Ferrari fastest in first practice

Click to follow
The Independent Online

Ferrari suggested they have cured their ills from Hockenheim as Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen finished one-two at the end of first practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

Raikkonen in particular was out of sorts at the German Grand Prix 12 days ago, finishing a lowly sixth after starting from that grid position.

An intense investigation followed, with Ferrari determining the car was not at fault, but rather the issue was due to their drivers being unable to extract the maximum from the Bridgestone tyres.

If the opening 90 minutes are anything to go by, then Ferrari have raised their game and will represent a significant threat to Lewis Hamilton's bid for three successive victories.

Hamilton has dominated the last two races in Britain and Germany to open up a four-point gap over Massa and seven to Raikkonen.

But the 23-year-old McLaren ace was forced to settle for the fourth-quickest time of the morning, with team-mate Heikki Kovalainen also faster.

It was Massa comfortably out in front, though, setting a time of one minute 20.981 seconds for the tight, twisty Hungaroring track, leaving Raikkonen trailing by 0.364secs.

Kovalainen and Hamilton, who won this race a year ago, followed in close attendance, although with the latter 0.554secs down on Brazilian Massa.

Fernando Alonso in his Renault was the best of the rest, while Timo Glock unquestionably proved he is over his horrific smash in Hockenheim with the sixth fastest time in his Toyota.

BMW Sauber's Robert Kubica and team-mate Nick Heidfeld were over a second down in seventh and ninth, sandwiching Renault's Nelson Piquet, with Jarno Trulli for Toyota completing the top 10.

David Coulthard was 12th in his Red Bull, albeit 1.719secs off Massa's pace, with Honda's Jenson Button a further 0.2secs adrift in 14th.

Sebastian Vettel brought up the rear, however, completing just four laps due to an engine problem with his Toro Rosso sustained 49 minutes into the session.