Lewis shows way in Hungary rain
FAST CREW: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fastest in both Friday practice sessions ahead of the 2012 Hungarian F1 GP - is Red Bull hiding something?
Author: Brian Homewood
Budapest, Hungary - McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fastest in both Friday practice sessions for the 2012 Hungarian F1 GP at the Hungaroring despite some rain.
Red Bull, hit by a new rule banning a controversial engine setting this week, endured two slow sessions.
Rain hit the second session but Hamilton clocked a best time of 1min21.995, slightly better than his first session time, followed by Kimi Raikkonen of Lotus and Williams' Bruno Senna. McLaren won the race in 2011.
BULLS WELL DOWN
Michael Schumacher slid off the track and crashed into a wall of tyres as the second session was hit by the brief, but heavy, summer shower.
Red Bull's drivers, who failed to make the top 10 in the first session, were well down the pecking order in the second; Sebastian Vettel was eighth and Mark Webber, second behind leader Fernando Alonso in the F1 Drivers’ championship, was 14th.
Red Bull was forced to change its engine torque mapping after the governing International Automobile Federation closed a regulations loophole this week. The new ruling, addressing a hugely complex issue, limits by how much teams can change settings that control the amount of torque delivered by the engine in various conditions.
Red Bull was referred to the stewards over the engine torque mapping before the previous race, the 2012 German GP. The team was cleared of breaching the regulations but the FIA made it clear in its wording of the decision that it was not happy with the situation.
Vettel said on Thursday: "It's not as if the car doesn't work any more. I'm quite confident nothing will change. There is probably more fuss outside the car than the difference is inside."
Red Bull, however, has a reputation for keeping a low profile in qualifying.
Hamilton and team mate Jenson Button have both praised the performance upgrades which McLaren introduced after their disappointing UK GP at Silverstone.
The Hungarian GP will be the 11th of the 20 races in 2012 and will be followed by a month’s break. Alonso is 34 points clear of Webber at the top of the Drivers’ table and will lead after the break no matter the outcome of Sunday's race.
Second free practice times, 2012 F1 GP of Hungary on Friday
1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren 1min21.995
2 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus 1min22.180
3 Bruno Senna (Brazil) Williams 1min22.253
4 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1min22.417
5 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari 1min22.582
6 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren 1min22.747
7 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India 1min22.794
8 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull 1min22.824
9 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus 1min22.922
10 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes 1min23.160
11 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes 1min23.164
12 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams 1min23.337
13 Nico Hulkenberg (Germany) Force India 1min23.713
14 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull 1min23.814
15 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber 1min23.841
16 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso 1min24.328
17 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso 1min24.345
18 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber 1mi24.623
19 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham 1min24.823
20 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham 1min25.220
21 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia 1min27.104
22 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) HRT 1min27.106
23 Charles Pic (France) Marussia 1min27.185
24 Narain Karthikeyan (India) HRT 1min27.822