Mercedes ahead by a second and a half

2016 Hungarian Grand Prix first practice

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No one got close to Mercedes in the first practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix – but several of their rivals did not join them in using the quickest tyre.

Lewis Hamilton found the quickest way around the resurfaced course and set a best time which was over half a second quicker than his pole position time from last year. Team mate Nico Rosberg, whose new Mercedes deal was announced this morning, got within a quarter of a second of his team mate’s time.

The silver cars used the super-soft tyres to set their quickest times but with Red Bull opting to stick with the softs in this session the Ferrari pair occupied third and fourth places. Sebastian Vettel managed a best of 1’22.991 despite a brief spin at turn 12.

Daniel Ricciardo led the Red Bulls in fifth, 1.8 seconds off Hamilton’s past. The symmetry continued with the two soft-tyred McLarens in seventh and eighth, Fernando Alonso having also spun at the final corner.

Haas had one of their cars in the top ten: Romain Grosjean claimed ninth while Charles Leclerc, driving Esteban Gutierrez’s car again, had a spin at the chicane. The two Force Indias were next in a tightly-knit midfield: Alonso in seventh and Carlos Sainz Jnr in 14th were separated by six-tenths of a second.

Renault kept Jolyon Palmer’s running to a minimum due to a technical problem while Esteban Ocon drove Kevin Magnussen’s car. Palmer ended up at the bottom of the times behind Pascal Wehrlein, who scrapped one run when his Manor got stuck in the pit lane speed limiter.

The session began on a slightly damp track and drivers chose intermediates for their installation laps. However by the end of the session the surface temperature had risen from 26C to 42C.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’21.347 34
2 6 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’21.584 0.237 34
3 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’22.991 1.644 22
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’23.082 1.735 19
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’23.174 1.827 28
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’23.457 2.110 27
7 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’23.935 2.588 28
8 22 Jenson Button McLaren-Honda 1’23.961 2.614 18
9 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’24.013 2.666 22
10 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’24.073 2.726 29
11 27 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’24.120 2.773 29
12 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’24.154 2.807 27
13 77 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1’24.370 3.023 33
14 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’24.579 3.232 27
15 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’24.981 3.634 19
16 50 Charles Leclerc Haas-Ferrari 1’25.181 3.834 22
17 12 Felipe Nasr Sauber-Ferrari 1’25.256 3.909 18
18 45 Esteban Ocon Renault 1’25.260 3.913 28
19 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’25.324 3.977 16
20 88 Rio Haryanto Manor-Mercedes 1’27.012 5.665 23
21 94 Pascal Wehrlein Manor-Mercedes 1’27.249 5.902 9
22 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’28.560 7.213 6

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’21.347

+0.237 Nico Rosberg – 1’21.584

+1.644 Sebastian Vettel – 1’22.991

+1.735 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’23.082

+1.827 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’23.174

+2.110 Max Verstappen – 1’23.457

+2.588 Fernando Alonso – 1’23.935

+2.614 Jenson Button – 1’23.961

+2.666 Romain Grosjean – 1’24.013

+2.726 Sergio Perez – 1’24.073

+2.773 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’24.120

+2.807 Felipe Massa – 1’24.154

+3.023 Valtteri Bottas – 1’24.370

+3.232 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’24.579

+3.634 Marcus Ericsson – 1’24.981

+3.834 Charles Leclerc – 1’25.181

+3.909 Felipe Nasr – 1’25.256

+3.913 Esteban Ocon – 1’25.260

+3.977 Daniil Kvyat – 1’25.324

+5.665 Rio Haryanto – 1’27.012

+5.902 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’27.249

+7.213 Jolyon Palmer – 1’28.560

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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21 comments on “Mercedes ahead by a second and a half”

  1. The Blade Runner (@)
    22nd July 2016, 10:43

    Here we go. That point of the weekend when us McLaren fans momentarily feel a surge of optimism!

    1. Well this time can’t be too unrealistic @thebladerunner

    2. Riiiiiight, only 2.5 seconds slower than Ham. Either Toto forgot to put the sandbags on, or Mcca are really struggling.

      Or both.

    3. I’m taking a lot of positives from mclaren at the moment, they have good reliability and are slowly getting ahead of the Mercedes customer cars, next year should be good if they keep the progress up.

    4. Don’t forget that their times haven’t been done with the best tyres. Let’s bet some money for Alonso this weekend..!

  2. I wish we could have the comparative long run pace along with the tyres used.

  3. Sooo,can someone ask Toto to finish his sharade about some team ” being a threat” to Merc until 2017 rule change? What a joke has F1 become…1.6 sec on this track…that is like a century in Hungary. This kind of dominance thanks to idiots that make rules is killing F1. All bs about cost,fuel saving no development,no testing blabla are pathethic for something that happens 20 times a year where 20 cars burn less fuel then one freaking jet going over atlantic.What we have now is stupidest thing i ever saw in last 30 years in F1.Since V6 anyone who got it wrong as we see could leave F1 cause there is no chance to catch up like we see now.Honda for example has every knowlege what they did wrong but even with stupid tokens they realize they will be behind cause entire engine needs to be redisigned and amount of tokens is not enough.Simply mega stupid rules and stupid very costly engines that nobody from fanswanted. Tv ratings show where and how good is current F1.

    1. It really puts in to perspective why Toto was crying a lot when they wanted to overhaul the rules for 2017. No one bought his bs explanation for performance convergence because they knew that Mercedes was so good under the current regulations that it would take any other team a decade to catch up.

  4. No real surprises. Despite Toto banging on about RBR being a big threat (as he always does) the Mercedes cars continue to do it at a canter. Perhaps its about time that everyone realised that as well as the best engine they have a damn good aero package as well, arguably as good as RBR’s.

    1. Merc have a habit of this. They big up 1 team as getting closer then that team drops away behind another team. 2014 Williams and Red Bull were said to be threats come 2015 they dropped back. 2016 Ferrari were said to be the challengers they have now dropped behind Red Bull. After Monaco/Spain it was Red Bull again then Ferrari took over now back to Red Bull.

      Merc have the chassis the engine and the ability to put a hex on their closest challengers. Ouch.

  5. Title could serves as answer to discussion whether F1right now is rubbish or not.

    1. There is nothing wrong with one team doing it better than the others. That is the way in real competitions, someone is faster, stronger, better. The reason F1 is rubbish now is because of the stupid rules and constant tinkering. It is not the same game week to week to it is pointless.

    2. ColdFly F1 (@)
      22nd July 2016, 12:05

      Did you say the same about football when Manchester won the title by 18 points or Barcelona by 15 points. @geekracer2000
      These teams were simply the best in that season: the players/drives, the engineers/trainers, the strategy, etc.

      Winning by a big margin doesn’t mean that the sport is rubbish.

      1. Michal (@michal2009b)
        22nd July 2016, 12:30

        But it makes it boring and predictable, especially if you are watching the same for three years.

      2. Michael Brown (@)
        22nd July 2016, 12:41

        I find it most frustrating that the token system prevents teams from making real progress. Yes, without it Mercedes could develop at a faster rate but the tokens are preserving their advantage.

      3. it does it the sport chooses politics over choice and diversity. I have a sport, it’s called shooting fish in a barrel, one team gets a shot gun, the others a pea shooter. Here is the problem, the other teams will never get anything close to shotgun because they don’t have BILLIONS in R&D like Mercedes Benz do. F1 is pricing the non factory teams out of competition with it’s strict fuel regulations. This isn’t competition, its rule rigging to promote certain agendas. It has nothing to do with fair competition. If you want more competition in F1, better competition, you will get rid of the expensive mandatory costs that are imposed by the FIA (engine rules), and stop punishing the non mega factory teams with the fuel regulations.

        If people want to celebrate hybrid power, go buy a Toyota Prius. If you want faster racing, real innovation and better competition, Please consider a more FREE’er market. Because there is nothing free in F1’s market economy, it’s locked down like a soviet gulag.

        1. Well said.

  6. RBR were using Softs in fp1 means that a threat which i don’t think. RBR is behind Mercedes but in front of Ferarri. Before the fans are putting me down this is just a obvisation with only fp1 as guide which means nothing.

  7. The 2017 season cannot come fast enough. F1 2016 is junk, unless you worship at the temple of holier-than-thou-our-bodily-wastes-do-not-stink-goody-two-shoes-mercedes.

    1. Why is 2017 going to be different? Ferrari are in disarray and next year’s cars are going to be draggier and more power sensitive when Red Bull are high drag by philosophy and will almost certainly still be a bit down on power.

      The new cars are new, but they’re being designed right now by the teams whose performance we are witnessing now. Why should the order be different? Nobody is leaving Mercedes, except for a massive promotion.

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