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Page last updated at 13:58 GMT, Friday, 24 July 2009 14:58 UK

Hungary GP practice as it happened


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By Caroline Cheese

1455: Righto. I'm off. You are cordially invited to join me for final practice and the crucial qualifying session tomorrow from 0930 BST. No need to RSVP, but please bring a bottle. Enjoy the rest of Friday.

1446: Don't worry, UK users, no need to go back to work/study/productive things just yet. Quicker than an F1 pit crew, our multimedia team have produced highlights of the first practice session. By the time you've watched that and perhaps a classic Hungarian Grand Prix or two, highlights of second practice will be ready for your perusal.

BBC pit-lane report Lee McKenzie on Twitter: "Just watched FP2 on different corners infield with DC, Jake. It was so interesting and blisteringly hot!"

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Kimi Raikkonen is taking part in the Finnish round of the world rally championship next weekend - the notorious and super-fast 1,000 Lakes Rally. Mark Webber has been full of praise for him: 'It's a real credit to Kimi that he's having a crack at it. It's a really brave thing to do, so I wish Kimi all the best for tackling one of the hardest rallies in the world. We should take our hats off to him.'"

1434: Mark Webber, Kazuki Nakajima and Sebastien Vettel complete the top six. Jenson Button is back in 13th, Felipe Massa 18th. Less than two seconds cover all the drivers.

1431: As the clock ticks down to zero, Nelson Piquet Jr takes a trip through the gravel, and Jarno Trulli also loses it. At the end of it all, Lewis Hamilton takes P1 ahead of McLaren team-mate Heikki Kovalainen and Williams' Nico Rosberg.

1429: Lewis Hamilton on another flier... and no mistakes this time, the world champ's 1:22.079 finally topples Heikki Kovalainen.

1427: Lewis Hamilton leaves the brake too late in turn 12 and that's wrecked his quick lap. He remains 13th.

1423: Mark Webber's session is brought to an end after 29 laps by a hydraulic problem. He is third quickest at the moment. Sebastian Vettel is back in 13th in the other Red Bull.

Force India commercial director Ian Phillips: "I think everyone's really doing their homework for tomorrow, but you might see one or two glory runs in these last 10 minutes."

1419: Jarno Trulli is back on the track in his Toyota, and pushes team-mate Timo Glock into seventh. Kovalainen, Rosberg, Webber is the one-two-three.

Force India commercial director Ian Phillips: "The main thing for next year is whether we have refuelling, and I'm pretty sure it will be a no. I don't think there will be any massive aerodynamic changes."

BBC Sport pit-lane reporter Holly Samos: "Sebastian Vettel is back in the garage, still very unhappy with his car. Red Bull are just making a front suspension change to his car and then he'll be back out."

1411: Felipe Massa runs wide again. Not having a great afternoon, the Ferrari man. He's running in 14th at the moment.

1404: Absolutely terrifying thunder and lightning in west London. If these updates stop, send help. Beautiful sunshine in Hungary - the weather literally laughing in my face - and Kovalainen is still on top. Rubens Barrichello has appeared in the top three.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Pointlessly clambered up grass bank for rubbish view. Did spot Hungarian Rescue Team though - aka old man on moped."

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Thought you might be interested in what goes on in the paddock while there's a session on. Bernie Ecclestone walked all the way from his smoke-grey motorhome to the exit at the far end to fetch a bloke he then took into the Force India pit. On the way, he signalled to Karl-Heinz Zimmermann, the Austrian cigar fan who runs the motorhome where Ecclestone eats, that he would be back in a minute. Martin Brundle is half watching practice, half writing in the Red Bull Energy Station. And there's a Japanese model in an electric blue mini dress taking photos of herself. So, not much, is the answer."

1358: Fernando Alonso completes his 21st lap of the session and promptly moves up from 17th to 10th with a 1:23.041. Still Kovalainen top, ahead of Webber, Glock, Button, Kubica and Raikkonen. Is that the Robert Kubica? In a BMW? He'll have a nosebleed up there.

1353: What's with Lewis Hamilton? The world champion is trundling about in 15th, while his McLaren team-mate remains top. Rubens Barrichello and Fernando Alonso also struggling.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Am stood at the slow loop of Turn 2 where most drivers are braking late into curve. Trulli limped through. Problems?"

1346: Oops. Rubens Barrichello on the grass after spinning off, but he's back on the black stuff now. Something's up with Jarno Trulli's Toyota. He crawls to a halt and parks up on the verge.

1340: A touch under 50 minutes remaining and the soft tyres will be coming out soon. BBC 5 Live commentator Maurice Hamilton has just told a good tale about Thierry Boutsen's 1990 win. Apparently, he worked out that the best way to win at the Hungaroring was to get on pole and stay there, so he told his Williams team he wasn't going to stop during the race. They basically laughed at him, but he pressed on with his plan. By the end of the race, his car was absolutely shot to pieces, but Ayrton Senna couldn't get past him. He went back to the Williams motorhome afterwards to celebrate - and they'd all scarpered. Apparently, they were so convinced he wouldn't win, they'd booked flights straight after the race.

1336: Kimi Raikkonen is going well today, moving his Ferrari up to fourth and splitting the Red Bulls. While Heikki Kovalainen sits pretty at the top, McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton is back in 11th.

1331: I love these line comparisons they do on the telly. Very clever. Heikki Kovalainen takes a turn at the top, ahead of Jenson Button, whose tyres are presumably warming up a bit now. The Red Bulls third and fourth. Jaime Alguersuari is last, and over a second slower than Sebastien Buemi.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Re 1252: Unfortunately, I don't have my swimming gear with me this weekend. Sarah does - and she is very disappointed to discover there's no pool in our hotel - but she's far too busy to trek over to the water park, I'm afraid. This isn't a jolly, you know."

1325: Mark Webber up in the top spot he has made his own over the last two races. Seb Vettel makes it a Red Bull one-two. Then Nico Rosberg, Giancarlo Fisichella, Heikki Kovalainen, Nelson Piquet Jr. Where are the Brawns? 12th and 13th, that's where.

1322: Still, if you're looking for a torturously dull story to replace the FIA/Fota row in your life, can I recommend the FIA presidential race? Although having said that, Finnish candidate Ari Vatanen seems like a potentially entertaining character, so there might be some value there...

1318: By the way, did you notice we managed to get through the whole of first practice without mentioning the FIA/Fota row? Don't go thinking you're getting away with it in second practice. But it's good news: they've nearly kissed and made up!

1315: "Still losing the front end in the last three corners," Jenson Button tells his Brawn team. Meanwhile, Adrian Sutil is still in the pits, but he tells Holly Samos: "We just had to change the gear ratios, no worries, I'll be out very soon." He also says the track was slippery this morning.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Heading across to the Renault garage for second practice, Fernando Alonso - surprisingly for a man normally so understated out of the car - stretched ostentatiously in the doorway to the Renault motorhome. He has his game face on this weekend - but then when doesn't he?"

1312: Lewis Hamilton has a moment now, sliding wide in his McLaren towards the end of his lap. The world champion is seventh quickest, ahead of fellow Brit Jenson Button.

1309: True to his word, Nelson Piquet Jr goes top of the times with a 1:23.414... and there's Felipe Massa going off-road, complaining about cold tyres. Ferrari tell him to stay out to try to get some heat into them.

1305: New boy Jaime Alguersuari has the message 'Ciao Henry' on the side of his helmet, a tribute to Henry Surtees, who died during a Formula 2 race last weekend. The pair drove together in Formula 3 last year. "This weekend was going to be perhaps the best of my life," said the 19-year-old before arriving in Hungary. "But now there is a shadow. My prayers go out to his family and for everyone involved in motorsport it is very sad news. I will try to do my best in the future and for the Surtees family this weekend."

1303: It's almost as if Nelson Piquet Jr has been reading this text commentary. He's translated his earlier tweet into English and it reads thus: "The new updates are a real improvement but we still need a better setup for the new suspension. I had a gearbox problem in the first practice. But it is OK now and we should have better lap times next practice."

1300: I only put that last entry in to annoy Andy in Edinburgh. Sorry Andy. Anyway, the green light is on and we're off.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Mark Webber is typically relaxed before practice. He's talking to DC and Jake with minutes to go. Otherwise paddock is quiet."

Text in your views on 81111
From Andy, Edinburgh, via text on 81111: "I hate Twitter. The fact that these F1 drivers are rushing from their cars to 'tweet' makes me angry. You won't like me when I'm angry. Probably won't like me when I'm happy either."

1252: After the Nurburgring debacle where both Andrew Benson and Sarah Holt refused to go on the new rollercoaster, I think I've just spotted a new challenge for the BBC Sport duo: there's some brilliant-looking water slides at the Hungaroring. Time to start putting that licence fee to good use, I reckon. Don't forget to take a camera...

Text in your views on 81111
From Neil via text on 81111: "Back to cakes, how about Baked Alonso; fired up on the outside with an ice cold heart."

1251: I have also been commiserating with Nelson Piquet Jr, who admits he doesn't know if he's going to last the season with Renault. Rubens Barrichello is another Brazilian unsure about his future: "Next season is too far away. I love the sport, I've been doing this for 17 years. Ninety five percent of my feelings are to keep on… but 5% tells me 'why do you need this?'"

1244: Europe's The Final Countdown is blaring out at the Hungaroring. Sensational. During the break, I have zoomed in and flown around the circuit. No, no, not literally, but via the magic of online video.

1240: Thankfully, Rubens Barrichello translates his own tweets. The 37-year-old, 13th in FP1, had this to say: "Fridays we always run heavy. For every 10kg of fuel in the car it is four tenths of time loss... I am confident."

1236: Continuing on the foreign language theme, I have just been putting my pidgin Portuguese to work on Nelson Piquet Jr's latest tweet. I reckon he likes the upgrades on his Renault, but had a gearbox problem during first practice. He also says something about his suspension. Nelsinho was a lowly 17th in FP1, eighth places behind team-mate Fernando Alonso.

1230: Sziasztok! Which is hello in Hungarian. And if I knew the Hungarian for 'second practice is coming up in half an hour', I'd tell you. I'd also probably be far too clever for this job.

1045: I don't know about you, but all this cake talk has made me a bit hungry. Or Hungary, should I say. No? Sorry... Anyway, see you back here at 1230 BST - sharp - when I shall return with second practice.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Wary of the high temperatures there often are at the Hungaroring, the organisers have thoughtfully provided a little cool-off area in the paddock. Next to the FIA motorhomes and entry to the media centre is a little area of green carpet with six large sunshades and chairs and tables. There are also three fans (only two of which are working right now), with nozzles spraying a fine mist of water. As yet, though, it's not that hot today - only 27C, with a strong wind making it seem even cooler."

Brawn team on Twitter: "End of FP1: JB 10th, RB 13th. Testing new aero parts, running race fuel loads. As usual track will be quicker this afternoon."

1036: Plenty of encouragement there if you're a McLaren fan, with Heikki Kovalainen first and Lewis Hamilton third. They could have a major say in events this weekend. By the way, rookie Jaime Alguersuari did 42 laps in that session, exactly twice what Kovalainen managed.

1033: Mark Webber, Kazuki Nakajima and Jarno Trulli make up the top six. Jenson Button squeezes into the top 10 in 10th, with Rubens Barrichello 13th. Seb Vettel is way back in 15th. Jaime Alguersuari is 20th and last, but not a bad first session in F1 for the 19year-old. He is only two-tenths of a second slower than team-mate Sebastien Buemi.

1031: Unlucky Nico. At the death, last year's winner Heikki Kovalainen blasts round in 1:22.278 to finish fastest in practice for the first time since Turkey. Rosberg has to settle for second, Lewis Hamilton third.

1028: Williams up to their old tricks again. Nico Rosberg pops up in first place with a 1:22.337, Kazuki Nakajima is fourth.

1025: Andrew Benson is not wrong. He rarely is, in fact, v annoying. Lewis Hamilton is topping the times, but only six-tenths separate the top 10. The Brawns of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello, as is usual, not troubling the top 10 in first practice. Button 14th, Barrichello 12th.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson on Twitter: "Free practice one coming to an end at the Hungaroring, and it's looking pretty close right now - augurs well for a decent race."

Nick Heidfeld with a cake
Nick Heidfeld with a cake
1021: Flapjackie Stewart. Gold medal entry right there. As a reward, have a picture of Nick Heidfeld with a cake.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "There's a feeling Lewis Hamilton might have a reasonable shot at a podium - or even a win - here this weekend. The McLaren was dramatically improved with updates at the last race, and the slow-speed nature of the Hungaroring should further play into the team's hands. And if the world champion can qualify in the first two rows, his Kers power-boost system could have him in the lead by the first corner - and therefore in control of the first part of the race."

1015: The more considered Mark Webber reports that the heat is making grip a "little more difficult". New boy Jaime Alguersuari is 19th at the moment, about two-tenths slower than his Toro Rosso team-mate. Adrian Sutil is propping up the leaderboard. He's probably just biding his time before the big push.

1013: This will be music to Brawn's ears. Seb Vettel reports that the tyres on his Red Bull are overheating and he has no grip. The German is currently ninth quickest, while his team-mate Mark Webber leads the way.

1008: Not a lot of change on the leaderboard: Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Massa, Rosberg, Raikkonen. Petit Fours-India, suggests an anonymous texter. BBC Sport's Andrew Benson tries Prost-iteroles. Not bad. Not good either. But not bad.

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie on Twitter: "Rubens arrived at the track yesterday wearing a Mr Happy T-shirt! I asked him about his outburst, he emailed entire team to say sorry."

1000: Apologies folks, the audio on the Red Button and online stream appears to have failed... Will be back soon, I'm sure. I think I might be over-tired. Cakey Rosberg just made me laugh out loud.

0958: BBC 5 Live pundit Maurice Hamilton believes Rubens Barrichello has talked himself out of a job after bla bla bla-gate in Germany... Oooh, what's this? Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso has stopped halfway down the pitlane and the team sprint down before pushing it back to the garage.

0953: Mark Webber scorches to the top of the leaderboard with a 1:22.615, Lewis Hamilton in second. Looking forward to seeing how Hamilton goes this weekend, after the non-event in Germany. A jam Mosley-poly from Jason. And yes, a Caroline Cheesecake, from just about everyone.

Text in your views on 81111
From James via text on 81111: "Re 0944: They all sound tasty and may seem to offer a decent choice, but deep down inside you know that you'll inevitably end up with a Choux-macher every time."

BBC Radio 5 Live
David Coulthard on BBC 5 Live: "There is no pressure on Jaime Alguersuari at all - it's all opportunity - if he does well he will be hailed as F1's new Messiah and if he doesn't do that well we will all be saying let's look at what he does in the next race."

0944: Kazuki Naka-Jamtart, Christian Cream Horn-er, Coffee-lainen. What a very productive morning we're all having. The familiar sight of Nico Rosberg at the top of the leaderboard with a 1:23.268. Alonso, Vettel, Webber, Massa, Kovalainen make up the top six.

0941: BBC pundit David Coulthard, still involved at Red Bull, reckons the team will have to make a call in the next couple of races about whether to back Seb Vettel or Mark Webber for a title charge. Felipe Massa sticks his Ferrari in first with a 1:23.735. Last year's pole time by Lewis Hamilton was 1:20.899.

From chelskichris on 606: "There's always tiramisu-til!"

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "Ticket sales are apparently down by nearly 50% for this year's race, with local authorities blaming the global economic downturn. Budapest's taxi drivers, though, seem to be on a personal crusade to make up the deficit to the economy - one tried to charge me £45 for a two-mile journey last night."

0937: Steve from Cardiff offers a Flan-do Alonso, while I quite fancy a Glockolate Eclair... Meanwhile, on the track, Jarno Trulli's 1:24.057 puts him at the top of the leaderboard ahead of Glock, Buemi, Raikkonen and Alguersuari.

Text in your views on 81111
From Mike via text on 81111: "It's not fair, I can't watch the video feed work notices the bandwidth drain (not to mention my laptop starts revving) got to make do with the text."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at the Hungaroring: "Ahh yes Caroline, though I am a keen cake-baker I doubt I'll spend the mid-season break sculpting a Sutil cake. BBC HQ has been racking its brains for F1 cakes and I put forward Lee McKenzie's Nelson Pecan Pie as our best offering. My Felipe Massaroon and Jarno Yule Log aren't really winners are they?"

0927: Coming up to half an hour gone and still just the two times on the board. Much tinkering going in the pits. Flavio Brioche-tori, chocolate Brawnies... keep them coming.

BBC Sport pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "It was rumoured that Romain Grosjean would be making his debut here in Hungary alongside Jaime Alguersuari, stepping into Nelson Piquet's seat at Renault. When I spoke to his Renault team-mate Fernando Alonso after the German GP he admitted he did not know who his team-mate would be in Hungary. But Piquet out-qualified Alonso in Germany - 10th to the Spaniard's 12th place - and it's understood the team wanted to give him one more chance. With driver moves looming on the horizon, there remains a constant question mark over his position at the team."

From Alguersuari's Brake Pedal on 606: "Re 0856: How about the Eton Massa?"
Not a cake, but I'll let it go...

0917: Jaime Alguersuari is top of the pops! This F1 malarkey is a breeze... oh, he's just been knocked off by Toro Rosso team-mate Sebastien Buemi. They are the only times on the board so far.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt at the Hungaroring: "On the subject of Jaime Alguersuari, Martin Brundle reckons the Hungaroring is a funny track to get to know in your first spin, least of all because it's physically demanding. But he also says he thought Sebastian Buemi would get buried but the Swiss driver - the other 2009 rookie on the grid - exceeded expectations in the other Toro Rosso."

From anon via text on 81111: "Re 0856: How about a Jenson Button-berg?"

BBC Sport's pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie on Twitter: "Just had production meeting to discuss tomorrow's show. Lots of debate on new Toro Rosso driver, how to say his name and how good he'll be!"

0903: Yes, anonymous texters can't add up. Jaime Alguersuari has nine vowels, to Sebastien Bourdais's eight. Jaime is on the radio to his Toro Rosso team, telling them he's found the brake and accelerator alright but got the windscreen wiper and indicator confused.

0900: Right, we're off. And there is the man of the moment: Jaime Alguersuari, the youngest ever F1 driver, getting his first taste of the Hungaroring in his Toro Rosso. No 'L' plates.

Text in your views on 81111
From anon via text on 81111: "Jaime Alguersuari replaces Sebastien Bourdais who both have eight vowels in their names. I thought the Toro Rosso driver name rule was you had to be called Sebastian. Driver selection policy has obviously changed."

0856: UK users, manually refresh your page immediately. I think you know why. Meanwhile, my colleague attempts to fill the gap in the market (see 0830) with an Ecclestone cake. Too easy. I've gone for the Heikki Kova-lemon drizzle.

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson at the Hungaroring: "The big interest this weekend is whether the hot temperatures in Hungary will allow Brawn, who have struggled to get optimum tyre temperature in the cool conditions of the last two races, to compete with Red Bull. Jenson Button's car has what the team believe will be a fairly major upgrade, with a new diffuser, rear wing and bodywork. Among other teams with new bits, Heikki Kovalainen has the new diffuser and front wing that made such a difference to Lewis Hamilton's car last time out, and Kimi Raikkonen has the new front wing that only Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa had in Germany. And Toro Rosso have the new parts that have put Red Bull in a league of their own since Silverstone - a new diffuser, front wing, nose and top bodywork."

0847: So it's a big F1 welcome to Jaime Alguersuari this weekend, the 19-year-old with an obscene amount of vowels in his name. He steps into Sebastien Bourdais's seat at Toro Rosso. I say welcome, but there are already murmurings of discontent from the other drivers. The Spaniard has done two straight-line tests in an F1 car - meaning not only will today be the first time he drives an F1 circuit, it will be the first time he goes round a corner in an F1 car. Lewis Hamilton says he "wouldn't have been ready" while Jenson Button added: "At his age it could absolutely destroy his career. It could end his dream of being competitive in Formula 1."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Just arriving at the track courtesy of an access road for big wigs and media. It's called Bernie Avenue."

The sun is out
0839: The all-important weather update from the Hungaroring is that it's warm, about 33C, but will be getting cooler through the weekend. When I say cooler, I mean 26C on Sunday, which sounds positively roasting to me. No sign of any rain.

0830: Good morning. Such is my obsession with F1 these days that last night I dreamt BBC Sport's Sarah Holt gave me an Adrian Sutil cake. It's got me thinking: there's a gap in the cake market there, isn't there?

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see also
Hungarian GP practice photos
24 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Hamilton top as McLaren set pace
24 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Hungarian Grand Prix practice results
07 Jul 09 |  Results
Piquet Jr dropped by Renault team
04 Aug 09 |  Formula 1
There can be no excuses - Button
23 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Alguersuari joins Toro Rosso team
20 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
Button eager to stop Red Bull run
12 Jul 09 |  Formula 1
F1 on the BBC
01 Dec 11 |  Formula 1

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