Charles Leclerc, the Red Bull driver’s championship contender, finished first, with Verstappen finishing fourth and 0.283 seconds down.
Lando Norris’ out-of-position McLaren and Carlos Sainz’s second Ferrari were also in front of Verstappen.
“They’re a little in front. Although it will be hard to top that, we’ll work to shorten the deficit “added Verstappen.
However, rain is expected on Saturday, which might alter the level of competition.
Verstappen remarked, “(We’ll) see what the weather gives us tomorrow. “We can’t compete in the dry, but maybe we can in the wet. The future?”
Last month’s rainy qualifying session in Canada saw Verstappen take the top spot. At the same time, Leclerc was absent from the race in Montreal due to a grid penalty for utilizing too many engine components.
Verstappen, who has a 63-point advantage over Leclerc with 10 races left after the Monegasque lost the lead in France last weekend, said that he had always thought Red Bull would have a tough time at the Hungaroring’s congested and winding track.
“Verstappen stated, “Just trying to establish a balance from high to low pace. A little tough as predicted around here. It worked a little bit better and a little bit trickier at different times. Some work to be done.”
Verstappen lost ground behind Leclerc by a comparable margin throughout qualifying and race simulation sessions.
However, Ferrari’s practice wasn’t without its issues, as befits their season so far.
Leclerc had an engine issue at the start of his race simulation run, complaining of a lack of torque in fourth gear, and had to end it after one lap.
After being instructed to pit, he said, “Is there a problem?” His engineer said, “We’re checking it.”
However, when they finally hit the track a few minutes later, Leclerc had a clear pace advantage over Verstappen, leading by as much as 0.3 seconds on average when both drivers were on the medium tyre. Since Sainz’s first run was on soft tires, it was impossible to compare.