July 26th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - First practice for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix has ended with Sebastian Vettel fastest for Red Bull ahead of his team-mate, Mark Webber. Kimi Raikkonen set the third-fastest time for Lotus, followed by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso.
As expected, it was hot and dusty in Budapest. Air temperature was 30 degrees Celcius, while the track temperature was 45 degrees by the end of the session. It is normal for any circuit to be dusty on the opening day of a Grand Prix weekend, as the circuits cover a few kilometres and are therefore impractical to clean.
The cars do quite a good job of cleaning up the track surface by picking up and dispersing the dust with their tyres. In the case of the Hungaroring, there is perhaps more dust than at other tracks, simply because the circuit is not used much outside of Formula One and therefore sits idle for much of the season.
This session saw the first running on Pirelli's revised tyres at a race weekend. The tyre manufacturer has reverted to its 2012 construction, but has kept the 2013 compounds.
All of the teams barring Mercedes tested the new tyres at Silverstone last week, but had not had an opportunity to run them on a Grand Prix weekend.
Mercedes sampled the revised tyres for the first time this morning, and did not set any particularly impressive lap times, but that could simply be due to higher fuel loads. Their true pace will only become evident during tomorrow afternoon's qualifying session.
Sebastian Vettel, who set the fastest time of the session, spent almost the entire first hour in the Red Bull garage, emerging only to complete 4 laps but not setting a lap time. However, Vettel's car was clearly free of problems when he did set a time, as he soon found his way to the top of the time-sheets.
Vettel has never won the Hungarian Grand Prix, but his team-mate, Mark Webber, has. Webber set the second quickest time, and will be looking to secure his first victory of 2013 on Suinday as he battles to keep up with Vettel in the World Championship.
Kimi Raikkonen showed good pace in the Lotus, finishing the session less than a third of a second off the pace. In the other Lotus, Romain Grosjean set the fifth fastest time, just a tenth off Raikkonen. The Lotus drivers were split by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso, who is in need of a strong result to stay in touch with Vettel at the top of the drivers' points table.
Last week's Young Driver Test was the only real opportunity the teams have had to develop their cars since pre-season testing. For McLaren, it seems to have helped, as Jenson Button was sixth fastest in FP1 with Sergio Perez ninth. Both McLaren drivers were comfortably within a second of Vettel's quickest time. However, it is still too early in the weekend to really interpret the lap times.
This afternoon's FP2 session will provide some more information, as the drivers will use both compounds of tyre in the session.
Full results from FP1:
|1||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:22.723||19|
|2||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:22.982||0.259||24|
|7||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:23.390||0.667||20|
|18||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:24.608||1.885||21|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:26.808||4.085||25|