Hamilton quickest in Hungary

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed himself once again at the Hungaroring (AP)

Lewis Hamilton enjoyed himself once again at the Hungaroring (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Lewis Hamilton began his quest to become the most successful driver in the Hungarian Grand Prix by topping the timesheet at the end of first practice ahead of Sunday's race.

Hamilton has made the Hungaroring his own since his arrival in Formula One in 2007, claiming four pole positions and taking the chequered flag on four occasions, including the last two.

It means Hamilton is now tied on four wins apiece with seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, with a record-breaking fifth victory in the offing this weekend.

Unsurprisingly, given their dominance this season, Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two, with their rivals again cast some way adrift.

Hamilton's best lap was one minute 25.814 seconds, finishing 0.183secs clear of team-mate Nico Rosberg in their ongoing battle for supremacy this season.

Just 14 points separate the duo at the top of the drivers' standings, with Hamilton desperate to close that gap ahead of the summer break, after which just eight races will remain.

Such was Mercedes' advantage over the rest that only one driver finished within a second of Hamilton, which on this occasion was Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen.

Often in the recent past Fernando Alonso has finished third to the Mercedes pair, but the Spaniard for once found himself behind his team-mate.

Raikkonen finished 0.607secs adrift, with Alonso fourth, but a full second down on Hamilton, with another considerable gulf to the fifth-quickest driver - reigning four-times champion Sebastian Vettel.

The Red Bull star was 1.4secs off the pace around the tight and twisty circuit, which was bathed in sunshine as temperatures hit 25 degrees centigrade.

McLaren duo Kevin Magnussen and Jenson Button were sixth and ninth, the latter almost two seconds down, with Toro Rosso's Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo in his Red Bull sandwiched in between.

Felipe Massa was the quickest for the in-form Williams team, although the team have already expressed concerns that this track might not suit them. He was 10th at the end of the first session, 2.146secs adrift of Hamilton.

Team-mate Valtteri Bottas, who has scored three consecutive podiums in the last three races, was down in 15th and 2.5secs down.

Max Chilton again endured another troubled session due to technical issues, completing just five laps, to finish 21st - with only Marussia team-mate Jules Bianchi behind him - and five seconds behind Hamilton.

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