Hungarian GP - Friday - Practice Session 1 Report

Hungry Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton 

 © The Cahier Archive

Lewis Hamilton, hungry to bounce back from his bad luck in Germany where he had a brake failure in practice and finished third in the race, set the pace in Free Practice 1 for the Hungarian Grand Prix. He clocked a time 0.183 of a second faster than his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. Ferrari drivers Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso were third and fourth quickest.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was degrees 73 Fahrenheit (23 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 100 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Centigrade.)

Force India driver Sergio Perez was the first driver out on the 2.722–mile (4.381-km) 14–turn circuit. As the Hungaroring is rarely used, the track surface was dusty and slippery.

Max Chilton arrived back in the pits after his installation lap with smoke and flames sprouting from the rear of his Marussia. His crew quickly extinguished the fire, but they could not repair his car immediately. Meanwhile, the other drivers did their install laps. They were using Pirelli's medium compound slick tires with the white sidewalls.

German Grand Prix winner Nico Rosberg set the first time of the session – 1:32.027 – in his Mercedes. Shortly thereafter his teammate Lewis Hamilton clocked a 1:31.426. Then Rosberg lowered his time to a 1:28.754.

13 minutes into the session, Hamilton clocked a 1:28.030 followed by a 1:27.604. Only he and Rosberg had set times at this stage. And Rosberg lowered the bar to a 1:27.320.

17 minutes into the session, others began to clock times including Nico Hulkenberg who slotted his Force India into third with a 1:31.449.

21 minutes into the session, Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo took over third place after setting a 1:28.534. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) was now fourth and his teammate Kimi Raikkonen was fifth.

23 minutes into the session, it was busy out there with 18 drivers circulating. Adrian Sutil circulated his Sauber into a spin at Turn 12 and continued. Turn 12 was a popular spot to go off – Jenson Button (McLaren), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) and Sutil (again) went off the track and continued.

29 minutes into the session, Raikkonen moved into second after turning a 1:27.463.

At the 30 minute mark the top six were: Rosberg, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Button, Ricciardo, Alonso. Vergne, Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull), Kevin Magnussen (McLaren) and Pastor Maldonado (Lotus) rounded out the top 10.

Everybody except Rosberg was now in the pits to turn in the extra set of tires they are given to use in the first 30 minutes of FP1.

35 minutes into the session, the lone runner Rosberg went fastest in Sectors 1, 2 but not Sector 3, which remained Hamilton's domain – to lower his time to a 1:26.114. That was 1.349 seconds faster than Raikkonen's best.

40 minutes into the session, Rosberg, who would lower his time to 1:25.997, remained the only driver on track until Kamui Kobayashi ventured out in his Caterham.

Several more drivers headed out, but nobody improved on their times so midway through FP1 the top 10 remained: Rosberg, Raikkonen, Hamilton, Button, Ricciardo, Alonso, Vergne, Vettel, Magnussen and Maldonado.

With 44 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton improved to a 1:26.239 while Marcus Ericsson spun his Caterham at Turn 12.

With 40 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton took top honors after turning a 1:25.814. Raikkonen was now third and Button fourth. Vettel then moved up to fourth, albeit with a time 1.643 of a second slower than Hamilton.

Next it was Alonso to take fourth place behind Raikkonen. As often happens this season, the Ferraris were looking strong in FP1.

At the one hour mark the top 10 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Alonso, Vettel, Magnussen, Vergne, Ricciardo, Button and Daniil Kvyat (Toro Rosso.) The Mercedes drivers were the only ones to crack the one minute, 26 second barrier.

The drivers continued to circulate but the order of the top 10 remained pretty much the same with the exception of Felipe Massa moving his Williams into 10th place.

With 9 minutes remaining in the session, Chilton was in his repaired Marussia ready to go out, but the mechanics still had to do some more work on the car.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, 20 drivers were on track.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Chilton finally drove out of his pit garage.

With 3 minutes remaining in the session, Sutil had a spin at Turn 2 in the evil-handling Sauber.

With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg spun at Turn 4.

The top 10 at the end of FP1 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Raikkonen, Alonso, Vettel, Magnussen, Vergne, Ricciardo, Button and Massa.

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