Nico Rosberg on track ahead of the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix [Picture: Mercedes-Benz].
Raikkonen, with his future at Ferrari in the spotlight amid speculation he will be replaced at the end of the year, was still third fastest in that session with Australian Daniel Ricciardo, last year’s victor, fourth for Red Bull.
And McLaren’s Jenson Button has lauded the “band of brothers” mentality displayed by his peers in the wake of Bianchi’s passing.
Marshals remove the crashed vehicle of Force India driver Sergio Perez from the circuit during the first … Toro Rosso Renault – Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz.
Pastor Maldonado: “For sure it was something of a mixed up day, but it was good to get some decent laps in the afternoon and make some progress with the set-up of the auto”. Marussia Ferrari – Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. Felipe Nasr (Brazil) Sauber – Ferrari 1:26.379 15.
Jolyon Palmer drove Grosjean’s Lotus in FP1, and Fabio Leimer was in Merhi’s Marussia. I want to be at the front of the field, and lead the race if possible. “Overall, the performance today was more or less what we expected”.
“It’s a big challenge to get a good lap here in these conditions and I think everyone has struggled a bit”.
“As racing drivers when one of your competitors and friends passes away it’s a very tough time, but it doesn’t stop you from jumping in the vehicle the next day – it’s what we do, it’s the way the sport is”. “It’s what we love to do and when something like this happens to our colleague, we all know it could have been ourselves in that auto – but it doesn’t really change anything”.
The F1 champion needed little time to shoot up the leaderboard, and then went even faster, finishing. Now the roles have been reversed, with Hamilton shining on Saturdays while Rosberg has improved his race pace.
Rosberg arrives in Hungary hoping to spoil Hamilton’s party.
With 40 minutes remaining, the drivers re-emerged on their used tyres.
Massa had a near escape from death in 2009 when he sustained life-threatening head injuries at the Hungaroring.
Miraculously, the Mexican driver walked away unscathed despite his machine flipping over before skidding down the track upside down during yesterday’s morning practice session.
Friday’s opening practice session in the soaring heat in Budapest was the first since Bianchi’s tragic passing.
Video replays indicated a right rear suspension failure after the auto went over artificial grass at the exit to turn 11 and pitched sideways across the track and into the barriers.
The Hungary GP will take place on Sunday, with Hamilton, Rosberg, and Sebastian Vettel seen as the favourites.