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