Practice 2: Hamilton owns day one before rain pours down
27 July, 2012
Jul.27 (Apex) Someone did the maths and apparently this is the tenth time that a grand prix session has been disrupted by rain this season, as in Hungary the heavens again opened up – this time shortly after the halfway mark through free practice two – to play a certain amount of havoc on the assembled Formula One circus.
Earlier, in the dry, Lewis Hamilton continued to set the pace, as he had in the morning, popping his best time of 1 minute 21.995 seconds, just before the rain descended in buckets over Hungaroring. He was never headed after that.
The session also saw Michael Schumacher plunge into the tyre barriers as he aquaplaned off the track at Turn 11 with Pirelli inters bolted onto the Mercedes. The seven time world champion is making a habit of denting his W03 in practice, particularly in the rain.
Kimi Raikkonen, in what is considered his ‘home’ race as multitudes of Finnish fans make the annual pilgrimage to Budapest, showed good pace in the Lotus E20 to set the second best lap time.
Next up were the two Brazilians in the field, enjoying a change of fortune, with Bruno Senna (who missed the FP1 as Valterri Bottas did cockpit duty) third fastest in the Williams and Ferrari’s Felipe Massa fourth quickest. Senna made up for lost time by notching up 34 laps, which was more than any of his rivals could muster.
Fractionally down on his Ferrari teammate was world championship points leader Fernando Alonso who ended fifth on the timing screens and half a second off Hamilton’s fastest. The Spaniard trying an assortment of front wings during the course of the session and summing up Ferrari’s day as a “studious session”.
Three quarters of a second down on Hamilton was his teammate Jenson Button, who won the 2011 edition of the race in Hungary, and finished the session sixth fastest and ahead of fellow Mercedes powered driver Paul di Resta in the Force India.
World champion Sebastian Vettel, who is looking to break his July win drought, was eighth on the timing screens after a well below par morning session which prompted speculation that the FIA instigated engine mapping restrictions on the Red Bulls are having an impact on the RB8′s performance. Mark Webber ended the afternoon session 14th.
Romain Grosjean was ninth fastest in the Lotus with Schumacher tenth best before his close encounter with a tyre wall.
Again the rain interruption makes the session a tough one to read, as most of the big guns did not get to ‘stretch their legs’ and target a good time before the rain came down. Are Red Bull in trouble? Probably not. Is Hamilton favourite? Probably. What about Ferrari? Never discount Alonso! Can Lotus finally get that elusive win? Who knows! Watch this space…
Subbed by AJN.
Hungarian Grand Prix, Free Practice 2 – Friday, 27 July 2012
|7||11||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:22.794||0.799||23|
|8||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:22.824||0.829||18|
|13||12||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:23.713||1.718||26|
|14||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:23.814||1.819||17|
|22||22||Pedro de la Rosa||HRT-Cosworth||1:27.106||5.111||19|
- Practice 2: Maldonado fastest as rain arrives in force at Hockenheim
- Montreal Practice 2: Hamilton owns day one with Ferrari duo in the hunt
- Monaco Practice 2: Button ends day on top in rain affected session
- Sepang Practice 2: Hamilton owns day one as Mercedes power rules
- Melbourne Practice 1: Button quickest from Hamilton