Hamilton happy with his Friday efforts - credit: McLaren Media

On a day dominated (in Britain at least – let’s not forget F1 is a global sport) by news of F1’s coverage switching from free-to-air to pay TV, Lewis Hamilton’s Friday practice performance has been somewhat overshadowed. Not that he’ll mind: they don’t start handing out points until Sunday.

But the Brit has had a hugely encouraging first day at the Hungaroring circuit, topping both FP1 and FP2 at a track he’s already taken two race wins at. Coming off the back of his sterling success at last weekend’s German Grand Prix it’s promising stuff indeed.

Hamilton recorded a best of 1.23.350 in the morning session to edge out Red Bull’s championship-leading wunderkind Sebastian Vettel. Fernando Alonso was second ahead of Mark Webber, Jenson Button and sixth place Felipe Massa.

Also notable in FP1 was the return of Bruno Senna, who ran for the Lotus-liveried Renault team. He was 0.7s slower than regular racer Vitaly Petrov, but in the nostalgia stakes Bruno was P1: black and gold car, yellow helmet – mega.

The afternoon run saw Ferrari star Alonso cast as Hamilton’s nearest challenger, the McLaren man trimming his time to a 1.21.018 with Alonso two tenth off. The same drivers completed the top six as in the morning, the order behind the leading duo this time reading Button from Webber, Vettel and Massa.

The returning Jarno Trulli also enjoyed a good session, ending up half a second faster than team-mate Heikki Kovalainen. That weekend off – and the new powersteering system – clearly did him the world of good.

Full Times

DriverTeamFP1 TimeDiff to BestLapsRankingFP2 TimeDiff to BestLapsRankingTotal Laps
Sebastian VettelRed Bull/Renault1'21.5490.5313151'23.5640.21424255
Mark WebberRed Bull/Renault1'21.5080.493541'23.6660.31612447
Lewis HamiltonMcLaren/Mercedes1'21.0182911'23.35019148
Jenson ButtonMcLaren/Mercedes1'21.3220.3043431'23.7720.42220554
Fernando AlonsoFerrari1'21.2590.2414021'23.6420.29229369
Felipe MassaFerrari1'22.0991.0814061'24.1150.76525665
Nico RosbergMercedes1'22.1211.1033671'24.2500.922758
Bruno SennaRenaultno timeno time01'25.8552.505251525
Nick HeidfeldRenault1'23.8612.8432814no timeno time028
Vitaly PetrovRenault1'24.5463.52821171'25.0931.743221043
Pastor MaldonadoWilliams/Cosworth1'24.1813.16339151'26.1242.774251864
Adrian SutilForce India/Mercedes1'22.9811.96337101'25.3572.007171354
Paul Di RestaForce India/Mercedes1'22.8351.8174091'25.3361.986221262
Kamui KobayashiSauber/Ferrari1'23.0302.01234111'25.1131.763211155
Sergio P_rezSauber/Ferrari1'23.3992.38137121'24.6201.2724961
S_bastien BuemiToro Rosso/Ferrari1'24.8783.8635181'25.8902.54281663
J.AlguersuariToro Rosso/Ferrari1'24.1823.16426161'26.0992.749361762
Jarno TrulliLotus/Renault1'24.9943.97638191'27.3524.002212059
Daniel RicciardoHRT/Cosworth1'27.7306.71231231'29.9046.554262457
Vitantonio LiuzziHRT/Cosworth1'28.2557.23725241'29.0595.709242349
Timo GlockVirgin/Cosworth1'26.8235.80533211'28.5335.183302163