In the final race weekend before the summer break, Lewis Hamilton topped the FP1 time sheets at the Hungaroring. Beating team-mate Nico Rosberg to the top spot, Lewis set a 1:25:814, just 0.183 seconds faster than the man in second.
At the start of the session, Sergio Perez was the first man rolling out onto the track for an installation lap. But for Max Chilton, the end of his installation lap saw him entering the pit lane with smoke billowing out of the back of his car. But not just was it smoke, the rear of his car was on fire due to oil leaking onto the exhaust.
The first time on the board came courtesy of Nico Rosberg with a 1:32:027. Mercedes were the last to hit the track for an installation lap, but also remained out on track for multiple laps afterwards, unlike the rest of the field who returned to the garages.
Lap times soon started to lower by the Mercedes duo as they improved their personal bests. Rosberg improved his PB to a 1:27:320 before he headed for the pits after he completed eight laps. Hamilton remained out on track for a few more laps after this and was soon joined by most of the field.
Come the end of the first half hour when drivers must head back to the pits to hand in the tyres designated for that stage, the 1:27:320 set by Nico earlier on was yet to be beaten. Kimi had now become the closest challenger at this point after he set 1:27:463. Putting him right in the middle of the Mercedes duo.
Over the opening half hour of FP1 the track remained slippery with a lot of the drivers venturing onto the run off areas. Turn 12 and 13 were the culprit of some of these incidents with Kobayashi spinning at T12 and Hamilton running wide at T13.
The next third of the session began with Rosberg parading around the empty track. With no one else on track he initially set a new best time, 1.2 seconds faster than his previous. Before improving once again to break the 1 minuet 25’s, just, with a 1:25:997. Things weren’t going perfect for the championship leader however. As between setting personal best times he failed to hit the apex at turn seven, finding himself hitting into the sausage curb.
Hamilton had improved his personal best time of the session to take the top spot from his team-mate. But for some drivers over the course of FP1, the middle sector continued to be an issue. There were multiple reports by drivers, such as Vettel, claiming that there was “no grip” available to them, “particularly in the second sector”. I imagine as the track rubbers in and the temperatures rise this should be less of an issue. But the tyres provided by Pirelli for this weekend should be considered as they have brought the medium and soft tyres for this years race. In the previous years F1 has used Pirelli tyres, they have brought along the super soft and soft compound tyres.
Following the fire on Max Chilton’s car the team held him in the pits for the majority of the session whilst they worked on his car. Eventually, after a lot of work and a gearbox change it looked like he would be able to get some laps to his name. Unfortunately another set back struck with his Marussia going nowhere. But that was not the end of it for Max and Marussia who soon solved the latest issue and Chilton was able to hit the track. Despite only getting a handful of laps underway across the session, Chilton actually was able to go faster than his team-mate in the final minuets.
But as the chequered flag fell it was Lewis Hamilton who was on top of the time sheet with team-mate Nico Rosberg tucked in behind. Ferrari took the spots for “best of the rest” with their drivers occupying third and fourth. But despite being “best of the rest” they still found themselves a fair way back to the Mercedes with Raikkonen almost half a second off of Rosberg’s best time and Alonso a further 4 tenths back.
Williams have been the closest challengers to the Mercedes duo in the recent races but struggled this morning and finished well down the pecking order. Massa finished the session in 10th place, over two seconds behind Hamilton. With Valtteri Bottas a further four tenths back in fifteenth.
|5||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.220||1.406||28|
|8||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:27.782||1.968||16|
|12||27||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.101||2.287||28|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:28.376||2.562||24|