Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012

Hamilton stays on top as rain hits Hungaroring

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix second practice

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Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Hungaroring, 2012For the second year in a row Lewis Hamilton was quickest in both Friday practice sessions at the Hungaroring.

He was the only driver to lap the circuit in less than 1’22s before rain prevented any further improvements during the session.

Early in the session Romain Grosjean lost control of his car at the exit of turn seven. He glanced the barrier nose-first, damaging the front of his Lotus, though his mechanics were able to get him back out on track again shortly.

The Ferrari drivers led the times early on but as the weather forecast warned of approaching rain the teams began to think about doing their soft-tyre runs early.

Inevitably traffic became a problem. Hamilton was on his way to improving his time when he caught Charles Pic in the final sector and oversteered wide at turn 13.

Meanwhile Kimi Raikkonen set a 1’22.180, beating Fernando Alonso’s fastest time by four-tenths of a second.

Hamilton, however, continued to find more time on his soft tyres. He moved up to second then lowered his best by half a second, posting a 1’21.995 to top the times.

Bruno Senna moved up to third in the Williams, less than half a second off Hamilton’s time.

But now the rain began to fall, sending drivers back into the pits. Heikki Kovalainen was the first to fall foul of it, skidding across the gravel trap at turn seven.

Once it stopped a handful of drivers returned to the track and found a circuit that was much wetter in some parts than others.

The track was especially wet as turn 12 as Michael Schumacher discovered. He locked his front wheels and speared head-first into the barrier, fortunately not at too high a speed. He damaged the front of his W03 but climbed out unhurt.

The track dried over the rest of the session and some drivers returned to the track in the hope conditions would improve before the chequered flag. But with the first half of the track almost dry and the second half still wet, most elected to return to the pits and none were able to post an improvement.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’21.995 20
2 9 Kimi Raikkonen 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-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-Renault 1’23.814 1.819 17
15 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’23.841 1.846 28
16 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.328 2.333 25
17 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-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

2012 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
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43 comments on “Hamilton stays on top as rain hits Hungaroring”

  1. Hmm…it’s so tight but I guess the pole would be Hamilton if it’s dry…

  2. Nobody did a time less than 80 seconds – Lewis is a tad under 82..

    1. Changed it, thanks.

  3. Was Raikkonen with double DRS? Looks like Lotus can really fight for victory this weekend.

    1. Yes he was & they do look very good around here although I wonder how they would have faired with the drop in track & air temperature during the arrival of the rain, where Williams began to show some good pace in the form of Bruno as well as Lewis going quicker, suppose the latter was always shaping up regardless of the temperatures.

      Still reasonably early as usual to read into the times with more depth however I reckon Ferrari are there & there abouts, Red Bull personally is a bit of a mystery still, by the looks of things as of now my favourites for pole seem to be a McLaren, Lotus or Alonso.

      1. Two guys impressed me: Bottas and Senna.

    2. He had it in FP1 but not in FP2.They had the inlets duct taped for some reason.

    3. I did notice it in FP1.

      In any case, if the dual DRS system is used, then drivers better watch out to *not* get stuck behind the Lotus, the dirty air is going to be that much ‘hotter’!!

  4. After the first races of 2012, I had nicknamed this ‘the mad season’, now it looks like it’s rather going to stick in my memory as ‘the rainy season’.

    And I find the last two Ferrari’s tweets a bit funny. The first says ‘So McLaren remained unbeatable today and will be the clear favourite for the remaining part of the weekend.’ The second one: ‘For the 3rd time a row everyone will go into the race without a real and clear picture of tyre performance on long distance.’

    I’m pretty sure that one cannot be a ‘clear favourite’ without having ‘a real and clear picture of tyre performance on long distance.’ Sometimes I wish I had some kind of nonsense filter that could be applied to F1 tweets, press releases & similar stuff.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      27th July 2012, 14:57

      It’s just a dismal attempt at mind games by Ferrari.

      1. Well Maccas have been faster in every dry session since they brought their updates. Its not totally against logic to imply they are favourites IF it stays dry.

    2. it depends who is the one that writes ferrari’s tweets…

      1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
        27th July 2012, 15:06

        Actually, your right, maybe two different people wrote the tweets and weren’t aware of what the other had tweeted.

        1. The former must have been Alonso, and the latter Massa!

    3. @girts Ferrari’s PR tactics are pretty transparent. They’re especially fond of the ‘lower expectations by talking up your rivals’ gambit at the moment.

      1. @keithcollantine Agreed. An F1 fan should never forget how to read between the lines :)

    4. A few in my workplace have named it “Tyre lottery” season.

      In previous years I would have loved all this random weather, but now I just want a nice clear sunny day for the entire weekend to see where the teams really stand in performance.

      1. A few in my workplace have named it “Tyre lottery” season

        Shouldn’t it be the ‘Weather Lottery’ season, eh? ;-)

    5. @girts It makes sense to me. They’re saying that nobody has a clear picture of the tyres but given that, McLaren have done the best job so far this weekend and are favourites. If you have no information to go on for long runs then the only information Ferrari could use to decide who the favourites are is the practice times so far. Of course there’s an element of Ferrari playing mind games as has been mentioned but what they’ve said isn’t unreasonable.

  5. Kimi always moves up in the race at least 5 positions, so if he can qualify in the top 5 top 4 i think he will win this race. and his car is looking quite strong.
    as far as Lewis, he has a good chance of getting pole, even greater chance of running off his tires quick in these hot conditions.

    1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      27th July 2012, 15:03

      I think that Hamilton has proven that he can conserve his tyres when needed, also if Ham does get pole, Jenson won’t be too far behind, nor Alonso so I just don’t see Kimi having the consistency throughout the race to challenge those three, he tends to start slow and come back towards the end of the race (or maybe that has something to do with team strategy).

      1. or maybe that has something to do with team strategy

        More often than not!!! He has either been called to pit too late( dry races ) or too early( wet ) to take any real advantage of the Lotus’ nature of treating it’s tyres.

        I say, cut the BS, and in a dry race, bring in Raikkonen/Lotus as early as 6/7th lap( or as soon as he can come out with a 3-4 sec gap to the last car ). This way he can not only move up places, he would also then have the relatively ‘better-tyre-wear’ advantage of the Lotus to hold on to the gained position/s. German GP proves my point!


        1. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
          27th July 2012, 18:46

          Pitting on the 6/7th lap is a bit risky, if you get your calculations wrong you could end up having to do an extra pit stop which would negate any advantage.That being said, it would be a welcomed change if a team were brave enough to try something different, ‘No guts no glory’… and all that carry on.

      2. Usually was Button that proved to be a match for a soft drive on the tires, and last race he had to give up last laps; I doubt that Lewis can manage the tires in a better way.

  6. Interesting stuff here, but we all know that a minor temperature difference will rearrange the order somewhat.

    Good to see the Williams going well, I hear Bruno’s best time was set at the same time as Lewis’s. Well if you consider 2ths off the pace good that is.

    1. agreed, considering he missed the morning practice he is looking very quick

  7. my comments based on what i saw:
    favorite for Pole: Hamilton (if it’s dry)
    favorite for race : Alonso (if it’s dry, but also in wet depends on his starting position )
    surprise of the weekend : Raikkonen (he can win in dry)

    1. scuderiaexxon
      27th July 2012, 15:50

      i see hamilton, alonso, button, and raikkonen fighting for pole and victory

      1. scuderiaexxon
        27th July 2012, 15:51

        of coarse only if it stays dry. if its a wet race anything can happen!

  8. I wish the table had tyre compounds as well :(
    Were VET and WEB on hards? If so, whtat might be the difference bw the compounds?

    1. To be fair though, it’s largely useless without fuel info or a whole other bunch of data.

  9. schumacher seems to have a lot of incidents on fridays. i read somewhere that this was always the case, but they weren’t so well covered as they are now, nobody really noticed, or cared.

  10. That’s now two weekends in a row MS damages his car in practice in the wet. I find that kind of wierd since he can also put in good times in the wet in a race. Don’t quite get why he’s pushing it that hard in practice such that he’s going off. Doesn’t seem necessary. Unless he’s really searching for wet setups on the possibility that Sunday will be wet.

    1. Don’t quite get why he’s pushing it that hard in practice such that he’s going off.

      Its what Schumacher always did, He would always push to the limits in practice to find the limits & then scale back for the race.

      Wasn’t that uncommon to see Michael going off in practice, Even when he was dominating in the Ferrari.

      1. Just means he is exploring the limits. As long as he doesn’t damage the car too much.. and most importantly, he doesn’t do it during the race.

  11. C’mon Kimi!!!…after this a long weekend with lots of Vodka:)

    1. why wait till ‘after the weekend’….if he ‘allegedly’ impedes webber on a hot quali lap again, then the Vodka shall start flowing pronto! ;-)

    2. Koskinkorva, please!

    3. Traverse Mark Senior (@)
      27th July 2012, 18:51

      Judging By your avatar pic, Kimi needs to work on his drinking technique. :-)

  12. Granted, it was a somewhat difficult session all round, but I’m glad to see Senna doing a great job here.
    It’s this sort of result that should help his confidence slightly!

  13. This is going to be a close battle in qualifying, hopefully if it’s dry. The last full dry qualifying was in Valencia and that was very close! I believe Hamilton will get pole if dry. His pace was very good, but I expect the Lotus to be strong in the heat, Alonso and maybe Massa could be strong, and I expect Red Bull to be up there. The Mclaren, Lotus, Ferrari and Red Bull drivers could be 1st or all the way down in 8th in my opinion

  14. It looks like it might be a strong weekend for Mclaren as long as they can qualify in the dry and stay out of trouble in the race. Given the season so far, and today’s sessions I’m not ruling out Alonso either, and history tells me that whenever I look at practice times and think that Vettel is struggling he normally goes and gets pole, so I’m not ruling that out either.

  15. I would have expected McLaren to come out so fast so usually I wouldn’t think anything social had happened today, however only last weekend in Germany were they incredibly fast, faster than they’ve been since Melbourne it seems. Things look good for them, but this circuit suits the RB8’s philosophy more.

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