Continuing with his outstanding form from last weekend’s German Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton has again set the pace, this time going quickest in the opening practice session ahead of this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix.
The McLaren edged out Red Bull’s Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso for top spot, with Mark Webber fourth-fastest, despite ending his session prematurely when he crashed at Turn 9.
Despite fears of impending wet weather, the opening 90-minute gambit remained dry, although off-line there was some dampness on some of the circuit’s kerbs. It was this very issue that caught the Australian out and pitched him into a spin, damaging his front wing against the barriers.
The top-six was completed by Jenson Button, while Ferrari’s Felipe Massa was three-tenths slower than the McLaren driver.
Roughly one second down on the pace-setting Vettel, the two Mercedes GPs of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher finished seventh- and eighth-fastest, while Sergio Pérez and Kamui Kobayashi sandwiched tenth-fastest Vitaly Petrov in the Renault.
Petrov’s running mate was none other than the team’s reserve driver Bruno Senna, who stood in for the under-pressure Nick Heidfeld in this session, amidst ongoing speculation that the German will soon lose his seat at the team. Senna – having his first Grand Prix weekend outing since his last race for Hispania Racing at Abu Dhabi last year – performed well, finishing 15th-fastest.
Ahead of him were the two Force Indias of Paul di Resta and Nico Hülkenberg (subbing for Adrian Sutil this session), while Rubens Barrichello was one spot ahead of his compatriot on the timesheets.
With this weekend also being the 100th for Toro Rosso since its rebrand from Minardi in 2006, the STR6s of Sébastien Buemi and Jaime Alguersuari were next up in 16th and 17th, ahead of Pastor Maldonado’s Williams.
The bottom of the timing screens was more of a Noah’s Ark formation, with the Lotus entries of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli (back in action and armed with a new power steering system) quickest of the ‘second division’ teams.
2011 Hungarian Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||1:23.350||19|
|2.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault RB7||+ 0.214||24|
|3.||Fernando Alonso||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.292||29|
|4.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault RB7||+ 0.316||12|
|5.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-26||+ 0.442||20|
|6.||Felipe Massa||Ferrari F150° Italia||+ 0.765||25|
|7.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP W02||+ 0.900||22|
|8.||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP W02||+ 1.019||20|
|9.||Sergio Pérez||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 1.270||24|
|10.||Vitaly Petrov||Renault R31||+ 1.743||22|
|11.||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari C30||+ 1.783||21|
|12.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 1.986||22|
|13.||Nico Hülkenberg||Force India Mercedes VJM04||+ 2.007||17|
|14.||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.486||24|
|15.||Bruno Senna||Renault R31||+ 2.505||25|
|16.||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.540||28|
|17.||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6||+ 2.749||36|
|18.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Cosworth FW33||+ 2.774||25|
|19.||Heikki Kovalainen||Lotus Renault T128||+ 3.528||26|
|20.||Jarno Trulli||Lotus Renault T128||+ 4.002||21|
|21.||Timo Glock||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 5.183||30|
|22.||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02||+ 5.553||22|
|23.||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 5.709||24|
|24.||Daniel Ricciardo||HRT F1 Cosworth F111||+ 6.554||26|