Sebastian Vettel set the pace in today's first practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix

Sebastian Vettel has led outgoing teammate Mark Webber to a Red Bull Racing 1-2 on the timesheets at the end of the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The pair was separated by just over a quarter of a second, while Kimi Räikkönen was third-quickest in his Lotus, despite suffering an airbox fire and a suspected puncture.

With near-record temperatures expected to hit for much of the Grand Prix weekend, this morning opening session was perhaps a portent of things to come, with the track surface nudging northwards of 45°C over the hour-and-a-half-long session.

Much of the field opted for a conservative start to the session, with no one wanting to expose their new Pirelli tyres to the Hungaroring’s gripless, dusty surface. But more drivers ultimately trickled down pit lane as the countdown clock wore on, with almost everyone posting in the region of twenty or more laps around the four-kilometre autodrome.

After a host of different drivers took turns in the top spot on the timing monitors, the Red Bull pairing assumed the leading positions, with Vettel and Webber being the only drivers to lap under the 1m23s barrier.

Räikkönen’s run to third-fastest was impressive given his dramas, with the Finn winding up just one-tenth of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and his own teammate Romain Grosjean.

Jenson Button was a rather surprising sixth-fastest in the heavily-updated McLaren MP4-28 – teammate Sergio Pérez backing up the car’s apparent improvements with the ninth-fastest time – while the likes of Adrian Sutil, Nico Rosberg and Pastor Maldonado claimed the remaining spots inside the top-ten.

On his first outing on Pirelli’s new 2012/3 hybrid tyres, Lewis Hamilton seemed to struggle. The Englishman suffered numerous brake lock-ups and excursions into the tarmac run-off as he sought to understand the new tyres; he finished only thirteenth-fastest.

Hamilton wasn’t the only one to have a less-than-stellar session in comparison to his teammate, with Felipe Massa (15th) and Paul di Resta (18th) both well down the order. That being said, the fastest eighteen runners were covered by just 1.8 seconds on the stopwatch, which means the FP1 positions should not be read into too heavily.

The Caterhams showed a speed advantage over their tail-ender rivals, Marussia, with Charles Pic comfortably leading the four-car battle ahead of teammate Giedo van der Garde. Jules Bianchi was another eight-tenths behind the Dutch driver, while Rodolfo González – replacing regular Max Chilton for the first session – once again trundled around at the bottom of the timesheets.

2013 Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:22.723   19
2. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:22.982 + 0.259 24
3. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:23.010 + 0.287 20
4. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:23.099 + 0.376 22
5. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:23.111 + 0.388 20
6. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:23.370 + 0.647 26
7. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:23.390 + 0.667 20
8. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:23.531 + 0.808 28
9. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:23.591 + 0.868 26
10. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:23.911 + 1.188 21
11. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:24.119 + 1.396 21
12. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:24.150 + 1.427 27
13. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:24.157 + 1.434 28
14. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:24.204 + 1.481 15
15. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:24.299 + 1.576 19
16. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:24.314 + 1.591 23
17. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:24.383 + 1.660 24
18. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:24.608 + 1.885 21
19. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:25.827 + 3.104 24
20. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:26.808 + 4.085 25
21. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:27.617 + 4.894 20
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez VEN Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:28.927 + 6.204 25 supports a world free of factory farming. Learn more and pledge your support by CLICKING HERE!

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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.