Practice 2: Hamilton owns day one before rain pours down

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

Lewis Hamilton topped both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Hungarian GP weekend

Jul.27 (GP247) Someone did the maths and apparently this is the tenth time that a grand prix session has been disrupted by rain this season, as in Hungary the heavens again opened up – this time shortly after the halfway mark through free practice two – to play a certain amount of havoc on the assembled Formula One circus.

Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Lotus E20. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.Earlier, in the dry, Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace, as he had in the morning, popping his best time of 1 minute 21.995 seconds, just before the rain descended in buckets over Hungaroring. He was never headed after that.

The session also saw Michael Schumacher plunge into the tyre barriers as he aquaplaned off the track at Turn 11 with Pirelli inters bolted onto the Mercedes. The seven time world champion is making a habit of denting his W03 in practice, particularly in the rain.

Kimi Raikkonen, in what is considered his ‘home’ race as multitudes of Finnish fans make the annual pilgrimage to Budapest, showed good pace in the Lotus E20 to set the second best lap time.

Ferrari mechanics with Ferrari F2012 front wing. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.Next up were the two Brazilians in the field, enjoying a change of fortune, with Bruno Senna (who missed the FP1 as Valterri Bottas did cockpit duty) third fastest in the Williams and Ferrari‘s Felipe Massa fourth quickest. Senna made up for lost time by notching up 34 laps, which was more than any of his rivals could muster.

Fractionally down on his Ferrari teammate was world championship points leader Fernando Alonso who ended fifth on the timing screens and half  a second off Hamilton’s fastest. The Spaniard trying an assortment of front wings during the course of the session and summing up Ferrari’s day as a “studious session”.

Three quarters of a second down on Hamilton was his teammate Jenson Button, who won the 2011 edition of the race in Hungary, and finished the session sixth fastest and ahead of fellow Mercedes powered driver Paul di Resta in the Force India.

Sebastian Vettel (GER) Red Bull Racing RB8 with aero paint on rear wing. Formula One World Championship, Rd11, Hungarian Grand Prix, Practice Day, Budapest, Hungary, Friday 27 July 2012.World champion Sebastian Vettel, who is looking to break his July win drought, was eighth on the timing screens after a well below par morning session which prompted speculation that the FIA instigated engine mapping restrictions on the Red Bulls are having an impact on the RB8′s performance. Mark Webber ended the afternoon session 14th.

Romain Grosjean was ninth fastest in the Lotus with Schumacher tenth best before his close encounter with a tyre wall.

Again the rain interruption makes the session a tough one to read, as most of the big guns did not get to ‘stretch their legs’ and target a good time before the rain came down. Are Red Bull in trouble? Probably not. Is Hamilton favourite? Probably. What about Ferrari? Never discount Alonso! Can Lotus finally get that elusive win? Who knows! Watch this space…

Subbed by AJN.

Hungarian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 27 July 2012

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.995 20
2 9 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:22.180 0.185 20
3 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1:22.253 0.258 34
4 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.417 0.422 29
5 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:22.582 0.587 22
6 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:22.747 0.752 17
7 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:22.794 0.799 23
8 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:22.824 0.829 18
9 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:22.922 0.927 12
10 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1:23.160 1.165 19
11 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.164 1.169 29
12 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:23.337 1.342 26
13 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1:23.713 1.718 26
14 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:23.814 1.819 17
15 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1:23.841 1.846 28
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:24.328 2.333 25
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:24.345 2.350 28
18 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.623 2.628 23
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1:24.823 2.828 30
20 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1:25.220 3.225 30
21 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.104 5.109 28
22 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1:27.106 5.111 19
23 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.185 5.190 24
24 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1:27.822 5.827 20
  • Speedo

    Hope the track stays dry during the race. McLaren and Lewis in particular has been dogged by bad luck, firstly the errant pit stops, the shunting by Maldonado, the punctured tyre and no grip running on the wet track.

  • muddles

    So much for Bernie’s artificial rain.
    Good work Lewis.

  • Hawk

    Bruno where have you been? you solely are to blame if you lose your seat in 2013. you are not in F1 accidentally.

    As for Red Bull, never tell their weekend pace on Friday. if you did you will be embarassed.

  • Salman

    well as long as it doesnt rain mclaren will be the favourites for the double podium finish..but who will win the race is a wild guess..not that i dont hate alonso but as a mclaren fan i dont want him to win..to see hami taking the pole and the win will sum up a great weekend..

  • Umi

    I hope weather stays dry this time..already fed up with the wet races.. Being Hamilton fan, I wud lv to see him taking pole and finishing first in the race..He very much needs this one..!!

  • Lauda Fan

    Hamy is fading fast in the title hunt. He better win one soon…

  • Hawk

    we need that win like yesterday. It would be as timely as Montreal.

  • Clare

    Massa needs to get his act together to keep his seat!