Hamilton leads McLaren resurgence

July 27th, 2012 - 10:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Budapest, July 27 (IANS/ RIA Novosti) McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in both practice sessions for the Formula One’s Hungarian Grand Prix Friday as the British team’s performance suggested upgrades to their car were having a significant effect.

Most of the field went faster in the second session, with Hamilton’s lap of 1 minute 21.995 seconds, the quickest of the day and almost a second quicker than his chart-topping time from the first session.

Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen’s time of 1 minute 22.180 seconds was good enough for second, while Bruno Senna was third for Williams, 0.258 seconds off Hamilton’s pace. Ferrari’s Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso were fourth and fifth.

Hamilton’s teammate Jenson Button was unable to replicate the form that saw him take second position in the first session, and was sixth, almost a second slower than his compatriot.

Heavy rain fell with 40 minutes remaining, making it almost impossible for any of the drivers to beat their earlier times.

One of several drivers to brave the conditions by venturing out on intermediate tires, Michael Schumacher lost control at the sweeping turn 11 and crashed, causing severe damage to his Mercedes.

“Michael out in the tyre wall. All ok. Not his car,” the Mercedes team tweeted.

For Schumacher, the incident was the second time he had crashed in a wet practice session in two events, after hitting the wall in Germany last week. He was 10th fastest.

Earlier, Romain Grosjean had shunted his Lotus into the wall after just seven minutes of the session, damaging the front wing, but it was swiftly repaired and he was able to return to setting competitive times.

Red Bull’s problems continued, leading to speculation that a rule change banning their controversial engine set-up had badly hindered the reigning champions.

Sebastian Vettel was eighth in second practice, up from 15th in the first session, while Mark Webber was 14th, down from 13th.

–IANS/RIA Novosti
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