Hungarian Grand Prix - FP 1&2


Red Bull completed a clean sweep of Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Sebastian Vettel again edged out Mark Webber during FP2.

Having already set the pace in the first session, Vettel was again top of the times having been the first of the front-runners to set a time on soft, with Webber's attempt leaving him just 0.044s shy. 

Romain Grosjean showed that Lotus will remain in the mix after setting the third fastest time, while team-mate Kimi Raikkonen struggled to get a clear lap in after starting his low fuel run late in the session and almost collided with Jenson Button at the final corner as he approached the much heavier McLaren.


Raikkonen recovered to set the eighth fastest time, but later experienced large blisters on his front tyres when running on high fuel.
Fernando Alonso showed encouraging pace for Ferrari as he was just 0.162s off Vettel's time after he set the fastest middle sector but lost time in the final corner. Felipe Massa backed up his team-mate with the fifth quickest time as he was 0.1s further back.

Having not shown its hand during FP1, Mercedes' soft tyre runs saw both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton over half a second off the pace as they struggled to match Red Bull in the final sector of the lap. However, Hamilton was more competitive on the long runs on medium tyres despite the high temperatures as the track rose to 45C.

The battle to join Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari and Mercedes in Q3 tomorrow looks set to be a close one between Force India and McLaren, with 0.3s covering all four cars from ninth to 12th place.

There was an odd incident for Max Chilton when the visor on the front of the cockpit snapped off, leaving him to return to the pits holding the visor out of the car.

Fernando Alonso showed encouraging pace for Ferrari as he was just 0.162s off Vettel's time after he set the fastest middle sector but lost time in the final corner. Felipe Massa backed up his team-mate with the fifth quickest time as he was 0.1s further back.
Having not shown its hand during FP1, Mercedes' soft tyre runs saw both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton over half a second off the pace as they struggled to match Red Bull in the final sector of the lap. However, Hamilton was more competitive on the long runs on medium tyres despite the high temperatures as the track rose to 45C.

The battle to join Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari and Mercedes in Q3 tomorrow looks set to be a close one between Force India and McLaren, with 0.3s covering all four cars from ninth to 12th place.

There was an odd incident for Max Chilton when the visor on the front of the cockpit snapped off, leaving him to return to the pits holding the visor out of the car.

Having not shown its hand during FP1, Mercedes' soft tyre runs saw both Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton over half a second off the pace as they struggled to match Red Bull in the final sector of the lap. However, Hamilton was more competitive on the long runs on medium tyres despite the high temperatures as the track rose to 45C.
The battle to join Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari and Mercedes in Q3 tomorrow looks set to be a close one between Force India and McLaren, with 0.3s covering all four cars from ninth to 12th place.

There was an odd incident for Max Chilton when the visor on the front of the cockpit snapped off, leaving him to return to the pits holding the visor out of the car.

The battle to join Red Bull, Lotus, Ferrari and Mercedes in Q3 tomorrow looks set to be a close one between Force India and McLaren, with 0.3s covering all four cars from ninth to 12th place.
There was an odd incident for Max Chilton when the visor on the front of the cockpit snapped off, leaving him to return to the pits holding the visor out of the car.

There was an odd incident for Max Chilton when the visor on the front of the cockpit snapped off, leaving him to return to the pits holding the visor out of the car.
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Racing has officially begun after 3 weeks of no action. So here's what we learnt from today:

The new Pirelli 2013 compound with the 2012 spec has proved to be 'the' tyre for Red Bull as they looked in a far different field of play than the others. Sebastian Vettel, the championship leader dominated both the sessions alongside Mark Webber right behind him. The medium compounds seem to be the ideal race tyre, as we saw every team making their long runs on them. They're en route to Pole position for tomorrow, but the Lotus boys aren't too far away. 


Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean both showed good pace around the track. And with Grosjean finishing P3 in practice 2, it was going to be a battle between the RedBulls and hopefully if Lotus maintain the same pace. Kimi was as close as 1s in Germany 3 weeks ago to take the win in slightly higher temperatures. If the temperatures are high (they usually are in Hungary), then Lotus will be in the hunt to win another race this season.


Mercedes did show pace, but rather than fight hard for pole and work on single lap pace, Mercedes shifted it's focus to work around the tyres and make it last. Having been depreived of the opprtunity to test as a aprt of the tyregate penalization (though they have all the information given by Pirelli), Mercedes have opted the rather, safer way by focusing on the race. 

Alonso was off pace in both the sessions, but the positive for Ferrari is that though qualifying might be a trouble on their heads on Saturday, on race day it's a completely different story. Alonso can make a car which is one whole second off pace, win. And that's what he has been doing this season. Overall, Hungary hasn't been a 'Ferrari track' the last few years, but with the new tyres on this weekend, Ferrari might be able to podium finish if the Lotus and Red Bulls run into tyre issues. 


McLaren drivers did their best to put one car in the top 10 in both the sessions. Though they were 1s off pace, the McLaren hasn't looked so strong before in this season. If they can spring a surprise around the Hungaroring and make it a top 4 finish, only time will tell. Otherwise, considering the race back in Germany with high temps and right strategy, Jenson button came close enough for a podium finish, but unfortunately the pace of the car wasn't enough to hold up the faster cars. 


Onto tomorrow's qualifying to see who'll lead the grid for Sunday's race!












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