Sebastian Vettel set the pace in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Red Bull started its weekend in perfect fashion.
The world champion and teammate Mark Webber were the only two drivers capable of lapping the Hungaroring circuit in less than 83 seconds, with Vettel’s 1m22.723s good enough to secure the top spot.
Webber finished 0.259sec behind, with Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen in third, less than a tenth behind the Australian. Fernando Alonso was fourth quickest in the Ferrari, while Raikkonen’s teammate Romain Grosjean completed a top five covered by less than 0.4sec.
Jenson Button was the quickest McLaren driver in sixth, ahead of Force India’s Adrian Sutil and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg. teammate Lewis Hamilton, last year’s polesitter in Hungary, finished down in 13th.
Rosberg, in need of running to make up for missing the Silverstone test, was the first of the front-runners,and the second driver overall, to completed a timed lap, over half an hour after the session had started.
The German’s run prompted several others to jump onto the track, with Raikkonen quickly moving to the top of the times with a lap of 1m24m.056s. That was bettered by Perez, the first man to lap in the 1m23s, the Mexican soon joined by Webber and Pastor Maldonado.
With less than 40 minutes left, Alonso moved to the top of times in the Ferrari as he completed his first full run of the morning.
Vettel, who only completed installation laps to that point, managed his first timed lap with some 20 minutes of the session left, moving to ninth position. But both the German and teammate Webber upped their pace in the following minutes, with Vettel setting a new benchmark of 1m22.723s, over two tenths quicker than what the Australian had manged moments earlier. No other driver ran in the 1m22s and the Red Bull duo stayed on top.
The only incident of note during the session was a spin by Jean-Eric Vergne with eight minutes to go. The Toro Rosso driver resumed without further drama.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m22.723s 19 2. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m22.982s +0.259s 24 3. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m23.010s +0.287s 20 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m23.099s +0.376s 22 5. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m23.111s +0.388s 20 6. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.370s +0.647s 26 7. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m23.390s +0.667s 20 8. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m23.531s +0.808s 28 9. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m23.591s +0.868s 26 10. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m23.911s +1.188s 21 11. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.119s +1.396s 21 12. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m24.150s +1.427s 27 13. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m24.157s +1.434s 28 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.204s +1.481s 15 15. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m24.299s +1.576s 19 16. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m24.314s +1.591s 23 17. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m24.383s +1.660s 24 18. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m24.608s +1.885s 21 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m25.827s +3.104s 24 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m26.808s +4.085s 25 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m27.617s +4.894s 20 22. Rodolfo Gonzalez Marussia-Cosworth 1m28.927s +6.204s 25