The Hungarian Grand Prix weekend swung into action on Friday morning with two unusual accidents prompting red flag periods marring the session, including a full car rollover for Sergio Perez.
Drivers took to the track for the usual series of installation laps as teams began adjusting their cars to the warmest temperatures recorded since the notoriously hot Malaysian Grand Prix.
Joining the field were rookies Fabio Leimer, replacing Manor’s Roberto Merhi, and Jolyon Palmer, stepping in for Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, as per usual.
Palmer’s sponsors may have regretted spending their money, however — or perhaps wished they had spent more — when Lotus was unable to leave the garage for half an hour due to a payment dispute with Pirelli.
Pirelli decided to withhold the team’s tyre supply overnight when money it was owed did not appear in its bank accounts on Thursday.
Paul Hembery, the tyre company’s motorsport boss, confirmed the money had been received this morning and released the tyres, but they had to be set on their rims and pre-warmed before the cars could take to the track.
Pastor Maldonado recorded just nine laps, while Palmer managed just four.
Financial peculiarities over, attention turned to the track, where Sergio Perez managed to flip his car while lapping on his own a little under one hour into the session.
The right-rear suspension appeared to collapse as Perez ran wide across some kerbs, spearing his car into the opposite barrier.
The car, now with a broken front-right tyre, rebounded away from the fence and slid across the track, catching underneath the car and rolling it over.
The Force India driver emerged unscathed, but the session was red flagged for 17 minutes while the car was hoisted back to the pits.
The second red flag was prompted with four minutes remaining on the clock when Kimi Räikkönen’s Ferrari spontaneously dropped its front wing, scattering debris across the circuit.
No obvious cause presented itself for the failure, and the Ferrari was able to limp home.
The session ended with the a thoroughly predictable Mercedes one-two, with Lewis Hamilton beating Nico Rosberg to the honours by one tenth of a second despite holding a margin of around a second for most of the session.
The Ferraris showed well despite Raikkonen’s late-session failure and issues with Sebastian Vettel’s car, as did the Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso cars, which appeared at ease around the tight and twisty Hungaroring.
2015 HUNGARIAN GP: FP1 RESULTS
|4||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull-Renault||1:26.053||+0.912s||20|
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull-Renault||1:26.070||+0.929s||17|
|7||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:26.727||+1.586s||25|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India-Mercedes||1:26.776||+1.635s||14|
|10||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso-Renault||1:26.934||+1.793s||27|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India-Mercedes||1:27.317||+2.176s||11|