Lewis Hamilton was fastest in this morning first practice session at Hungary

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.

Bruno Senna 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:

  Driver   Team Time Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 1:23.350 19
2. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.214 24
3. Fernando Alonso ESP Ferrari F150° Italia + 0.292 29
4. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Renault RB7 + 0.316 12
5. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-26 + 0.442 20
6. Felipe Massa BRZ Ferrari F150° Italia + 0.765 25
7. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 0.900 22
8. Michael Schumacher DEU Mercedes GP W02 + 1.019 20
9. Sergio Pérez MEX Sauber Ferrari C30 + 1.270 24
10. Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault R31 + 1.743 22
11. Kamui Kobayashi JPN Sauber Ferrari C30 + 1.783 21
12. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 1.986 22
13. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Force India Mercedes VJM04 + 2.007 17
14. Rubens Barrichello BRZ Williams Cosworth FW33 + 2.486 24
15. Bruno Senna BRZ Renault R31 + 2.505 25
16. Sébastien Buemi SUI Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 2.540 28
17. Jaime Alguersuari ESP Toro Rosso Ferrari STR6 + 2.749 36
18. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth FW33 + 2.774 25
19. Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault T128 + 3.528 26
20. Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Renault T128 + 4.002 21
21. Timo Glock DEU Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 5.183 30
22. Jérôme d’Ambrosio BEL Virgin Racing Cosworth MVR-02 + 5.553 22
23. Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 5.709 24
24. Daniel Ricciardo AUS HRT F1 Cosworth F111 + 6.554 26

[Image via LAT, Sutton Images]

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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.