Josef Kral (Barwa Addax Team)

Czech driver on top in free practice

Josef Kral has got his weekend underway in the best way possible, by setting the pace with a lap of 1:29.573 in this morning’s free practice session at the Hungaroring while his rivals pitted for fresh tyres, to pip Fabio Leimer and James Calado for the top spot.

With conditions hot and sunny for the first time in a few events, the teams took little time in sending their drivers out to make the most of the tight, technical circuit. With most drivers running wide somewhere as they pushed to find the limits, Lotus GP teammates Esteban Gutiérrez and Calado set the early running.

The Briton was the first man to break the 1.30 barrier, squeezing past Marcus Ericsson and Leimer in the process, and with most of the field returning to the pits it appeared that everyone would have a breather before hitting reset. Kral didn’t see the memo, evidently, and stayed out on the now clear circuit to set the best time.

The Czech driver’s time was just a tenth off the optimal lap from the combined sectors, and it seemed a lap too far for his rivals to attack: Leimer went closest to finish the session just 0.159 off the pace, and with 16 drivers within a second of the top spot the teams held fire until this afternoon’s qualifying session.

Just behind the top three, however, Jolyon Palmer, Giedo van der Garde, Ericsson, Davide Valsecchi, Victor Guerin, Gutiérrez and Stéphane Richelmi will all be hoping to move up a few places on the timesheets to put themselves at the sharp end of the grid for tomorrow’s feature race.

Budapest – Free Practice

Driver Team Laptime Laps
1. Josef Kral Barwa Addax Team 1:29.573

15

2. Fabio Leimer Racing Engineering 1:29.732

11

3. James Calado Lotus GP 1:29.837

16

4. Jolyon Palmer iSport International 1:29.916

12

5. Giedo van der Garde Caterham Racing 1:29.943

13

6. Marcus Ericsson iSport International 1:29.961

13

7. Davide Valsecchi DAMS 1:30.053

16

8. Victor Guerin Ocean Racing Technology 1:30.093

14

9. Esteban Gutiérrez Lotus GP 1:30.131

15

10. Stéphane Richelmi Trident Racing 1:30.226

16

11. Johnny Cecotto Barwa Addax Team 1:30.252

13

12. Luiz Razia Arden International 1:30.367

15

13. Felipe Nasr DAMS 1:30.373

16

14. Max Chilton Carlin 1:30.487

13

15. Nigel Melker Ocean Racing Technology 1:30.505

15

16. Nathanaël Berthon Racing Engineering 1:30.538

13

17. Fabio Onidi Scuderia Coloni 1:30.555

16

18. Rio Haryanto Carlin 1:30.581

13

19 Rodolfo Gonzalez Caterham Racing 1:30.683

15

20. Stefano Coletti Scuderia Coloni 1:30.744

15

21. Sergio Canamasas Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:30.813

14

22. Simon Trummer Arden International 1:30.964

15

23. Daniel De Jong Rapax 1:31.192

17

24. Julian Leal Trident Racing 1:31.707

15

25. Ricardo Teixeira Rapax 1:32.211

16

26. Giancarlo Serenelli Venezuela GP Lazarus 1:34.204

11