Two weeks on from his disastrous race at the Nurburgring, rookie championship leader Lewis Hamilton’s mid-season dip continued in Hungary on Friday.
Albeit only a few minutes before the end of the ultimate 90-minute session in Budapest, the 22-year-old’s silver McLaren had to be craned out of the gravel trap at turn eight following a spun.
Hamilton ended the session third, nearly half a second slower than his teammate Fernando Alonso, who in the recent European grand prix closed to within two points of the drivers’ standings lead.
Renault’s Heikki Kovalainen showed promising pace throughout the 90 minutes and ended up second best, while his countryman Kimi Raikkonen and Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa were just sixth and seventh.
Massa in particular had a scrappy practice and spent significant time in the garage apparently honing his setup.