After failing to get the top results they hoped for in Germany last weekend, both Red Bull Racing drivers have made a promising start and lead the way in Formula One's Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend ...
After failing to get the top results they hoped for in Germany last weekend, both Red Bull Racing drivers have made a promising start and lead the way in Formula One's Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix this weekend in Budapest.
During this morning's first practice, it was Sebastian Vettel who set the pace, ahead of the rest of the field. He managed to set a lap time of 1.20.087s, which Ferrari's Fernando Alonso attempted to edge closer in second practice. However, Vettel was the man on form, who left his rivals far behind him on track.
"I think this morning didn't really give a clear picture of each team's pace, but this afternoon it was tighter," said Vettel. "The Ferraris seem very quick again here, on both the long and short runs. They will be quick again tomorrow and we also shouldn't forget the McLarens; they have proven many times this year that they can make a step forward from Friday to Saturday. It's a difficult track here, quite bumpy and rough, but the car feels good."
His Australian team mate Mark Webber, was held up in traffic which is not the first time this season. In last weekend's qualifying for the German GP, Webber failed to set a hot lap due to other cars in his way. As a result it was a Red Bull sandwich, with Alonso in the middle taking second position, and his Brazilian team mate, Felipe Massa, made it into fourth place.
Current Drivers' and Constructors' Championship leaders, McLaren were still struggling to find the pace, despite new upgrades to their cars. Lewis Hamilton pipped team mate Jenson Button in practice overall, with a sixth place result and Button, achieving ninth, ahead of Mercedes driver, Michael Schumacher.
There were also a few surprising top runners in practice, especially those who are midfield runners at present. The Renault team impressed, with Vitaly Petrov securing fifth place, and team mate Robert Kubica, not too far behind in seventh.
Elsewhere in the field there were mini battles, between smaller teams and their drivers. Despite his good form of late in qualifying and races, Rubens Barrichello managed twelfth position, and was out performed by team mate Nico Hulkenberg, who grabbed 8th place and made it into the top ten.
Force India's bad run continued, and in today's practice Adrian Sutil's car suffered with mechanical problems, leaving him with very little time to take to the track. This left him in a disappointing sixteenth position. His Italian team mate, Vitantonio Liuzzi did not have much luck either, and finished practice down in eighteenth place.
Of the new teams in Formula One, it was Jarno Trulli for Lotus who achieved 19th place at the end of practice. His Finnish team mate Heikki Kovalainen, also had problems with his car like Sutil. Kovalainen was at the opposite end of the field to the leader Vettel, and finished last in 24th position.
When tomorrow's qualifying gets under way, the focus will particularly be on the front runners, Red Bull and Ferrari, as they fight for pole, and to take the first row of the grid for the race on Sunday.