Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012

McLaren lead opening practice session in Hungary

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix first practice

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Jenson Button, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012The McLaren drivers topped the times in the first practice session at the Hungaroring.

Lewis Hamilton ended the first 90 minutes of running one tenth of a second faster than team mate Jenson Button.

Hamilton was half a second quicker than Fernando Alonso. Ferrari began the session conducting a series of aerodynamic tests on Felipe Massa’s car, evaluating different front wings on the car.

Kimi Raikkonen led the times initially but was called back to the pits as he began to suffer overheating problems with his engine.

He later returned to the track to continue testing Lotus’s new DRS set-up. Towards the end of the session he was told the wing was working as planned. He set the eighth-fastest time with team mate Romain Grosjean taking fifth with his final lap.

Grosjean split the two Mercedes with Nico Rosberg in fourth place.

Williams test driver Valtteri Bottas was ninth-fastest ahead of Sergio Perez. His team mate Pastor Maldonado contributed one of the few dramatic moments of the session, ploughing into the gravel at turn ten.

Warm weather greeted the teams in first practice, with track temperatures starting at 33C and rising towards the end of the session.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
14Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’22.82130
23Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’22.9220.10124
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’23.3970.57624
48Nico RosbergMercedes1’23.6280.80729
510Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1’23.6330.81224
67Michael SchumacherMercedes1’23.8451.02426
76Felipe MassaFerrari1’23.9041.08325
89Kimi RaikkonenLotus-Renault1’23.9831.16224
919Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1’24.1521.33124
1015Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’24.2681.44727
1118Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1’24.3001.47923
1214Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’24.3941.57319
132Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’24.5461.72524
1411Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’24.5591.73822
151Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’24.6081.78725
1616Daniel RicciardoToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.3542.53325
1717Jean-Eric VergneToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.5592.73827
1812Jules BianchiForce India-Mercedes1’25.7152.89426
1921Vitaly PetrovCaterham-Renault1’26.4403.61927
2025Charles PicMarussia-Cosworth1’26.7053.88423
2120Heikki KovalainenCaterham-Renault1’26.7553.93428
2224Timo GlockMarussia-Cosworth1’27.0154.19424
2322Pedro de la RosaHRT-Cosworth1’27.1014.28021
2423Dani ClosHRT-Cosworth1’28.1765.35524

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Image ?? McLaren/Hoch Zwei

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Keith Collantine
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13 comments on “McLaren lead opening practice session in Hungary”

  1. I really hope this is McLaren showing their true consistent pace and it’s not just the other teams sandbagging a touch.

    1. the problem will be tyre management against fernando in race…

    2. Teams follow their own programmes in testing. It’s more important to get setup and tyre work done than it is to get a fast lap in. If you can, great, but no points are awarded for the fastest lap in free practice, so the teams will instead concentrate on the work that needs to be done.

      1. Exactly, just look at Jenson last week. He was 24th in FP3 as he was doing race runs all session but finished the race 2nd.

      2. I’m just hoping it gets a little tighter for the top three teams, that and we get a full dry weekend!

        As good as it is for a driver and their team, it’s not as enjoyable to see a driver lead from start to finish. Lewis could do with one or two of those races though, but with his current luck/form I doubt it’ll happen.

      3. I think Red Bull’s pace with a 13th & 15th place rather highlights the fact that lap times aren’t important; set-up is. It is completely dependant on what programme a team decides to do – McLaren clearly went down the route of low-fuel set-ups, whilst Red Bull clearly opted to run a heavier fuel load (and were probably reevaluating their engine mapping development).

    3. @dphect I expect they’re taking advantage of a dry circuit (for once!) and sticking in little fuel to try and get their head around their German updates.

  2. It’s generally accepted that you can’t read too much into lap times set in FP1, but I think that applies even moreso now. Red Bull might be thirteenth and fifteenth, but I doubt we’ll see their true form until the end of Q2 (and not until Q3 if they can avoid it). They’ve been hurt by the regulation changes, but they’ll probably prefer to keep everyone in the dark about their exact pace now.

    1. Exactly, Vettel pitted just after posting personal best in first two sectors that would have easily got him to top 5.

  3. Quickest so dar is a full 4 seconds slower than Barrichello’s fastest ever lap of the track.

    I don’t think Red Bull are in trouble, they’ll be right there when it counts but I think it will be tight between Ferrari, Mclaren and Red Bull.

    1. I’m not sure Ferrari will be as quick but obviously it remains to be seen. I reckon a straight dogfight between McLaren & Red Bull in qualifying and Lotus & Fernando will come into play during the race.

  4. Mclaren looks good.

  5. Good news that Lotus’ new DRS system is working as planned. I wonder if they will take a risk and race it this weekend if it continues to perform well?

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