• Hungarian Grand Prix - FP1

McLarens top first Hungarian practice

ESPN Staff
July 27, 2012
Lewis Hamilton was just 0.101s quicker than his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button © Sutton Images

Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of the first free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix as McLaren again displayed its pace.

Having secured a one-two on Friday morning last weekend in Germany, McLaren did so again in dry and hot conditions at the Hungaroring. Hamilton set a best time of 1:22.821 - over half a second quicker than the best FP1 time last season - to head his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button by just 0.1s.

Championship leader Fernando Alonso was third quickest with a 1:23.397, while Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean were the only other drivers to get within a second of the leading McLaren's. Michael Schumacher was sixth fastest ahead of Felipe Massa, Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez.

Neither Red Bull driver made the top ten, with Mark Webber in 13th place and Sebastian Vettel 15th, though the finishing positions are most likely down to the run schedule and fuel loads rather than any deficit caused by the FIA's recent engine mapping clampdown.

With the Hungaroring rarely used, drivers were reluctant to head out on to the circuit at the start of the session. Lotus was keen to gain more data with its double-DRS system so Raikkonen was out early, but, as in Germany, the McLaren's set an impressive pace as soon as they took to the track. A number of drivers including Schumacher, Heikki Kovalainen and Jean-Eric Vergne struggled for grip on the green track, with many running wide and lacking rear end grip.

It was a busy session as the track cleaned up - Kamui Kobayashi's total of 19 laps was the lowest number of the morning - and traffic was a problem when all 24 cars were on track at times.

In one such incident, Pastor Maldonado went off at turn ten when he was forced to take avoiding action around a slow-moving Kovalainen. Having exited turn nine at speed, Maldonado came across the Caterham on the racing line and had to take to the grass and bounce through the gravel to avoid contact.