Practice 1: Red Bull fire early warning in Budapest

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the first free practice session of the Hungarian GP

Sebastian Vettel was fastest in the first free practice session of the Hungarian GP

Jul.30 (Grand Prix 247) Formula 1 engines were switched off after the German Grand Prix in Hockenheim a mere five days ago. This morning they were roaring in anger in Budapest for round 12 of the Formula 1 World Championship, the Hungarian Grand Prix at Hungaroring.

It did not take very long for the Red Bull duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel to reel off a succession of fastest laps. As a consequence the duo were top of the timing screens throughout the opening free practice session of the Hungarian GP weekend.

In the end Vettel was fastest from Webber second quickest, prompting Red Bull team principal Christian Horner to declare, “At Hockenheim Ferrari were at least as quick as us, maybe even a sniff quicker. Hockenheim suited them a little bit better than us, but their pace has been evident for a while, and I’m sure they’ll be quick around here – but I’m also sure the circuit will suit our car, and our drivers like driving here.”

Behind the Red Bull duo, over a full second off Vettel, was Renault’s Robert Kubica who ended the session third quickest. The top three Renault powered..

Fourth fastest was McLaren Mercedes’ reigning F1 World Champion Jenson Button who ended fourth fastest and best of the Merc powered brigade.

Fifth quickest was Rubens Barrichello (Williams) ahead of Pedro de la Rosa (Sauber).

Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, whose Ferrari team are expected to be the most likely challengers of Red Bull’s dominance, was seventh fastest on the circuit where he won his first Grand Prix back in 2003.

Next up, eight and ninth respectively, were Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher who have reportedly dropped recent upgrades. Basically taking a step or two back to move forward a bunch. Time will tell if this will be the solution for the Merecedes GP duo.

Nico Hulkenberg (Williams) was tenth quickest.

Force India mounted the team’s exhaust blown diffuser for Adrian Sutil to try out in back to back tests with Paul di Resta whose car was devoid of the team’s new upgrade. Sutil said, “We expect a few tenths out of it. We know it can make a very big difference if you use it properly but it’s the early stages of development.” Sutil ended the session 11th fastest.

Felipe Massa (Ferrari) was out of the top ten, setting the twelfth fastest lap time, as he returns to the circuit where he nearly lost his life in qualifying last year.

Also out of the top ten, clearly struggling with dubious upgrades, was championship points leader Lewis Hamilton who could only manage 18th quickest time.

After the first 90 minutes in Budapest it is quite clear that Red Bull have hit the ground running and the next session should see the pecking order of the weekend start emerging and show if Ferrari, McLaren, Mercedes or Renault have the muscle to challenge the fizzy drinks boys at Hungaroring.

Practice 1 Results – 30 July 2010

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 5 Sebastian Vettel RBR-Renault 1:20.976 29
2 6 Mark Webber RBR-Renault 1:21.106 0.130 27
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1:22.072 1.096 21
4 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.444 1.468 17
5 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1:22.601 1.625 25
6 22 Pedro de la Rosa BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:22.764 1.788 24
7 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:22.772 1.796 25
8 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:22.777 1.801 25
9 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:22.792 1.816 26
10 10 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1:22.966 1.990 25
11 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:23.003 2.027 19
12 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:23.007 2.031 26
13 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:23.249 2.273 24
14 23 Kamui Kobayashi BMW Sauber-Ferrari 1:23.327 2.351 23
15 15 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:23.520 2.544 19
16 16 Sebastien Buemi STR-Ferrari 1:23.780 2.804 22
17 17 Jaime Alguersuari STR-Ferrari 1:23.868 2.892 28
18 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:24.075 3.099 15
19 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1:25.032 4.056 22
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1:25.210 4.234 23
21 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1:25.990 5.014 21
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1:26.686 5.710 17
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1:26.990 6.014 34
24 20 Sakon Yamamoto HRT-Cosworth 1:28.157 7.181 24