Lewis Hamilton, McLaren, Nurburgring, 2011

Hamilton fastest as Webber crashes in practice

German Grand Prix first practice

Posted on

| Written by

Hungarian Grand Prix winner Lewis Hamilton was the fastest driver around Hungaroring in the first practice session this morning.

But Mark Webber’s session came to an end after he crashed at turn nine. The Red Bull driver lost control of his car at turn nine and hit the barrier hard, taking the front wing off his car.

Webber was the only driver to crash but several drivers had lock-ups or ran wide as the track was damp and slippery as the session began.

Webber’s team mate Sebastian Vettel was fastest earlier in the session, edging Fernando Alonso for the fastest time.

But Hamilton returned to the track to lower the fastest time by two-tenths of a second. He was on course to improve further with three minutes to go but was held up by Jaime Alguersuari in the final sector.

Alonso had a problem early in the session when he returned to the pits with a small fire at the rear of his car. But it didn’t stop him from participating in the rest of the session.

Jenson Button was fifth-fastest ahead of Felipe Massa, followed by the two Mercedes drivers.

Sergio Perez and Vitaly Petov completed the top ten. Petrov was joined at Renault by Bruno Senna for this session, Senna lapping eight-tenths of a second slower than his team mate.

Pos.CarDriverCarBest lapGap
13Lewis HamiltonMcLaren-Mercedes1’23.35019
21Sebastian VettelRed Bull-Renault1’23.5640.21424
35Fernando AlonsoFerrari1’23.6420.29229
42Mark WebberRed Bull-Renault1’23.6660.31612
54Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1’23.7720.42220
66Felipe MassaFerrari1’24.1150.76525
78Nico RosbergMercedes1’24.2500.90022
87Michael SchumacherMercedes1’24.3691.01920
917Sergio PerezSauber-Ferrari1’24.6201.27024
1010Vitaly PetrovRenault1’25.0931.74322
1116Kamui KobayashiSauber-Ferrari1’25.1131.76321
1215Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1’25.3361.98622
1314Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’25.3572.00717
1411Rubens BarrichelloWilliams-Cosworth1’25.8362.48624
159Bruno SennaRenault1’25.8552.50525
1618Sebastien BuemiToro Rosso-Ferrari1’25.8902.54028
1719Jaime AlguersuariToro Rosso-Ferrari1’26.0992.74936
1812Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Cosworth1’26.1242.77425
1920Heikki KovalainenLotus-Renault1’26.8783.52826
2021Jarno TrulliLotus-Renault1’27.3524.00221
2124Timo GlockVirgin-Cosworth1’28.5335.18330
2225Jerome D’AmbrosioVirgin-Cosworth1’28.9035.55322
2323Vitantonio LiuzziHRT-Cosworth1’29.0595.70924
2422Daniel RicciardoHRT-Cosworth1’29.9046.55426

Image ?? Red Bull/Getty images

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

54 comments on “Hamilton fastest as Webber crashes in practice”

  1. oooh exciting!

    1. Indeed, I sent a message to him on twitter urging him to win the WDC this year as it will be the last year I will be watching F1 (obviously due to the sky deal) It seems as if he read it and acted upon it ;-)

      Seriously though I hope we see a good second half of the season as it would be nice if the end of my 30 years of watching F1 was a great one.

      1. Bigbadderboom
        29th July 2011, 11:43

        I’m sure you will find a way Lee, the internets a marvelous thing when you know where to look ;), and i’m sure fellow fanatics will help you find what you look for.

        1. Nope, if F1 want to treat me like this then I am off. I have no desire to find illegal streams. I don’t watch illegal streams of football, I just no longer watch it and the same with cricket.

          Shame really but hey I am sure there is some other sport that I can watch.

          1. It’s not illegal to watch one.com.au

  2. Quite good to see Senna’s performance for his first drive in a while. It suggests a competitive time given the the team’s recent showings.

    1. 0.75 seconds off Petrov is no bad showing for Senna. This is the first time he’s used KERS and DRS and I was more impressed with Bruno this session than Chandhok last week, although to be fair, Karun was struggling with brake issues as well.

    2. Agreed. We’ve seen in the last few races that jumping into an F1 car this season with no testing is hard work, what with KERS, DRS, and the tyre wear.

      Neither Chandhok, Ricciardo, or Senna looked particularly comfortable in the car, but you could tell at then end of the session Senna was edging that way.

      This is a strong track for Petrov (he out-qualified Kubica last year here), Senna’s time was good.

      Hopefully he gets a few more runs this season and we can see all of these guys get into a rhythm.

      1. certainly shows what testing was good for. Although Ricciardo did have quite a lot of FP and other track time in the RBR and STR cars.

      2. Douglas 62500
        29th July 2011, 12:15

        I can’t really remember exact details but wasn’t Kubica caught in heavy traffic in Hungary last year ?

  3. Webber pushed the limits just too far – but I don’t think that’s too bad a thing, as long as they can fix the car by FP2. Anthony Davidson was VERY suspicious of the Red Bull’s wiring in the nose cone – I found it quite amusing!

    Lewis seems really hooked up at the moment, I hope we’re going to see more of his 2007/08 form to really claw back this gab to Vettel. Someone needs to put up a fight, and at the moment it looks like it’ll be him!

  4. Button keeps losing pace relative to Hamilton. He may slowly be relegated to be the Massa of McLaren.

    1. I disagree – on his day Button is just as good as Hamilton. Hamilton has more raw pace, but Jenson is very consistent.

      I think we could see Jenson playing number two this year, but only because events conspired against him in the last two Grand Prix – through no fault of his own.

      1. He is more consistent when he is happy with the car. As soon as it gets a little out of shape then he is all over the place. Like we saw in the latter stages of 2010 where he was absolutely nowhere for most of the time, yet Hamilton was able to secure good points and stay competitive.

        1. True. I don’t understand how people justify Button’s performances by saying that ‘on his day’ and when ‘the car is perfect’ he shines. When the car is perfect we have seen a load of drivers shine … including Felipe Massa, Jacques Villenueve and Damon Hill.

          Button is nowhere as versatile as Hamilton, Alonso, or even Vettel.

          1. Todfod:

            Even?? C’mon, I’m not telling you to root for the guy with the fastest car in the first half of the season, but at least acknowledge his wonderful talents, I’m not a fan of his but it’s no question he’s up there with the others.

      2. I don’t think button will ever play number 2,

      3. i disagree button is never as good as lewis.
        also button may be consistent but he still finished 26 points behind lewis last season eventhough lewis got 2 more,thats 2 more dnf’s.so consistency didnt help him last year.

    2. I was thinking this earlier too, when was the last time (if ever) Button was consistently faster than Hamilton over a weekend? This year in Canada Hamilton was only behind him because of his collision with Webber, then was about to overtake him again. In Monaco Hamilton was stuck in traffic after bad strategy in qualifying…I cant think of any occasion where Button has been faster all weekend in the dry, like Webber was faster than Vettel last weekend.

      1. Well there have been weekends where he really wasn;t that far off from Hamilton. I think that was the claim: “If everything goes perfect for button, he’s not that far off”

      2. Thats an interesting observation. I dont think Button has been quicker than Hamilton on any circuit since he joined Mclaren last year. We could argue that Button was quicker at Monza last year, but we never got to see Hamilton race more than half a lap that Sunday.

        I think Button gets an awful lot of credit for being slower than his teammate on every race weekend.

        1. Some interesting observations about Button… pretty accurate too IMO, regarding him not being Hamilton’s equal. Jenson needs a car he’s totally comfortable with to deliver his best. Sadly, since he’s been @ McLaren his best has pretty much always been a step behind Hamilton. Jenson complains while Lewis manhandles an unruly car & tells it what to do. Alonso does the same thing, while Massa flounders. In my mind, it’s clear that Hamilton & Alonso are Kings of the F1 hill. Personally, I can’t pick one over the other overall. & I know fans of theirs will disagree with me emphatically, but I think Vettel & Button are 2nd tier: pretty damn good (even damn near perfect) when everything’s to their liking, merely good & sometimes just above average when things aren’t (with Vettel getting the nod over Button). We saw it with Jenson @ Brawn, we saw it with Vettel the last few years, & it’s only just starting to rear it’s ugly head again. Webber & Massa are next: flashes of brilliance & capable of so much better, but truly the underachievers of F1.

    3. I do not see it that way. I would agree that Button is not as good as Hamilton, but I believe that the gap is not as bad as Alonso vs. Massa. Button is capable of scoring a lot, helping McLaren in Constructor’s Cup and sometimes robbing Hami’s opponents of valuable points, which is exactly where Massa did not quite deliver lately.

  5. Hamilton looking pretty hooked up already in FP1. RBR will have a lot of pace left in the car as they always do, but hopefully the pace of the MP4-26 will surprise Lewis again on Saturday.

    I didn’t see too much of the Ferrari’s but I think Alonso wasn’t too far off.

    1. you say that, but so far this season Red Bull have had some of their biggest gaps in FP1 and it normally closes in for the sat and sun!

      1. I agree, it would still be a brave man to bet against a Red Bull on pole position tomorrow, but i’m sure the Ferrari’s and McLaren’s will be up there on Sunday.

      2. Yeah I think Hamilton will be close, but if it warms up a bit more that might help the Red Bulls out a bit and stretch the advantage. If it stays cool we’ll have an almighty scrap on our hands.

        What is really encouraging though is that Ferrari and Mclaren finally appear to have bridged, or at least closed the gap, in terms of overall downforce. The Red Bulls are still the quickest through medium-high speed corners, but it’s not as big an advantage as last year.

  6. Conditions and going for it I think means Hamilton isn’t actually the fastest out there this weekend, but at least he’s not 4th after all those efforts!

    1. I dont think Hamilton will be fast enough take pole at this circuit, but he does have a decent chance of splitting the Red Bulls in quali again. A lot of it does depend on the conditions though.. a warm sunny day could see Alonso in the mix for the front row as well.

  7. Red Bull have just tweeted that Webber’s car will be fixed in time for second practice.

    1. That’s good to know. I’m not surprised, there didn’t look too much damage to the naked eye, I think he’s lucky he hit the wall at the angle he did because it was quite a bit impact.

  8. Its amazing when you look at practice time and see that Ferrari are doing longer stints then Red Bull and Mclaren and they are able to have very competitive times.

  9. Lewis looking very good.

    1. But it’s FP1. The times aren’t representative of anything – half the field will have beated Hamilton’s time by the end of FP3.

  10. Keith, is this the “German Grand Prix Practice” or the “Hungaroring…”?

    1. The silly thing is I read that and thought nothing of it!

    2. I only noticed that mistake when Valentino mentioned it Keith!

  11. Mclaren’s this year car suits another type of tracks than last year’s car. In slow tracks, we saw that in Monaco that it was definetely the fastest car. In Q1 and Q2 Lewis was the fastest man on the track, and in Q3 put his Mclaren on the front row with almost -500 ahead of the Ferarri. Mclaren will be strong in Hungaroring no matter what temperature will be, but we have to expect them to struggle in Spa and Monza. Mp4-26has good traction, braking, slow speed ability, but is not so good on high-speed corners and straight-lines like last year’s car. But what puts them ahead of the Ferarri is the engine mapping that they are using since Germany. Expect Lewis on the front row.

    1. Jenson, not Lewis put a Mclaren car in the front row in Monaco.

      1. why was that tho?lewis probably would have got pole at monaco.

        1. No my mother would. Constant blabbering and so on, Alonso would have been on pole hadn’t he binned the car blabla. Would should could doesn’t get you any points or poles.

  12. Davidson: “And there is a guy with a little more downforce” rofl’d hard!

  13. Mclaren looks not bad. It’s not impossible thing Ferrari and Mclaren both out pace Red Bull again.

  14. boris the one-eyed wallaby
    29th July 2011, 11:21

    Webber must have been studying Vettel’s practice sessions and is trying to emulate him ;)

    1. Interesting opinion :D

    2. LOL. Maybe he should emulate some of Vettel’s early season starts as well. (China excluded)

      1. So true…
        It seems to me though, Vettel for the first part of every practice session tries on new parts/systems on the car whereas Webber goes out gets the setup data for the race.

  15. In other news:

    Alonso: “Red Bull still stronger, even after I make myself look like Sly Stallone.”


  16. Vettel’s face looked really scared and down.

  17. Keith correction, its Hungarian Grand Prix not German Grand Prix first practice.Cheers !

  18. Heikki is again beating Jarno. I think he will be on the move in the end of season.

  19. McLaren
    Red Bull
    Red Bull

    So, who’s fastest? McLaren, who are 1st and 5th (1+5=6) or Red Bull who are 2nd and 4th (2+4=6)?

  20. The most important news to come out of this session was the fact Crofty read out my tweet! :D

  21. Looks good from Senna. I wish I knew what turn 9 looked like. There’s no circuit I know less than the Hungaroring.

Comments are closed.