Times of Oman
Nov 26, 2015 LAST UPDATED AT 07:40 AM GMT
Hamilton stays on top at Hungaroring
July 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Mercedes’ British driver Lewis Hamilton sits in the pits during the first practice session at the Hungaroring circuit in Budapest on Friday. – AFP

Budapest: Lewis Hamilton continued to top the times ahead of his Mercedes teammate and championship leader Nico Rosberg in Friday's second free practice session for this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix.

The 29-year-old Briton, who is seeking to complete a hat-trick of wins and claim a record fifth victory at the Hungaroring to cut into Rosberg's 14-point lead, clocked a best lap in one minute and 24.482 seconds.

This lifted him 0.238 seconds clear of the German, who seemed at a loss at times as to how he could claw back any of Hamilton's apparent advantage on one of his favourite circuits.

Four-time champion Sebastian Vettel was third, six-tenths off the pace, in his Red Bull ahead of two-time champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari, who was nine-tenths adrift.

"That was good, but there is no grip out there and I don't know if it is the tyres or the circuit," said Hamilton.  "There were one or two things, but nothing major and it was fun. It is like it is for every Friday session."

Asked to react to reports that Vettel has been linked with a move to Mercedes to replace him when his contract runs out next year, Hamilton said: "I don't react... Good luck to him!"

Rosberg was also satisfied with his day's work.

"It's been a good day," he said. "It's always nice to come here - it's a cool track."

Asked about Vettel, the 29-year-old German said: "Which year are we talking about? 2016? 2018? I know it's the 'silly season' but this is more than silly!"

Hamilton had taken the initiative from the start of the day, topping the times in yesterday morning's opening free practice with a best lap of 1:25.814 in clear, dry and hot conditions at the Hungaroring, a tight, slow and technical track set in a rural bowl of farmland 25km north of the Hungarian capital.

Track temperatures reached 56 degrees Celsius and the air 27 degrees for the afternoon session in which Raikkonen hinted he was set to shrug off indifferent form this year on return to one of his favourite circuits.

He was third in the morning and sixth in the afternoon as he and Alonso sought to end what threatens to be Ferrari's worst start to a season since 1986. Ferrari have secured only one podium this year.

Raikkonen has finished on the podium in his last five races at the Hungaroring and, like Hamilton, has an affinity with the characteristics of the circuit.  

Danish rookie Kevin Magnussen continued his impressive progress with McLaren by clocking the fifth best time ahead of Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari, Daniel Ricciardo in the second Red Bull and rising Finnish star Valtteri Bottas of Williams.

Jenson Button was ninth in the second McLaren and Felipe Massa 10th in the second Williams, having survived a lurid spin during the session.

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