Vettel Shows Ominous Practice Form In Budapest

Sebastian Vettel heads into the weekend as red hot favourite to win his first Hungarian Grand Prix after a powerful performance on Friday at the Hungaroring. The world champion was quickest in both sessions ahead of Mark Webber as Red Bull went unbeaten all day with both cars.

Vettel’s advantage in FP1 was a little over a quarter of a second and the German set about building a lead as soon as the second session started. With the likes of Nico Rosberg and Romain Grosjean trading times in the mid 1:23s, Sebastian buried his Red Bull straight into the 1:22s with a lap 1.1s quicker than the rest.

Only Webber could get within half a second initially but Kimi Raikkonen, third fastest in the morning, jumped up to third before the Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa set near-identical times in the late 1:22s to close in on Webber. With half an hour gone, the goalposts would be moved again as Vettel pumped in a 1:21.264 on his first lap on option tyres.

That gave him a lead of a second and a half over the competition but Mark Webber’s stronger pace in the first sector allowed him to get within 0.044s while the Ferraris came in a tenth further back, Alonso edging out Massa once again. The last to show their hand in qualifying-spec were Lotus who sent their drivers out on soft tyres a full twenty minutes after Red Bull and with conditions more favourable, Romain Grosjean sneaked in front of Alonso despite waiting until the second timed lap to do so.

Raikkonen was the odd one out in the sister car though and failed to get a clear run in on options, catching Jenson Button’s heavy-fuelled McLaren on consecutive laps. The two even came close to contact at the final corner as Kimi searched for a way through, only to have the door slammed shut in his face.

As a result, the Finn could only manage eighth behind the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg but he did get ahead of the man who’d held him up with Button ninth in the leading McLaren. The troublesome MP4-28 did appear to be showing signs of improvement though with Button less than a second off the pace and ahead of Adrian Sutil and Paul Di Resta’s Force Indias.


 2013 Formula 1 eni Magyar Nagydij
Friday Practice Classification
Pos Driver Team Best Time Laps
1  Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing Renault 1:21.264 34
2  Mark Webber Red Bull Racing Renault 1:21.308 42
3  Romain Grosjean Lotus Renault 1:21.417 40
4  Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:21.426 34
5  Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.544 37
6  Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.802 42
7  Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:21.991 40
8  Kimi Raikkonen Lotus Renault 1:22.011 32
9  Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes 1:22.180 41
10  Adrian Sutil Force India Mercedes 1:22.304 41
11  Paul Di Resta Force India Mercedes 1:22.526 39
12  Sergio Perez McLaren Mercedes 1:22.529 37
13  Pastor Maldonado Williams Renault 1:22.781 36
14  Esteban Gutierrez Sauber Ferrari 1:22.837 42
15  Nico Hulkenberg Sauber Ferrari 1:22.841 39
16  Jean-Eric Vergne STR Ferrari 1:23.369 34
17  Daniel Ricciardo STR Ferrari 1:23.411 41
18  Valtteri Bottas Williams Renault 1:23.646 34
19  Charles Pic Caterham Renault 1:24.325 38
20  Giedo van der Garde Caterham Renault 1:25.065 36
21  Jules Bianchi Marussia Cosworth 1:25.143 39
22  Max Chilton Marussia Cosworth 1:26.647 33