F1 Hungaroring FP2 Results & Report: Hamilton Leads, Red Bull Losing Outright Speed


What Happens When It Looks Like a Macca Weekend

9:42am EST — Lewis Hamilton (1:21.018) was fastest at the end of the second practice of the 2011 Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, leading Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Mark Webber, and Sebastian Vettel as the top five in a session marked by longer race simulation runs and threatened rain that never fell and led to sunny skies. Times dropped as the typically green Hungaroring circuit rubbered in, with Red Bull a bit slower in overall speed but a bit more consistently quick on longer runs with heavy fuel and older tires.

Hamilton (1:23.350) led the first Friday practice despite irritation with Alguersuari for holding him up when both were on a quick lap. The Briton led the latter third or so of the session after third fastest Alonso had relinquished control of the timesheets to second fastest Vettel. Though no rain fell, the Hungaroring was damp and slightly cool, catching fourth fastest Webber out and shoving him into the barrier. The Australian was unhurt, but the nose was ripped off his Red Bull and there was possible right front suspension damage, and ended his session seventeen minutes early. Button and Massa completed the fastest six.

Algerusuari led Ricciardo and D’Ambrosio out, as per usual, at the start of the ninety-minute second practice session, with Glock, Trulli, and Buemi following. Alguersuari (1:27.596) was the first to set a time, straightaway on the super soft tires. Perez led when five minutes have passed, followed by Heidfeld, Trulli, Petrov, Buemi, Kovalainen, maldonado, Ricciardo, D’Ambrosio, and Glock the top eleven as rain threatened. Times and changes to the order came quickly, with Petrov soon leading Barrichello at the top of the timesheets. Perez quickly made up time as all but Alonso had completed an installation lap and remained on track.

Hamilton (1:23.593) was next to the top, just two tenths off his mornign practice lap time. He wouldn’t stay there long, as Massa took nearly seven tenths off the Briton’s time. Ferrari had explained before the session, “This session will be aimed more to the tyre comparison on short and long distance.” Ten minutes in, Massa led Hamilton, Button, di Resta, Perez, Kobayashi, Petrov, Heidfeld, and Barrichello as the top ten. However, Vettel (1:22.536) took the fastest lap a minute later.

Soon, though, Alonso (1:22.297) led Button in times faster than Vettel. The Spaniard remained fastest fifteen minutes into the slowly moving but furiously working session, with Vettel, Button, Massa, Hamilton, Webber, di Resta, Perez, Sutil, and Kobayashi the top ten. Button next took two tenths off Alonso’s time to go fastest, just after Massa (on a fast lap) lost the rear through the DRS zone and spun. The car was undamaged, but he lost time. Five minutes later, things had settled down momentarily, as only the Ferraris and Alguersuari remained on the track. Alonso took that opportunity to go fastest again, by two hundredths over Button’s time.

He remained fastest with the session was one third over, as weather reports indicated that the approaching rain would not fall until later in the session, if at all. Button, Vettel, Massa, Hamilton, Webber, Alguersuari, di Resta, Perez, and Sutil were the fastest ten. Though the times were not changing as teams worked on testing longer runs, Hamilton and others continued to twitch about and lock up as the track began to get grippier.

Massa was the first to to a proper fast lap on the super soft tires, with fifty-two minutes remaining in the session. He was fastestby nearly three tenths in the first sector, slid well wide to pass Maldonado (who was suffering a slow puncture on his right rear), then got very wide and into the dirt to ruin his lap. Meanwhile, Alonso was beginning his own fast lap on the softer tires. In the first two sectors was six tenths faster than his own time, taking eight tenths off his fastest lap on the harder tire compound in his first fast lap on that softer tire. Alonso cut the chicane on the next lap, making it impossible to know how the Ferrari fares on the softer tire on its second full lap.

At the halfway point, Alonso led Button by eight tenths and the two on different tire compounds. Massa, Vettel, Hamilton, Webber, Alguersuari, di Resta, Perez, and Sutil completed the fastest ten. Buemi, Kobayashi, Petrov, Heidfeld, Barrichello, Maldonado, Rosberg, Schumacher, Trulli, Glock, Kovalainen, D’Ambrosio, Ricciardo, and Liuzzi completed the order. Perez quickly moved up to seventh. Button was the next of the fastest teams to use the softer tire, gaining on Alonso in the first sector but losing time in the middle sector, ending the lap a bit slower. However, Hamilton (1:21.018) managed to post a lap two tenths faster than Alonso at the same time on his own set of the softer tires.

As the time ticked past, Ferrari explained, “Our crew is preparing the long runs in the garage with some set up changes. especially on Felipe’s car.” Alonso returned to the track on the super softs while Massa was back out on the harder/medium compound.

On his first fast lap on the aofter tire, Vettel managed only fifth fastest, a half second slower than Hamilton. The Briton led Alonso, Button, Webber, Vettel, Massa, Rosberg, di Resta, Sutil, and Kobayashi as the top ten, with Massa a half second slower than Vettel. Interestingly, Ferrari spoke to Alonso on the radio learning that the tires were at a stage “three, or two” after a few laps on the softer compound. Karun Chandhok suggested that the tire degradation scale was likely to ten. Much of the field was in the garage while those on the track appeared to be on longer, race-simulation runs that gave lap times five or six seconds off their fastest laps.

When twenty minutes remained, Hamilton was back out, as more and more drivers were lapping under the sunny skies. Of the top ten, only Vettel and Sutil remained in the garage. Alonso had his own trouble, sliding off track for a moment as the rear stepped out on him, but continuing on. The order had not changed much, with Schumacher sliding into eighth with fifteen minutes to go.

The long runs continued as ten minutes remained, with all of the top five (Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Webber, and Vettel) posting quite similar heavy-fuel, older tire lap times. Red Bull requested that Vettel target a 1:27.5s lap time for as long as possibly whilst still saving the tire. Despite some practice stops for both Alonso and Massa, the times remained seconds off the fastest pace, but valuable information streamed back to the garages. In the end the race pace was moderately close between the McLarens, Ferraris, and Red Bulls, though the Red Bulls appeared best able to maintain a few tenths of speed over the other teams on the oldest tires, despite their surprising lack of outright pace.

Final Times for FP2, Hungarian Grand Prix:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1:21.018 29
2. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:21.259 +0.241 40
3. Jenson Button McLaren 1:21.322 +0.304 34
4. Mark Webber Red Bull 1:21.508 +0.490 35
5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull 1:21.549 +0.531 31
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:22.099 +1.081 40
7. Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1:22.121 +1.103 36
8. Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1:22.440 +1.422 36
9. Paul di Resta Force India 1:22.835 +1.817 40
10. Adrian Sutil Force India 1:22.981 +1.963 37
11. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber 1:23.030 +2.012 34
12. Sergio Perez Sauber 1:23.399 +2.381 37
13. Rubens Barrichello Williams 1:23.679 +2.661 34
14. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1:23.861 +2.843 28
15. Pastor Maldonado Williams 1:24.181 +3.163 39
16. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso 1:24.182 +3.164 26
17. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1:24.546 +3.528 21
18. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso 1:24.878 +3.860 35
19. Jarno Trulli Lotus 1:24.994 +3.976 38
20. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus 1:25.447 +4.429 39
21. Timo Glock Virgin Racing 1:26.823 +5.805 33
22. Jerome D’Ambrosio Virgin Racing 1:27.261 +6.243 28
23. Daniel Ricciardo HRT 1:27.730 +6.712 31
24. Tonio Liuzzi HRT 1:27.255 +7.237 25
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