Free practice 1

Hello and welcome to live commentary for this morning's first practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. It's been a busy morning off the track already as a new deal has been signed for Sky to show all the races from 2012 on pay telveision in the UK, while the BBC will just show 10 on free to air. I appreciate that if you don't live in the UK that might not mean that much to you, but it is significant as it is a major terroitory that has gone to pay TV rather than free-to-air and that has major implications for the teams and their sponsors.

But fear not, the majority of this morning's coverage will be focusing on first practice rather than the politics off it.

It's dry and a little but cloudy out there. But no sign of the rain that was forecast earlier in the week .. yet.

Reanult Sport says: "All our partners will be using the German GP engines today in practice. The Hungaroring doesn't put lots of strain on the engines"

Their partners are Red Bull, Lotus and Renault.

Ian has asked: "Hi, We are coming to that time of the season when teams start to count how many engines they have remaining. Should any of the drivers be worried they may have to take a penalty? Mind you with grid position not as important this year, a fresh more powerful engine might be worth a couple of tenths to pull off an undercut."

Sadly the FIA has stopped publishing that information, so I can't really answer your question. It's true that they can only use eight engines over the course of the year or they will get a penalty. So we'll have to wait until it happens.

Daniel Ricciardo is leading the cars out onto the track followed by Glock, Liuzzi, d'Ambrosio and more.

Bruno Senna is out in the Renault this morning in place of Heidfeld this morning. It's his first F1 action since testing earlier this year so he'll probably be a bit rusty.

Massa is out on track with a rear wing covered in flow-vis paint to allow his mechanics to understand the intricacies of the air flow over the rear of the car.

Button is heading out on track meaning all the cars have left the pits this morning for an installation lap.

Alonso is back in the pits and according to the BBC has had a minor fire at the back of his car which had to be dealt with using fire extinguishers.

Incidently, it's Alonso's 30th birthday today so happy birthday to him.

Massa is doing constant speed tests to gather aerodynamic data. But he's been told to do one fast lap to cool the car down as Alonso had a little fire after his car overheated. Of course F1 engines are air-cooled so the faster you go the better it is for the engine.

Force India says: "Pirelli have brought the softest tyres available here. The Soft is the Prime and the Supersoft is the option. Guys running on primes so far."

Hamilton on the track conditions: "Everything's okay. The track feels quite a bit more bumpy than the last circuit."

Alonso has gone back out. There has been a slow but constant trickle of cars out of the pits this morning, which will help the track conditions as it's often a bit dusty out there on Fridays.

Rakesh asks: "In circuits like Hungaroring, which is a high-downforce circuit, will the tyre-wear be excess than low downforce circuits like Monza? How will teams take care of this?"

It's a different type of tyre wear as it happens in low-speed corners when the drivers get on the power. At places like Silverstone the tyre wear happens in the high-speed corners when the car is putting excessive load through its construction. The concern in Hungary is that the heat that could build up over the weekend. Most teams like it when it is a bit hotter to help them get their tyres up to temp, but it's still a chemical reaction and when it gets realy hot the tyre will wear more quickly. As always it's a fine balancing act but the teams have a lot of controls on the car to reduce tyre slip out of low speed corners. And if all else fails, the driver can always ease off with his right foot.

Hulkenberg is the only man to set a flying lap so far with a 1:28.266. He's in the Force India this morning in place of Sutil.

Buemi is out on track and pushing pretty hard, so hopefully we'lll have another lap time on the board soon... Buemi sets aa 1:27.058 to go fastest but it's still very early in the session and there is plenty of time to be found over the next hour or so.

To give you an idea of the lap times we can expect over the weekend, Vettel's pole position here last year was a 1:18.773.

Button has clocked a 1:28.748 in the McLaren, but is going quicker on his next lap.

Button improves to a 1:25.697.

Lotus' Mike Gascoyne says: "25 mins into FP1 here in Hungary. About to do another install lap on both cars to evaluate some new aero parts on the car"

He adds: "Track still a bit slippery in places but looks like the session will stay dry. Forecast for next 2 days much better"

Lotus are expecting a good weekend here in Hungary. Their car always works better in hot conditions and they also have a new steering rack that should help Trulli who has been struggling with the "feel" of the steering so far this year.

Vinod asks: "If you notice the sector wise top speeds of different cars in this year, you'll find Redbull at only few times in those top 5 lists. Cars like Force India and Mercedes would be there on most of the times in those lists. How much impact the down force has on corners to outpace the top speed advantage?"

It's true that the Red Bull seldom features at the top of the speed trap times. That is largely due to the trade off between top speed and cornering speed as you point out. More time can be found in the corners, but you need good top speed if you're fighting in the pack on Sundays. If you cast your mind back to last Sunday, Massa really struggled to get past Rosberg because he was so fast in a straight line. You'll also notice that is often Mercedes-powered cars at the top of the speed trap lists and that's because that engine has a little more overall power. This year top speed is also determined by the efficiency of the DRS.

Alonso has now gone fastest with a 1:24.179. Hamilton is second with a 1:24.284 and Massa is third with a 1:24.418. All times have been set on soft tyres.

The supersofts will come out in the second session and we will see even faster times.

Force India tweets: "Part of the run programme today includes some front wing work to give us some info and direction for future developments."

Button is only fourth fastest but reckons the car has more time in it: "Struggled with traffic on those laps. But, generally, the car felt pretty good."

Alonso goes fastest by 0.642 ahead of Hamilton.

Vettel is heading out of the pits, he hasn't set a competitive time yet.

Webber got within 0.024s of Alonso on his last lap. It looks like we could be in for another close weekend.

Senna is now clocking lap times. He's currently 14th fastest with a 1:28.191.

Alonso returns to the pits. He's now completed 12 laps in total this morning.

McLaren is working on Button's car at the moment: "A few aero tweaks are being made to JB's car. Looking like a 15-minute break, so Jenson hops out."

Webber locks up into turn one. That'll ruin his lap but not a major problem.

Vettel posts the third fastest time with a 1:23.968. That's 0.326 off Alonso.

Vettel has just set a new fastest first sector, he's on a hot lap. And he sets a new fastest time but only by 0.078s. He lost out to Alonso in sectors two and three.

Trulli locks up and runs wide in the Lotus at turn one. We saw a lot of that from Chandhok last weekend when he took over the Italian's seat.

An update from Mercedes on their progress this morning: "And Michael is now back in the pits. Michael completed 9 laps with a curent fastest of 1.24.577, Nico 7 laps, 1.25.465"

Vettel is racking up the laps and is going even quicker. But gets sideways in sector two and then skips the chicane. Lap ruined.

Alonso is back out on track. Rosberg is also out there at the moment.

Akshay asks: "How to drivers preserve tyres during the race? Do they drive slowly?"

Put simply yes, but some drivers can maintain a decent pace while taking it easy on the tyres - Button is a perfect example. When it comes to tyre slip under acceleration they can also adjust the differential and a couple of other things via the steering wheel.

Tom asks: "Post-Germany Alonso said that on the way back to the pits on the side of Webber's car, he was a little scared and had to ask Webber to slow down after Webber took the car into 4th Gear. I was wondering, how fast is that? It's hard to guess from the TV images. I am very curious."

To be honest I don't know how fast he was going. If he was in fourth gear I doubt he would have been going flat out as that would have been roughly 170km/h! I should imagine he didn't go much faster than 70km/h.

Alonso has a big lock up into turn one but holds it altogether. A lot of the drivers are giving their front tyres a hard time out there.

Both McLarens are back out after some tweaks and Button goes fourth fastest as a result with a 1:23.772.

Hamilton pips Button to fourth with a 1:23.689.

Ferrari has a busy schedule this morning: "As usual, it is quite a busy programme to be completed"

Schumacher has just set the fastest first sector of all... But he's 0.8s off Hamilton in sector two.

Big accident for Webber at turn 11. He got wide on the kerbs and the Red Bull pitched itself into a spin. He took his nose cone off against the barriers and has punctured a tyre.

Webber manages to get the car back to the pits to give his team a little more time to fix it ahead of FP2.

Amid all that drama, Hamilton has gone fastest with a 1:23.350.

Vettel is out on track trying to take the top spot back. But at the moment he is lapping a little off the pace.

But now Vettel is going faster in sector one, can he maintain it over the course of the lap? Nope, he's lost 0.3 seconds in the middle sector. But his tyres must be quite old now so that's a reasonable pace. Vettel lost another 0.4 seconds in the final sector and stays second fastest.

Senna is struggling to keep the rear end of his Renault in line with the front. Lots of adjustments going on behind the wheel in the slow speed corners. But he's had 20 laps in the car this morning so that's all good experience.

Senna improves to a 1:25.855, roughly 0.8s off team-mate Petrov. Not a bad effort.

Vettel is told to use a rotary switch on his steering wheel to communicate tyre wear back to the garage. That means they don't have to talk over the radio about tyres and give away any secrets to their rivals.

Vettel is told to use a rotary switch on his steering wheel to communicate tyre wear back to the garage. That means they don't have to talk over the radio about tyres and give away any secrets to their rivals.

Ferrari says: "Fernando is doing his last run of the morning". Just eight minutes away from the end of the session now.

McLaren tell Hamilton: "There will be cars around you when you join the track. You'll need to let a couple of cars through to find the best gap."

So far it looks like we'll have a similar order to the last race. There is little to choose between the top teams, which have different strengths in different sectors, Mercedes is about 0.5s off that pace and Renault, Sauber and Force India are in a battle behind them.

Of course it's still very early in the weekend so that order could change.

Hamilton is losing time behind Alguersuari and tried to overtake him around the outside. He then passes into turn one and blocks him a bit on the exit as pay back.

All the drivers bar Webber and Buemi are out on track for one last run.

Hamilton has a huge lock up at turn one. That's ruined those tyres but it's not an issue as the teams have to hand one set of tyres back at the end of this session anyway.

The chequered flag is out. Last laps for everyone. Nobody is on a particularly quick lap.

So, Hamilton's time looks safe with Vettel 0.214s off. Alonso is third and Webber fourth. It's difficult to compare those times as they were set at different times and most likely with different fuel loads. But it does look close and clearly McLaren are still in the running after their victory last weekend.

Thank you for joining us for this morning session. We'll be back in two and half hours for all the action from FP2. It looks like it's going to be an interesting weekend so make sure you stay logged on to ESPNF1 for all the latest action and reaction.