|© AP Photo/Darko Bandic
Lewis Hamilton claimed the top time in the opening practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday eclipsing teammate Nico Rosberg by well over a tenth of a second.
Although Mercedes setting the fastest times is hardly suspiring, what was notable was that Kimi Raikkonen appeared to have found some pace which the Finn has been missing all season.
The Ferrari driver was third, 0.6 seconds off the pace, and well ahead of teammate Fernando Alonso, who looked ragged all session constantly battling oversteer and fighting with the wheel of his car.
The Spaniard was a second slower than Hamilton in fourth, while Sebastian Vettel was another four-tenths off in fifth and comfortably ahead of his Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo, who was eighth.
A general lack of grip on a dirty track affected all drivers as a few locked up or went wide when negotiating corners suggesting that the times were not really representative.
Kevin Magnussen was sixth in the McLaren ahead of Toro Rosso driver Jean-Eric Vergne. Jenson Button and Williams’ Felipe Massa completed the top ten.
Max Chilton could manage only five laps after his Marussia started smoking after his installation lap at the start of the session. He promptly returned to the garage where it was established that the cause was due to an oil leak. However, the team took nearly all of the session before it was fixed to send the Briton out again.
Gaining pole position for Sunday's race is considered a huge plus on the twisting Hungaroring circuit, where passing opportunities are very limited. Hamilton is looking to win his third race in a row and his fifth overall on this track. He has started from the top spot on the grid four times in Hungary.