At the end of the second practice session in Hungary it was the four cars running the much-discussed flexi-wings that headed the times.
Red Bull look like the team to beat and it remains to be seen whether Ferrari can get close enough to the RB6s to to threaten the near-monopoly on pole position they have enjoyed this year.
Tick/untick drivers’ names to show their laps, click and drag to zoom
The rain heading for Hungary that was observed yesterday fell short of reaching the track, giving the teams three hours of dry running in which to acclimatise during today’s two sessions.
In second practice they continued running the medium tyre to begin with, before switching to the super-soft compound in the middle third of the session.
Sebastian Vettel managed the transition best. The gap between him and his team mate swelled from a tenth either way to half a second in Vettel’s favour once they put the super-softs on. And he would have been quicker too but for traffic at the end of his best lap – have a look at the ultimate lap times list below.
According to Bridgestone, the amount of degradation on the super-soft tyre will largely come down to how hot it gets. Track temperatures reached 38C in the second session and 40C in the first, but no-one ran the super-soft tyre then.
At the end of second practice Mark Webber ran a 14-lap stint on super-softs with no obvious degradation worries. The same was true for Nico Hülkenberg’s 19-lap run. Still, it’s worth keeping an eye on this should the track temperature climb into the forties tomorrow and on Sunday.
But the vagaries of the super-soft tyre left some drivers puzzled, including Adrian Sutil:
In general we didn’t get the best out of the car today. We are struggling a little on the softer tyre and neither Tonio nor myself could improve from the hard tyre. There doesn’t seem to be a peak with it, unlike the hard tyre that you know will peak and come in, but it’s much more difficult to understand where we are with the soft one.
As expected, Ferrari were closer to Red Bull in the second practice session, though only they know how much fuel they had on board. In the tell-tale middle sector, Fernando Alonso was just over three-tenths slower than Vettel, much closer than he was this morning.
Red Bull aren’t running their F-duct this weekend and Ferrari ran some laps without their blown rear wing to see if the change was worth making (here’s Massa running without his blown rear wing).
Mercedes, meanwhile, are still struggling with their car. They experimented running without the Hockenheim-spec rear wing and floor, using the Silverstone versions instead, as they seem to have taken a wrong turn on car development.
McLaren are also in trouble and are bracing themselves for a bit of a kicking this weekend. Lewis Hamilton said the gaps between them and the Red Bulls on the sector charts was a realistic indication of their positions. They were nine tenths of a second slower in the middle sector and half a second down in the final sector.
The MP4-25 has tended to struggle on bumpy circuits this year – such as the new sections at Bahrain and Silverstone. As a result, instead of taking the fight to Red Bull and Ferrari they look more likely to be threatened by Renault. The R30s have a new front wing, rear wing and a floor upgrade this weekend.
Practice has thrown up few surprises so far with Red Bull and Ferrari looking set to do some significant damage to McLaren’s position in the championship. We’ll find out in final practice tomorrow morning whether any of the teams are able to make set-up changes that improve their position relative to their rivals.
Drivers’ best laps
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Best lap||Gap||Lap||At time||Laps|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.087||20||64||33|
|3||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.597||0.510||19||62||36|
|11||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’21.809||1.722||21||57||38|
|15||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’22.469||2.382||9||29||43|
|16||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’22.507||2.420||7||20||22|
|17||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’22.602||2.515||21||51||38|
|18||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’23.138||3.051||24||66||36|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’25.669||5.582||20||65||32|
Drivers’ ultimate laps
|Pos.||Car||Driver||Car||Ultimate lap||Gap||Deficit to best|
|1||5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull-Renault||1’19.878||0.209|
|3||6||Mark Webber||Red Bull-Renault||1’20.477||0.599||0.120|
|13||22||Pedro de la Rosa||Sauber-Ferrari||1’21.809||1.931||0.000|
|15||17||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’22.418||2.540||0.051|
|16||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1’22.423||2.545||0.084|
|17||16||Sebastien Buemi||Toro Rosso-Ferrari||1’22.587||2.709||0.015|
|18||15||Vitantonio Liuzzi||Force India-Mercedes||1’22.914||3.036||0.224|
|21||25||Lucas di Grassi||Virgin-Cosworth||1’25.633||5.755||0.036|
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) Bridgestone/Ercole Colombo