Lewis Hamilton was the man to beat during the first practice session in Hungary, as the teams and drivers looks toward a well-deserved month long summer break before re-starting the season at Spa on September 2nd.
Jenson Button, who finished 2nd in todays´first session a tenth down, said on Wednesday that they are now back in the hunt, after a huge improvement in Germany due to an upgrade to the car that paid off.
“The result in Germany puts us right back in the hunt,” Button said. “In that situation, there’s nothing better than a back-to-back weekender: you return to the cockpit almost before you’ve unpacked your bags from the previous race, so it’s great to carry forward that momentum.
“There’s every reason to believe we can get another good result this year. Our pace at Hockenheim gives us cause for encouragement.”
Button finished 3rd in the race, but was promoted to 2nd after Sebastian Vettel received a post-race 20-second penalty, for his late race overtaking move on Button, where Vettel left the track to overtake the Briton.
McLaren have been very good in the practice sessions, but a string of bad luck, retirements, poor pit-stops and a scramble to find pace, has left Hamilton in 5th place with 92 points and Button in 7th with just 68. The team is still 3rd in the constructor’s championship, but has Lotus breathing down their necks, one single point behind.
3rd place finisher today was Fernando Alonso, who comes into the Hungarian Grand Prix on a high, after winning the German GP last weekend, 4th was Nico Rosberg, who held on for 3rd for some time, after taking it away from team mate Michael Schumacher, who finished in 6th, behind Grosjean in 5th. Felipe Massa ended his session in 7th, ahead of Kimi Raikkonen, Valtteri Bottas and Sergio Perez in the final top ten spot.
Pastor Maldonado ended his session in 11th ahead of Kamui Kobayashi, Mark Webber, Paul Di Resta and Sebastian Vettel 15th. Then we have the Toro Rosso drivers with Daniel Ricciardo leading Jean-Eric Vergne, Jules Bianchi 18th for Force India, as Vitaly Petrov goes 19th for Caterham. Charles Pic is 20th ahead of Heikki Kovalainen, then Timo Glock, Pedro de la Rosa and Dani Clos.