has endured a nightmare start to his final season with the Italian team, retiring from the Styrian Grand Prix on Sunday after a first-lap collision with his team-mate Charles Leclerc, who admitted being at fault.

The four-time world champion finished back in 10th in the first race of the year in Spielberg following contact with Sainz, before upgrades to both his and Leclerc's cars were fast-tracked.

Former Ferrari driver Irvine thinks the 33-year-old should have been paid off rather than be kept on knowing he had been deemed surplus to requirements.

He told Stats Perform News: "The problem is with Vettel and I've said it many, many times, he makes way too many mistakes. At the weekend, even though it was Leclerc's fault, he left the door so wide open. 

"He waved Leclerc down and then when Leclerc got in there Vettel had to turn right because the car was to his left, but he really did leave a massive gap that sucked Leclerc in. It was Leclerc's fault, but I'd put five per cent of the blame on Vettel."

He added: "At Ferrari, the pressure is second to none, it's a tough situation but I think now it's even tougher, because Ferrari are stuck with a driver that knows he's getting sacked at the end of the year.

"Really the loyalty is not there and Leclerc is their number one hope, so I just think it's a really screwed-up dynamic.

"I would have got rid of Vettel this year to be honest, just paid him to go and taken a young guy, or anybody.

"I think it's destructive having Vettel there, but they had their reasons, I guess. Maybe they didn't want to pay so much money for a guy to do nothing, I don't know."

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