• Hungarian GP - FP1

Hamilton tops opening Hungary session

ESPN Staff
July 25, 2014
Lewis Hamilton during an aero run in FP1 © Getty Images

Lewis Hamilton topped the first practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix, one tenth quicker than Nico Rosberg and eight tenths faster than Kimi Raikkonen.

Hamilton, who has won four times in Budapest, exchanged places at the top of the timing screens early on with Rosberg but eventually stayed top with a 1:25.814. The Ferraris were the closest once again to continue the team's run of being the best of the rest in the opening session of a grand prix weekend. Raikkonen took third with Fernando Alonso a further four tenths back. It is early days in the weekend but it will be an encouraging start for Raikkonen who is still yet to beat Alonso on a race day since his return to Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel was fifth, a full second and a half behind Hamilton's benchmark, with no early signs to suggest the removal of FRIC would have a greater impact on Mercedes here than it did in Hockenheim. Vettel complained several times during the session about a lack of grip but still finished half a second quicker than Daniel Ricciardo in eighth. Williams have scored three consecutive podiums but could only manage 10th and 15th for Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas, though as always the team looked more focused on its long-run pace and trying to find an optimum set-up for tomorrow with a new rear wing package among its upgrades for the weekend.

Kevin Magnussen finished sixth, one tenth behind Vettel, with Jean-Eric Vergne and Ricciardo making up the space in-between the Dane and his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button. Esteban Gutierrez rose to 11th with Sauber looking to build on its promising upturn in pace from Hockenheim, though Adrian Sutil could only manage 18th. Daniil Kvyat led the pack in terms of mileage with 31 laps to his name, albeit 0.6s off Vergne.

Nico Hulkenberg was 12th for Force India, over two seconds down on Hamilton, though Force India is known for focusing more on its race pace on Friday's at the expense of a glory run to get it higher up the Friday pecking order. Team-mate Sergio Perez was finished two tenths behind in 15th. Pastor Maldonado and Romain Grosjean looked like they were both still struggling to handle their FRIC-less Lotus with several wobbles throughout the session. Maldonado was some three tenths off the resurgent Sauber of Gutuierrez, with Grosjean further behind in 17th.

Max Chilton could only manage five laps after an early fire caused by oil leaking onto the exhaust of his car. After two failed attempts to get out of the garage once the problem had been fixed he finally emerged with four minutes remaining, enough time to jump above the time set earlier in the session by team-mate Jules Bianchi.

Max Chilton hit trouble early in the session © Sutton Images
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