Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg enjoyed a comfortable margin over Ferrari as Mercedes dominated first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
On a drying track after morning rain, Mercedes was quickly down to work on the supersoft tyre as conditions improved, seeing Hamilton head team-mate Rosberg by 0.237s. Rosberg - who signed a new two-year contract with the team on Friday morning - was first on the supersofts and beat last year's pole position time by half a second before Hamilton bettered it.
The quicker lap times are in part thanks to the Hungaroring having been resurfaced, but the Mercedes pair were 1.5s quicker than Ferrari as Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen finished the session third and fourth respectively. Both Ferrari drivers also used the supersoft tyre to set their times, with Vettel ruining his first run on the red-walled tyre by spinning at Turn 12.
Red Bull is expected to get close to Mercedes this weekend but did not show comparable pace as it only ran the soft compound tyre in the first session. Daniel Ricciardo was fifth quickest, 1.8s slower than Hamilton but nearly 0.3s clear of team-mate Max Verstappen.
There was encouragement for McLaren as Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button were seventh and eighth respectively, but both appeared to be struggling with the car's handling. Alonso had a spin at the final corner and then highlighted the difficulty with the rear end when he ran wide at Turn 5 after a snap on entry. Button then followed suit, spinning at Turn 5 after a spell in the garage.
Romain Grosjean - using supersofts - and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and the Williams pair of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas.
For the drivers getting FP1 outings, Charles Leclerc also used supersofts and was 16th fastest for Haas on his second appearance for the team. Leclerc did suffer a spin at Turn 6 just after the hour mark, but managed to recover his car from the gravel trap in order to continue.
The Monegasque driver was two places above Esteban Ocon, who was solid for Renault as he got 28 laps under his belt. Unfortunately for Ocon he was unable to be judged against Jolyon Palmer as the Briton suffered reliability problems and completed just six laps.
There were also problems for Pascal Wehrlein at Manor, with the young Mercedes driver complaining of a pit lane limiter issue as he limped back to the pits.
Felipe Nasr was another driver to miss out on some running as he spent much of the first part of the session in the garage, and later had a big moment exiting the final corner as he lost the rear of his car after running over the wet exit kerb, but managed to catch his Sauber before it reached the pit wall.
|05||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:23.174||28|
|06||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:23.457||27|
|10||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:24.073||29|
|11||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:24.120||29|
|14||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||1:24.579||27|
|19||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1:25.324||16|