Sebastian Vettel was simply untouchable on the first day of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend as he powered around the tight Hungaroring circuit faster than anyone else in both the morning and afternoon free practice sessions, with teammate Mark Webber next best, much to the consternation of their rivals.
Vettel, who leads the championship standings, set a best time of 1:21.264 in FP2 which was about 1.5 seconds faster than his morning time as the dust dispersed and the track started to rubber-in.
Although Vettel was a quarter second up on his teammate Webber in the morning, theAustralian closed the gap to 0.044 seconds in the afternoon session. The Red Bull pair looking unbeatable on the form shown during the opening day.
Lotus ands Ferrari emerged as the best of the rest with Romain Grosjean setting the third fastest time in the E21 which appears well suited to hot weather conditions. Grosean’s best time was 0.153 seconds shy of Vettel’s best.
Teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who was third fastest in FP1, ended the day eighth fastest.
Behind Grosjean were the Ferrari pair, with Fernando Alaonso and Felipe Massa fourth and fifth respectively.
Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were next up – sixth and seventh – after a morning spent playing catch up with evaluation of the modified Pirelli tyres now on offer. Hamilton spent the morning on a single set of tyres and neither of the Silver Arrows was unleashed in anger.
The heat does not seem to be kind to the Mercedes, but only they know if they have yet to unleash that impressive one lap pace that the W04 is known to have.
McLaren may have found a trick or two during the three week break as both their drivers looked more comfortable in the latest derivative of the MP4-28. Jenson Button was ninth fastest, albeit almost a second down on the top pace, and Sergio Perez 12th fastest.
Sandwiched between the two McLaren’s on the FP2 timing sheet were the Force India pair of Adrian Sutil 10th and Paul di Resta 11th.
Out of the top ten the pecking order appears to be Williams followed by Sauber, Toro Rosso, Caterham and Marussia.
That Vettel and Red Bull have the upper hand after three hours of free practice in Hungary is undeniable, but perhaps the only comforting factor to the rest is that the gap at the top was significantly reduced between sessions. (GP247)
Subbed by AJN.
Hungarian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 26 July 2013
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:21.264||34|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:21.308||0.044||42|
|10||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.304||1.040||41|
|11||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.526||1.262||39|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:25.065||3.801||36|