Hamilton tops double red-flagged FP1 at the Hungarian Grand Prix

First free practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix topped by Lewis Hamilton.

With tributes to Jules Bianchi on every car in the paddock, Formula One rolled onto the track once more as Formula One came to Hungary. But despite emotions being high, it was business as usual in the garages as teams tested new parts, drivers settled in at the Hungaroring and Hamilton topped the timesheet.

Lewis started the day strongly by taking the top spot early on by almost a second to Rosberg and the field. But during the opening thirty minutes, Nico among others suffered with oversteer causing their rears to step out under breaking into the long slow corners, particularly turn one. But while he set about taming his Merc, Hamilton had to box for a change of head rest after it became loose under high speed and began to rise up down the straights.

Back on track, drivers were finding Carlos Sainz an issue with Kvyat and Hamilton both feeling they were blocked off by the Toro Rosso driver in the final sector. Elsewhere, Fabio Leimer was getting his first taste of Formula One with Manor and was lapping faster than Will Stevens in the other Manor car. Leimer however could not keep the position of lead Manor driver for the full session.

After a short break in proceedings when the teams return their first sets of Pirelli tyres, the field hit the track again with only a handful remaining in the pits. But the action was stopped again shortly after as Perez span across the track, into the barrier before his car rolled onto its roll hoop.

Sergio was able to get out of his Force India and walk away from the medical centre soon after the crash but as he drifted onto the astro turf on the exit of turn 13, his rear-right suspension broke causing the corner of the car to dip and spin the car. Unfortunately after contact with the barrier the loose tyre dug into the ground causing the car to roll.

By the time Perez’s Force India had been cleared from the track and the green flags were waving, the session had just over 15 minutes remaining. In this short sprint to the flag, almost all of the field ran a heap of laps with Rosberg gaining the most to move closer and closer to Hamilton’s early time.

The advantage the Hungaroring gives to high downforce cars meant Red Bull could get right up amongst the front runners times and split the Ferrari’s in a session where Vettel struggled and suffered a loss of power at one stage. In the other Ferrari, Raikkonen brought his session to an early end with another red flag when his front wing collapsed after running over the turn 12 kerb, spreading debris across the circuit.

Nevertheless, Kimi was the third fastest man on the track in FP1 behind Hamilton and Rosberg when his front wing collapsed, puncturing his front-left tyre. His potential Ferrari replacement, Bottas, meanwhile was only able to take P9, a full second down on Kimi with the Williams not suiting the Hungaroring design.

Like Red Bull, McLaren’s lack of out right power was not too much of an issue here and sat on the edge of the top 10. Lotus meanwhile had to sit out a large chunk of the session after financial issues meant a deal with Pirelli for their tyres was not arranged in time for the early running, leaving them with a handful of laps.

Position Driver Gap
1 Hamilton 1:25.141
2 Rosberg 1:25.250
3 Raikkonen 1:25.812
4 Ricciardo 1:26.053
5 Kvyat 1:26.070
6 Vettel 1:26.395
7 Sainz 1:26.727
8 Perez 1:26.776
9 Bottas 1:26.825
10 Verstappen 1:26.934
11 Alonso 1:27.272
12 Button 1:27.308
13 Hulkenberg 1:27.317
14 Massa 1:27.381
15 Nasr 1:27.409
16 Ericsson 1:27.732
17 Maldonado 1:28.568
18 Stevens 1:29.693
19 Leimer 1:30.631
20 Palmer No time set