BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 27: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain and McLaren drives during practice for the Hungarian Formula One Grand Prix at the Hungaroring on July 27, 2012 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)

McLaren's Lewis Hamilton was fastest in the first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Friday while Red Bull, hit by a new rule banning a controversial engine setting this week, endured a slow session.

Driving in warm, sunny conditions at the Hungaroring, Hamilton clocked a best time of one minute 22.821 seconds, followed by his McLaren team mate Jenson Button and world championship leader Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.

Red Bull's drivers failed to make the top 10. Australian Mark Webber, second behind Alonso in the Formula One championship, was 13th while Germany's Sebastian Vettel came in 15th.

Red Bull were forced to change their engine torque mapping after the governing International Automobile Federation (FIA) closed down a loophole in the regulations this week.


The new ruling, addressing a hugely complex issue, limits how much teams can change specific settings that control the amount of torque delivered by the engine in various conditions.

Red Bull were referred to the stewards over the engine torque mapping before last week's German Grand Prix.

They were cleared of a breaching the regulations but the FIA made it clear in its wording of the decision that it was not happy with the situation.

Vettel said on Thursday: “It's not as if the car doesn't work any more. I'm quite confident nothing will change. There is probably more fuss outside the car than the difference is inside.”

Red Bull have a reputation for keeping a low profile in qualifying.

Friday's conditions were a contrast to the wet build-ups to the previous two races at Silverstone and Hockenheim.

Hamilton and Button have both praised the performance upgrades which McLaren introduced following a disappointing race at Silverstone.

The Hungarian Grand Prix is the 11th of the 20 races in the season and will be followed by a one-month break. Alonso is 34 points clear of Webber at the top and will lead into the break regardless of the outcome of Sunday's race. - Reuters


1 Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren - 1min22.821

2 Jenson Button (Britain) McLaren - 1:22.922

3 Fernando Alonso (Spain) Ferrari - 1:23.397

4 Nico Rosberg (Germany) Mercedes - 1:23.628

5 Romain Grosjean (France) Lotus - 1:23.633

6 Michael Schumacher (Germany) Mercedes - 1:23.845

7 Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari - 1:23.904

8 Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Lotus - 1:23.983

9 Valtteri Bottas (Finland) Williams - 1:24.152

10 Sergio Perez (Mexico) Sauber - 1:24.268

11 Pastor Maldonado (Venezuela) Williams - 1:24.300

12 Kamui Kobayashi (Japan) Sauber - 1:24.394

13 Mark Webber (Australia) Red Bull - 1:24.546

14 Paul Di Resta (Britain) Force India - 1:24.559

15 Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Red Bull - 1:24.608

16 Daniel Ricciardo (Australia) Toro Rosso - 1:25.354

17 Jean-Eric Vergne (France) Toro Rosso - 1:25.559

18 Jules Bianchi (France) Force India - 1:25.715

19 Vitaly Petrov (Russia) Caterham - 1:26.440

20 Charles Pic (France) Marussia - 1:26.705

21 Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) Caterham - 1:26.755

22 Timo Glock (Germany) Marussia - 1:27.015

23 Pedro de la Rosa (Spain) Hispania - 1:27.101

24 Dani Clos (Spain) Hispania - 1:28.176