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