Budapest Practice 1: Vettel tops as Red Bulls are hottest in the heat

Sebastian Vettel looking to score his first ever Hungarian GP victory

Sebastian Vettel looking to score his first ever Hungarian GP victory

Generally the Red Bull team tend to keep their powder dry in the early stages of a race weekend but, in what must serve as an ominous warning to their rivals, Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber ended one-two in the first free practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix, at Hungaroring near Budapest.

Vettel spent the first hour of the session having what appeared to be brake issues sorted out, and only racked up a time shortly after the hour mark. Within a few laps he topped the timing screens with a best lap time of 1:22.723, which in end was  a quarter of a second up on teammate Webber who was second fastest ion the 90 minute session.

The Red Bull pair were the only ones to dip into 82 second zone. Last year in similar conditions the top time in FP1 was 1:22.821 set by Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren. Thus in the space of a year the clever lads in F1 have made up the advantage which blown diffusers offered their creations not too long ago.

Mark Webber second fastest in FP1

Mark Webber second fastest in FP1

Best of the rest appeared to be Lotus, whose car (the E21) is know to thrive in hot conditions, with Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean third and fifth respectively.

Splitting the black and gold cars on the timing screens was Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari, which is also known to perform better in the heat. Felipe Massa was 15th.

Enjoying one of their better free practice sessions of the year thus far were Jenson Button and Sergio Perez, the McLaren pair setting the early pace and suggesting a move forward for the Woking outfit. Button was sixth fastest, with Perez ninth.

The Force India VJM06 continues to impress with Adrian Sutil setting the seventh best time, although Paul di Resta was down in 18th, he seemed to be focused on longer runs with heavier loads.

Kimi Raikkonen was best of the rest for Lotus

Kimi Raikkonen was best of the rest for Lotus

In the wake of missing out on the recent Silverstone test Mercedes were on a totally different programme to their rivals on the opening day, as both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton went about evaluating the new Pirelli offerings – which were a mix of the Kevlar belt based 2012-style tyre using this year’s more aggressive compounds.

Rosberg was eighth fastest, with Hamilton 13th. Notably the Briton spent 28 laps on one set of tyres and running in race simulation mode. Towards the end of the session he was struggling to keep the car on track.

Pastor Maldonado rounded out the top ten, and with Valterri Bottas 12th it appears that Williams may also have improved relative to their immediate rivals.

In the high profile Toro Rosso tussle for the soon to be vacated Webber race seat at Red Bull, it was Jean Eric Vergne who ended fastest in 14th , with Daniel Ricciardo 17th. Both were pushing hard and off track excursions were not uncommon. Vergne survived a spin late on in the session.

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in FP1

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in FP1

Rodolfo Gonzalez, on duty for Marussia in place of Max Chilton, was slowest of all.

Although it is still early days the indications are that Red Bull have a strong package at their disposal on the tight confines of Hungaroring, while the hot conditions are likely to favour Lotus and Ferrari, but Mercedes are an unknown quantity at this early stage.

Despite Vettel’s quarter second advantage at the top of the time sheets, the nine cars behind him are within one second of one another which sets the scene for a very tight contest in Hungary. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

Hungarian Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Friday, 26 July 2013

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:22.723 19
2 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:22.982 0.259 24
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:23.010 0.287 20
4 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:23.099 0.376 22
5 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:23.111 0.388 20
6 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.370 0.647 26
7 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:23.390 0.667 20
8 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:23.531 0.808 28
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:23.591 0.868 26
10 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:23.911 1.188 21
11 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.119 1.396 21
12 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:24.150 1.427 27
13 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:24.157 1.434 28
14 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:24.204 1.481 15
15 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:24.299 1.576 19
16 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:24.314 1.591 23
17 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:24.383 1.660 24
18 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:24.608 1.885 21
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:25.827 3.104 24
20 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:26.808 4.085 25
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:27.617 4.894 20
22 23 Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1:28.927 6.204 25
Content on by: staff & contributors, Reuters syndication, GMM service, Getty Images, Formula 1 teams, sponsors & organisations.

  • Cab

    Which team had the long run pace?

  • =El Presidente=

    nice work again by the FIA & co. rigging the WDC/WCC .. seeing Mercedes in 8th and 13th position.

    I cannot other then believe that politics are biggest weight in F1 racing is just a secondary topic.. almost like collateral damage..

  • =El Presidente=

    Mercedes all of a sudden a second of the pace.. grrmmbbll

    why am i actually still bothering about this “sport” ?

  • Tamburello_1994

    Free. Practice.

  • earlcee7

    Guys this is free practice, i bet come qualy we will see a Merc on pole, hope these long runs will help improve their race pace though… Go Lewis!!!

  • I hope Mercedes crahses and burns

    I hope the rest of Mercedes season is a huge crash and burn for them.

  • Mercedes supporter forever

    @I hope Mercedes crahses and burns

    I hope you will crash and burn…

  • =El Presidente=

    @ earlcee7 :

    I just watched FP2 , and they are f#cked.
    Hongarian GP winner : Vettel. If Webber doesn’t do anything strange he will be 2nd.

    Lotus may be on the last step , or alonso. and that was it. the FIA putted RedBull more then a second ahead of their nearest rivals.
    Championship decided.

    pff long wait to march 2014 :(

  • KC

    “why am i actually still bothering about this “sport” ?”

    Going by the comments you leave here, you’ve never followed this sport. You’re a fan boy who follows certain drivers. not F1.