Lewis Hamilton has led a McLaren 1-2 in the opening practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix

As was the case just a weekend ago in Germany, McLaren has claimed a 1-2 on the timesheets in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Hungarian Grand Prix. This time, however, it was Lewis Hamilton who claimed bragging rights, edging out team-mate Jenson Button for top spot by just one-tenth of a second.

This being the first completely dry first practice session since the European Grand Prix at Valencia, the teams were able to bring out their newest aerodynamic developments in the final Grand Prix before everyone decamps for a five-week summer break.

Having been forced to switch to more legal conventional engine mapping settings this weekend, the Red Bull Racing tea had a quiet session, with Mark Webber only 13th-fastest, while team-mate Sebastian Vettel was two places lower on the timesheets.

Lotus took its new ‘double DRS’ concept out for another run on its E20 challenger, and perhaps it seemed to help the Enstone-based team, with Romain Grosjean claiming fifth-fastest and team-mate Kimi Räikkönen was eighth-quickest, despite suffering some engine-cooling issues during the scorching session.

McLaren also sported some more upgrades – the most notable being revisions to its recently-modified sidepods. Hamilton moved to the top of the timesheets after half an hour of running, and was never bumped from top spot.

Behind the McLaren pairing, Fernando Alonso was third-fastest – albeit over half a second slower – while the Mercedes pairing of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher sandwiched fifth-fastest Grosjean. The top ten places were completed by Felipe Massa, Räikkönen, Williams reserve driver Valtteri Bottas and Sauber’s Sergio Pérez.

Aside from a few drivers taking trips through the circuit’s ample run-off areas as they struggled for grip on the notoriously dusty surface, the session was largely devoid of any incidents of note. The closest fans and TV viewers came to any sort of drama was when Pastor Maldonado took a trip through the Turn 10 gravel after being caught out by a slow-moving Heikki Kovalainen, who was dawdling on the racing line in his Caterham.

 


2012 Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:22.821   30
2. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-27 1:22.922 + 0.101 24
3. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:23.397 + 0.576 24
4. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:23.628 + 0.807 29
5. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:23.633 + 0.812 24
6. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes AMG F1 W03 1:23.845 + 1.024 26
7. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F2012 1:23.904 + 1.083 25
8. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E20 1:23.983 + 1.162 24
9. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW34 1:24.152 + 1.331 24
10. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C31 1:24.268 + 1.447 27
11. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW34 1:24.300 + 1.479 23
12. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C31 1:24.394 + 1.573 19
13. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:24.546 + 1.725 24
14. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:24.559 + 1.738 22
15. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB8 1:24.608 + 1.787 25
16. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:25.354 + 2.533 25
17. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR7 1:25.559 + 2.738 27
18. Jules Bianchi FRA Force India Mercedes VJM05 1:25.715 + 2.894 26
19. Vitaly Petrov RUS Caterham Renault CT01 1:26.440 + 3.619 27
20. Charles Pic FRA Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:26.705 + 3.884 23
21. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Caterham Renault CT01 1:26.755 + 3.934 28
22. Timo Glock DEU Marussia Racing Cosworth MR01 1:27.015 + 4.194 24
23. Pedro de la Rosa ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:27.101 + 4.280 21
24. Dani Clos ESP HRTF1 Cosworth F112 1:28.176 + 5.355 24

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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