Although Red Bull showed impressive pace in the first practice session at the Hungaroring it’s clear we haven’t seen representative times from all their rivals.
Chief among which are Ferrari and McLaren who were running different programmes this morning in Hungary.
Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom
As the Hungaroring does not get used much between F1 races the track is typically very dusty first thing on a Friday. As it cleans up and rubber goes down it improves very quickly – teams refer to this as the track’s ‘evolution’.
As teams tend to use just one set of tyres in first practice the improvement in the track is usually cancelled out by tyre degradation towards the end of the session. But with the track improving so much, and most teams doing very little running in the first half hour, we saw times improving across the board even in the final minutes.
But the Hungaroring is also a track where each lap of fuel carries a significant time penalty – around 0.08s per lap, one of the highest of the year. And it seems very likely from looking at these times that several of Red Bull’s key rivals were running with more fuel on board.
Red Bull’s advantage was greatest in the second sector of the lap – no surprise there, as it contains turns four, ten and eleven, the quickest corners on the track and a happy hunting ground for the RB6. Sebastian Vettel was 0.567s faster through this than everyone apart from his team mate.
Slow-motion replays during the session showed the car’s flexing front wing working to great effect
But this is also a good track for Red Bull as it plays down straight-line speed disadvantage. Mark Webber was the slowest driver through the speed trap (281.9kph versus Paul di Resta’s best of 293.3kph) yet was only a whisker off Vettel at the top of the times.
The middle sector is also the point on the lap where a lighter fuel load has the greatest effect on lap times. Ferrari were eight tenths off Red Bull in this sector, but not as far behind elsewhere, a further indication that they were doing more high-fuel running in the first session.
They may have had an eye on the weather and wanted to concentrate on their race set-up. Sunday is expected to be dry but a band of rain is heading towards the track and could reach it ahead of this afternoon’s session, though at the time of writing it looks unlikely.
Lewis Hamilton set his best time on his first flying lap – suggesting there is a lot more time to come from his McLaren that his 18th place on the times sheet indicates.
Force India conducted back-to-back tests of their exhaust-blown diffuser which was run on Adrian Sutil’s car while Paul di Resta ran without the upgrade for comparison.
Sutil set his best time, a 1’23.003, half an hour before di Resta’s best, suggesting he had more time in hand. The team pronounced themselves happy with the amount of data they’d gathered from running the new part.
Drivers’ best lap times
|Car||Driver||Car||Best lap||Gap||Lap||At time||Laps|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.976||19||68||29|
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’21.106||0.130||15||59||27|
|6||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’22.764||1.788||16||79||24|
|11||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’23.003||2.027||7||61||19|
|15||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’23.520||2.544||18||92||19|
|16||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’23.780||2.804||10||49||22|
|17||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’23.868||2.892||10||40||28|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’26.686||5.710||13||73||17|
Drivers’ ultimate lap times
A drivers’ ultimate lap is their three best sector times added together.
|Car||Driver||Car||Ultimate lap||Gap||Deficit to best|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.706||0.270|
|2||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.907||0.201||0.199|
|9||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’22.628||1.922||0.136|
|14||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’23.003||2.297||0.000|
|16||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1’23.381||2.675||0.139|
|17||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’23.586||2.880||0.282|
|18||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’23.761||3.055||0.019|
|22||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’26.598||5.892||0.088|
2010 Hungarian Grand Prix
- Technical review: German and Hungarian Grands Prix
- From the stands: Nikolai Vogler watches two races in one week
- Ecclestone asks Hungarian President “Was your crown made in China?”
- Michael defends Barrichello strategy
- How F1 can make pit stops safer
- 2010 Hungarian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic race weekend review
- A move too far: Schumacher forces stewards to take a stand
- Who was the best driver of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend?
- Red Bull mark 100th F1 start with win (Hungarian Grand Prix facts and stats)
- Red Bull fly to victory but FIA set to clip their wings (Red Bull race review)
Image (C) www.mclaren.com