Hungarian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Ruling The Roost

Sebastian Bettel

Sebastian Bettel 

 © Active Pictures

Red Bull teammates Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber ruled with roost in Friday morning’s Free Practice 1 for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

With respective lap times of 1:22.723 and 1:22.982, they were the only two to break into the 1:22 range. Kimi Raikkonen was third quickest with a lap of 1:23.010 in his Lotus.

Toro Rosso’s Daniel Ricciardo, who is along with Raikkonen is in contention to replace Webber at Red Bull next year, was the first driver out on the track as the 90 minute FP1 began.

The ambient air temperature at the start of the session was 84 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Celsius).

On the tire front, the drivers had their choice of Pirelli’s soft (yellow sidewall) and medium (white sidewall) compound slicks. Everybody used the mediums for the first part of the session. These were the new Pirelli tires with the 2012 core construction mated to 2013 compounds.

Speaking of Webber, he did his installation laps with the green flow-vis aerodynamic paint smeared on the front of his Red Bull.

10 minutes into the session, Vettel, Adrian Sutil (Force India), and Nico Rosberg (Mercedes) had yet to do a single lap. And nobody had done a flying timed lap yet.

14 minutes into the session, McLaren teammates Jenson Button and Sergio Perez had completed four laps each but yet to set a time. Vettel, meanwhile, finally took to the track, but Rosberg stayed in the garage.

Jules Bianchi was also in the garage as the mechanics were doing some major work to his Marussia.

17 minutes into the session, Rodolfo Gonzalez, replacing Max Chilton in the Marussia for FP1, set the first flying lap with a time of 1:39.688. He lowered that to a 1:37.942.

20 minutes into the session, Gonzalez was the only driver out on the dusty track. Nobody wanted to waste their tires cleaning up the racing line on this seldom used circuit.

27 minutes into the session, nobody at all was out on the circuit.

After one third of the session had expired, some of the teams started to get serious. Raikkonen topped the times with a 1:24.588 in his Lotus, and Perez was second with a 1:24.920. Still, only seven drivers had set lap times at this stage.

40 minutes into the session, Raikkonen improved to a 1:24.056, but Perez beat that with a 1:23.591.

43 minutes into the session, Webber moved into second with a 1:23.624. Only 12 drivers had turned a flying timed lap at this stage.

Just past the midpoint of the session the top six were: Perez, Webber, Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas (Williams), and Button.

After a long period in the pits, Alonso got to work on track and clocked a 1:23.503. Button was now second with a 1:23.559. Vettel was stuck in the garage with a brake problem on his Red Bull and had not yet set a timed lap.

55 minutes into the session, Button was best with a 1:23.416. But Alonso countered with a 1:23.099.

At the one hour mark the top six were: Alonso, Romain Grosjean (Lotus), Button, Perez, Webber and Rosberg

With 26 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel was finally able to get back in action. His first lap was a 1:24.823 which was 18th quickest. His next tour was a 1:23.600, sixth best and quicker than Webber’s 1:23.624.

Webber wasn’t going to stand for that, and he slammed in a 1:22.982 to become the fastest yet with 21 minutes remaining.

With 18 minutes remaining in the session, Vettel countered with a 1:22.723. So Webber was now second and Raikkonen third with a 1:23.010.

With 13 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso was on an aero run with the flow-vis paint on his Ferrari.

With 10 minutes remaining in the session, just about everybody was pounding around the track and only three drivers were in the pits.

With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Jean-Eric Vergne spun off in his Toro Rosso at Turn 4 and continued. A couple of minutes later Lewis Hamilton ran wide at Turn 2 in his Mercedes.

The top 10 at the end of FP1 were: Vettel, Webber, Raikkonen, Alonso, Grosjean, Button, Sutil, Rosberg, Perez and Maldonado.


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