Practice 1: Hamilton fastest as McLaren signal their intent

Lewis Hamilton (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.

Lewis Hamilton ended the first free practice session in Hungary fastest of all

Jul.26 (GP247) By their lofty standards McLaren have had a dip in form since they last won, in Canada, but in Germany they showed signs of a revival and again at Hungaroring, on a warm sunny day which the MP4-27 relishes, the team’s two world champions hogged the top spots on the timing screens at the end of the first free practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend.

Jenson Button (GBR) McLaren MP4-27. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.Hamilton clocked the fastest lap, of 1 minute 22.821 seconds in 30 laps (more than anyone else) around the 4.4 km circuit, during a bustle of rapid laps midway through the session, and  was 0.101 seconds up on teammate Button who had set his best shortly before that.

Inadvertently, perhaps, it was a show of muscle by the Woking squad who need to re-ignite their season as they are beginning to lose touch with championship points leader Fernando Alonso.

And in fact it was the Ferrari driver who was next best in the vastly improved F2012, but the Spaniard’s best time was half a second down on Hamilton’s best.

Mercedes left Hockenheim confused about where their pace disappeared to in Germany and will be looking for a reversal of fortune at the twisty Hungaroring with Nico Rosberg fastest of the Silver Arrows pair with the fifth best time and Michael Schumacher, four times a winner in Hungary, sixth fastest.

Fernando Alonso (ESP) Ferrari F2012. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.Splitting the Mercedes duo with the fifth best time was Romain Grosjean, GP2 winner at the same venue last year, the Lotus driver ending the 90 minutes session fastest of the Renault powered brigade.

Felipe Massa, back at the scene of his horrific qualifying accident in 2009, was seventh fastest in the second Ferrari looking for a strong showing after a forgettable weekend in Germany.

Eighth fastest at the end of the session was Kimi Raikkonen in the Lotus E20 featuring the ‘super’ double DRS – teammate Grosjean was running the more conventional contraption.

On Friday duty for Williams was Valterri Bottas, who gave a good account of himself after his close encounter with the wall in Hockenheim a week earlier, and ended ninth fastest and a tad quicker than teammate Pastor Maldonado who was 11th best.

Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus E20. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten in his Sauber.

Out of the top ten were both Red Bull drivers, Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel, who ended 13th and 15th respectively – clearly neither of them opted to take a fast run.

Other reserves doing duty were: 18th fastest Jules Bianchi replacing Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and slowest of all Dani Clos in Narain Karthikeyn’s HRT.

None (at least to our knowledge) of the drivers used the yellow band Pirelli soft tyres which are probably being horded, with the white band medium being the rubber of choice for the opening session in Budapest.

Subbed by AJN.

Hungarian Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Friday, 27 July 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.821 30
2 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.922 0.101 24
3 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.397 0.576 24
4 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.628 0.807 29
5 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:23.633 0.812 24
6 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:23.845 1.024 26
7 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:23.904 1.083 25
8 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:23.983 1.162 24
9 19 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:24.152 1.331 24
10 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.268 1.447 27
11 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:24.300 1.479 23
12 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.394 1.573 19
13 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:24.546 1.725 24
14 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:24.559 1.738 22
15 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:24.608 1.787 25
16 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:25.354 2.533 25
17 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:25.559 2.738 27
18 12 Jules Bianchi Force India-Mercedes 1:25.715 2.894 26
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:26.440 3.619 27
20 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:26.705 3.884 23
21 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:26.755 3.934 28
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.015 4.194 24
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:27.101 4.280 21
24 23 Dani Clos HRT-Cosworth 1:28.176 5.355 24