Wurz top in Hungarian GP first practice

Wurz top in Hungarian GP first practice

McLaren third driver Alex Wurz set the pace in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix with a best time of 1:21.411. He was a very comfortable 1.4 seconds quicker than the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello in second, and Jenson ...

McLaren third driver Alex Wurz set the pace in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix with a best time of 1:21.411. He was a very comfortable 1.4 seconds quicker than the Ferrari of Rubens Barrichello in second, and Jenson Button's BAR was third quickest.

Alexander Wurz.
Photo by xpb.cc.

Track temperature was approximately 45 degrees at the start of the session, with the air around 10 degrees lower, as the cars came out for installation laps. Once again Nicolas Kiesa is on third driver duty for Jordan and he was first to venture out, followed by Toyota No.3 Ricardo Zonta and the Minardi of Robert Doornbos.

Jordan's Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan were next to appear, then Wurz and the Saubers of Jacques Villeneuve and Felipe Massa. Zonta was the first to set a time, 1:28.512, which he quickly bought down to 1:26.936 and then 1:25.918 on his following efforts.

For the first time this season Minardi ran a third car, with test driver Chanoch Nissany behind the wheel. He took second fastest and Kiesa third, then Wurz took the second spot, just over a tenth off Zonta. Wurz then went to the top, 1:25.161, and the McLaren stayed out for another lap to clock 1:24.759.

Kiesa moved ahead of Nissany but Red Bull third driver Tonio Liuzzi demoted them both when he took third on his first effort. Doornbos slotted into fourth and those six were the only ones to set a time in the first half hour. Zonta and Liuzzi both had a bit of a spin, the track obviously very dusty this morning.

Wurz dropped his time to 1:24.313, half a second up on Zonta, and then again to 1:24.029, the gap widening to eight tenths. Karthikeyan was next to get himself onto the time sheet, sixth, and Zonta improved to four tenths off Wurz. Nick Heidfeld's Williams arrived in third and teammate Mark Webber in fifth.

Monteiro took seventh to lead the Jordan trio and Heidfeld improved his time but stayed third, a second down on Wurz. Nissany's first practice session came to an end when he stuck the Minardi in a gravel trap in the middle sector. The pair of BARs appeared with 15 minutes to go, Button and Takuma Sato 11th and 12th respectively as they warmed up.

Button then climbed to second, eight tenths off Wurz, and Sato to fourth, and Giancarlo Fisichella was the first Renault on the time sheet, sixth. Teammate Fernando Alonso arrived in fourth shortly afterwards and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari and Button traded second. Button stayed ahead and Wurz improved his time to 1:22.118.

Barrichello put his Ferrari sixth and Liuzzi was fourth, but Barrichello then ousted the Red Bull to take the place. The yellow flags came out again as Zonta was pushed into the pits, apparently some problem with the Toyota, then Kiesa's Jordan came to a halt in the middle sector to compound the hold-up.

This hampered Massa, Villeneuve, the McLarens of Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya, and the Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli, all of whom had just come out to set a time. When the track went green Ralf posted 11th and Raikkonen 14th, followed by Trulli in 15th and Montoya rocketed up to second, 1.4 off teammate Wurz.

Massa followed into fifth and Raikkonen improved to second, then Ralf took the fifth spot. Button and Alonso moved up to fourth and eighth respectively after being shuffled down the times, and Sato likewise to fifth. Barrichello jumped up to second and Michael to fourth, while Wurz lowered his time to 1:21.411.

Massa moved back up to the fifth spot but was immediately demoted by Heidfeld, and Button returned to third. That brief burst of activity signalled the end of the session, with Wurz well over a second clear of Barrichello. Without the lead McLaren in the picture, from Barrichello to Heidfeld in seventh were covered by a second.

The two Red Bull race drivers did not set a time and there were no particularly remarkable performances. Ferrari seemed a little more on the pace than previous weekends but it's too soon to tell just yet. Final top eight classification: Wurz, Barrichello, Button, Raikkonen, M. Schumacher, Massa, Heidfeld, Montoya.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Takuma Sato , Jarno Trulli , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mark Webber , Jacques Villeneuve , Nick Heidfeld , Kimi Raikkonen , Ricardo Zonta , Nicolas Kiesa , Fernando Alonso , Alexander Wurz , Narain Karthikeyan , Felipe Massa , Tiago Monteiro , Robert Doornbos , Chanoch Nissany
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , McLaren , Williams , Minardi , Jordan