Hungary GP: Team-by-team summary: Friday
In the morning, championship leader Lewis Hamilton was the slowest of the marquee McLaren and Ferrari runners, but after another 90 minutes of practice he was back to the top of the timesheets. "Things look very promising for tomorrow," said Heikki Kovalainen, who was a tenth quicker than his teammate in the morning and third at the end of both sessions.
The French team's drivers made their presence known at the circuit near Budapest on Friday -- both inside the top eight in the morning, before Nelson Piquet ended the afternoon just two tenths shy of pacesetter Hamilton. "Our fuel load was slightly lower than normal, but even so we look competitive," said engineering chief Pat Symonds. Fernando Alonso was fourth.
In the morning, it seemed Ferrari - despite not usually shining at the Hungaroring - might dominate on the circuit's tight turns in 2008, but by the end of the afternoon Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa were just fifth and sixth fastest. "Our main rivals seem to be still a little bit quicker than us," said the reigning world champion, referring to McLaren.
Nick Heidfeld, seventh fastest, is continuing to put his disappointing first half of the season behind him, pipping teammate Robert Kubica for pace in the grippier afternoon session.
Timo Glock had a cameo in the top-six on the morning timesheet, but the Cologne-built car is about a second per lap slower than the leading pace on the twisty Hungaroring layout. "The car has been competitive recently," Jarno Trulli commented.
After a slow morning, Williams' lead driver Nico Rosberg was tenth overall at the end of the afternoon session. "The competition is looking quite strong, especially the Renaults," he noted.
Albeit narrowly ahead of teammate David Coulthard in both 90 minute sessions, Mark Webber admits the team has "some work to do" to pull out of the midfield in Hungary.
An awful day for Sebastian Vettel; hydraulic problems in both sessions meant he hardly turned any laps. Teammate Sebastien Bourdais was 13th and 15th respectively.
Despite a new rear suspension and 'shark fin' engine cover, the RA108 - driven fastest at the Hungaroring so far by Jenson Button - is still among the slowest cars on track.
The team put mileage on its new seamless gearbox on Friday, before it is race-debuted at Valencia in three weeks. In both the morning and afternoon sessions, the time deficit to the rest of the field was minimal. "The 'box ran without any problems," technical boss Mike Gascoyne confirmed.