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LIVE COMMENTARY: 2009 HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX - SATURDAY MORNING PRACTICE
   GO TO LIVE INDEX ALL TIMES GMT  
As it happened: Saturday Morning Practice
By Geoff Creighton and Emlyn Hughes
The live commentary has ended. No further updates will be posted.
08:45 Hello everyone and welcome to AUTOSPORT Live for continuing coverage of round ten in the 2009 FIA Formula 1 World Championship.

The pressure increases today as the teams prepare for the serious business of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix at the tight and twisty 4.381 km Hungaroring circuit.

08:46 Today, we will guide you through the final practice session with minute-by-minute commentary as the teams and drivers begin their build-up to qualifying.

Third practice will begin shortly, with commentary ending 15 minutes after the session has concluded.

Later, at 11:45 GMT, we will return for live coverage of the all-important qualifying session and the battle for pole position. AUTOSPORT Live will end the day with a detailed Sunday weather forecast, on the Hungarian Grand Prix weather page.

Lewis Hamilton08:47 Heikki Kovalainen and Lewis Hamilton put McLaren back at the top of Formula 1 at the end of a busy three hours of Friday practice, but there were a few stories to be told along the way.

The morning session was dominated by the young man whose name had been on everyone's lips in the build-up to the event - Jaime Alguersuari. The 19-year-old Spaniard, making his debut with Toro Rosso this weekend, acclimatised himself well in difficult circumstances.

Up front, it was Mark Webber who set the pace for much of the first 90-minutes, but late runs from Hamilton, Nico Rosberg in the Williams and Kovalainen saw the Australian demoted to fourth in the final minutes. Kazuki Nakajima was fifth in the second Williams, and Jarno Trulli started the weekend well for Toyota in sixth.

Kovalainen leads the way in practice 1

The hot and bright conditions of the morning continued through to the afternoon session, where McLaren confirmed themselves as a serious threat this weekend.

Williams set the early pace, but soon it was Kovalainen moving to the top of the standings with a quick lap on the super-soft tyres. His 1m22.126s remained the quickest time until the final few minutes.

First to have a serious crack at beating the mark was Rosberg, but he fell 0.028 seconds short. Hamilton finally seized his opportunity right at the death to pip his team-mate by 0.047s with the fastest lap of the day - 1m22.079s.

So It was McLaren one and two, with Rosberg a noteworthy third. Mark Webber was once again in the top four for Red Bull Racing, with Kazuki Nakajima fifth and Sebastian Vettel rounding out the top six.

Hamilton keeps McLaren on top

08:49 As expected, a cold front arrived in the night and by dawn it was raining moderately on the circuit. The worst of the weather is over for today, and conditions should gradually improve as we go through practice and qualifying.

The national rainfall radar shows us the dawn rain already moving out of Hungary to the east. To the west of Budapest, there are some light scattered showers around, but if you play the image loop you will notice that these are weakening all the time, and most will fizzle out before they reach the circuit.

Just under an hour ago there were some light spots falling, but this shower has also cleared away to the east, and we expect a mainly dry day with plenty of cloud around in the morning. But, the sun will be poking through more often as we head towards qualifying.

As the cold front passed over the region, so the temperatures have plummeted. The maximum air temperature this afternoon will reach 24 degrees Celsius, and with some cloud cover around, we'll get nowhere near the high 47 degree track temperature that was achieved during second practice yesterday.

08:51 AUTOSPORT forum members are invited to join the fun throughout the weekend, offering thoughts and opinions as the event unfolds.

• Will McLaren run at the front again this morning and cement their Friday position?

• Brawn GP were out of the limelight during the two practice sessions. Will they come back with a bang today?

• Will F1 debutant Jaime Alguersuari keep his nose clean for the second day in a row?

Tell everyone what you think.

Click the SHOW LIVE FORUM link in the red bar at the bottom of your browser window if you'd like to join the debate.

08:52 The fans arriving early at the Hungaroring have already been treated to some racing action with the first of this weekend's two International Formula Master races taking place early this morning.

Czech Josef Kral took a lights-to-flag victory for JD Motorsport. Second-place starter Fabio Leimer struggled for grip off the dirty side of the grid, something that will have caught the eye of the Formula 1 engineers ahead of qualifying later.

Tyres08:53 Tyres are once again a major factor in car performance and the drivers had an interesting day on Friday trying to maintain their grip on a slippery Hungaroring circuit.

Grip levels will have reduced with the overnight rain on the surface, leaving the teams with just an hour to draw their final conclusions on the super soft and soft compound tyres ahead of what is set to be an extremely hard-fought qualifying hour.

Tyres were a hot topic with the drivers as they spoke to reporters after Friday's sessions.

"This circuit is always a bit slippery when you get here, a bit dusty, but today [Friday] it was especially slippery," said championship leader Jenson Button.

"The harder tyre is the one to work with, and the softer tyre, people are getting graining and overheating, so there's a lot of work going into getting the tyres to work properly."

Felipe Massa had several off-track excursions yesterday and later said: "I was definitely not very happy with the balance, and also especially how the tyres were working. So it was very difficult to find a solution, and I was struggling a lot.

"Usually here is a track where the surface improves massively from one day to the other, so the conditions tomorrow should be better.

"But anyway, it was a very, very difficult day to find the right balance on the car and especially the right grip from the tyres," concluded the Brazilian.

08:55 Final practice at the Hungaroring is now just five minutes away.

08:57 Nico Rosberg climbs aboard his Williams-Toyota as we see Jaime Alguersuari being strapped into his Toro Rosso, ahead of the session start.

08:59 A sparse crowd is dotted around the main grandstand opposite the pits, as Mark Webber is strapped into his Red Bull Renault, with just under one minute to go before the start of the session.

0 min: The practice session is underway.

0 min: Giancarlo Fisichella leads the charge onto the circuit today, as the drivers pour out to test the changed weather and track conditions.

1 min: Felipe Massa heads out of the Ferrari garage to join the cars taking an early installation lap.

1 min: More than half the field are out there on track for the standard installation lap. Most of them will come out for one lap to check over their cars, but one or two drivers may come round for a second lap to fully warm up the machinery today.

2 min: Kimi Raikkonen is one of the last drivers to head out for a check of his Ferrari.

2 min: Rubens Barrichello is the only man yet to venture out for a lap so far.

3 min: Nick Heidfeld has crossed the line to take a second lap of the circuit early this morning. Lewis Hamilton is going for a similar strategy in the McLaren.

4 min: Barrichello comes out in the Brawn, meaning that all 20 drivers have now been out on track.

4 min: Most of the field are now back in the pits at the end of that installation lap, and the usual morning routine of check the data is now underway. Once the engineers are happy with the numbers, then serious running can begin.

5 min: Hamilton pits after his double installation lap for the mechanics to check over the McLaren.

5 min: Barrichello returns to the pits and the track is empty of cars once again.

7 min: While the Red Bull mechanics fettle the RB5, Mark Webber is sipping a cool drink in the back of the garage, while he watches over them.

Yesterday, the Australian sat out the second half of the afternoon practice session, after suffering a differential issue with the gearbox.

8 min: Jaime Alguersuari remains in the Toro Rosso while the mechanics perform routine duties around the car.

8 min: The overnight rain at the circuit will have washed much of the grippy rubber off the track surface. That will be a factor in the teams waiting a while before running this morning.

9 min: While the main grandstand may be a case of 'spot the spectator', the general admission banks are well-populated already today, as the fans flock to see the only event in eastern Europe.

12 min: Toyota look like they will be the first to blink, and sure enough Jarno Trulli is leaving the garage with a set of the harder tyres on.

12 min: Timo Glock also vacates the Toyota garage, and he is also going out for a run on the harder rubber.

13 min: Jaime Alguersuari joins the Toyotas on track and now the young Spaniard will need to tune into the very different track and weather conditions.

14 min: Trulli rounds the final corner of the lap and crosses the line to start the first timed lap of the day.

14 min: Fernando Alonso joins the drivers now out on track.

15 min: The grip level available to the drivers this morning is clearly non-existent, as we see Trulli constantly fighting the rear of the car as he tries to apply some power out of the slow Hungaroring corners.

15 min: Nico Rosberg and Adrian Sutil come out onto the track to sample conditions, as Trulli completes that first lap in 1m30.122s.

16 min: The harder tyre is the obvious choice for these early runners as they work to restore the rubber to the track surface.

16 min: Giancarlo Fisichella, Sebastien Buemi and Sebastian Vettel are now out there as Glock goes fastest with a 1m25.815s, but is instantly beaten by Rosberg who sets 1m25.764s.

17 min: Alonso takes away the benchmark time with his first effort of 1m25.577s.

17 min: Timo Glock comes back into the pits after a very short run - just one flying lap.

18 min: The reason for Glock's arrival in the box becomes clear, as he is told by his race engineer on the radio to bring the car in due to a hydraulic problem.

18 min: Meanwhile, Nico Rosberg is the next man to top the order with a lap of 1m24.473s in the Williams.

19 min: Sebastien Buemi is now second behind Rosberg, with Alonso third and Alguersuari fourth.

20 min: Kimi Raikkonen slots in near the front with his latest effort as the lap times improve rapidly.

20 min: Rosberg betters his previous best and extends his advantage at the top with 1m23.659s, but Buemi goes fastest seconds later with 1m23.633s.

20 min: Rosberg comes round at the end of another lap and retakes first position with 1m23.443s.

21 min: Lewis Hamilton is back on track in the McLaren. He is testing another revised front wing this morning, which only arrived from the factory overnight.

21 min: Sebastien Buemi can't match the Williams driver this time, and that little battle is over for now. Buemi remains in second spot, with Adrian Sutil now third, Alonso fourth and Nelson Piquet in fifth.

22 min: Heikki Kovalainen puts his McLaren on top of the pile with the latest benchmark time - 1m23.343s.

23 min: The Brawn drivers are once again taking things slowly. Rubens Barrichello is over three seconds off the pace after his first timed lap, and Button is down in 18th, five seconds adrift after his first effort.

24 min: Sebastien Buemi has come back with a 1m23.123s lap - good enough to top Kovalainen at the front.

25 min: Heikki Kovalainen trims a couple of tenths off his best time, despite catching the Williams of Nakajima late in the lap.

25 min: The Brawn drivers are now making the move towards the front. Barrichello moves into third place with team-mate Button now fourth.

26 min: Despite concerns over his car bottoming out, Lewis Hamilton takes the best time away from his team-mate with a lap of 1m22.280s.

26 min: Adrian Sutil now splits the Brawn drivers, as they all drop down one place with Hamilton's improvement. Barrichello is fourth, Sutil fifth with 1m23.231s and Button sixth.

27 min: Robert Kubica is up to seventh quickest in the BMW.

28 min: At Toyota, repairs are being carried out on Timo Glock's car, after he was told to curtail his first run early this morning due to a hydraulic issue.

29 min: Felipe Massa continues a run on the harder tyre. He moves up to tenth quickest with his latest effort.

29 min: The Brawn duo improve again and Button is now fourth with team-mate Barrichello fifth. Mark Webber has just put in his first serious lap of the morning and he moves into the top six with a lap of 1m23.222s - almost one second off the leading pace.

29 min: Robert Kubica springs up to second quickest with a 1m22.803s in the BMW.

30 min: Felipe Massa continues to improve his pace as his run continues. He's now up to fifth quickest.

33 min: Only three drivers are out on track. Jarno Trulli is using a set of the harder tyres while Jaime Alguersuari is continuing his Formula 1 education and once again just two seconds off the pace in 19th. He is running the softer tyre and that's a good lap. He moves up to 11th place with a lap of 1m23.500s.

33 min: That lap from Alguersuari is just 1.2 seconds off the front-running pace.

34 min: The young Spaniard is set to improve further on his next lap ... and the sensational youngster is now in the top six! - 1m22.913s.

36 min: The hydraulic problem with Timo Glock's Toyota looks to be serious as the mechanics have the car in pieces to try and track down the fault. It looks like Timo will get very little running this morning.

37 min: It cannot be overstated how good a job this young man has done so far. Having never turned a wheel in anger in an F1 car before, he comes to one of the most difficult circuits on the calendar, stays on the island all day on Friday, and is now competently going through the hard and soft tyre programmes with considerable ease.

The kid is flying and now moves up to second place with 1m22.487s.

37 min: Kimi Raikkonen is back on track and goes sixth quickest with his latest lap.

39 min: Most of the field are back out on the circuit and Rosberg moves up to second place behind Hamilton and Alguersuari with a lap of 1m22.755s.

39 min: Fernando Alonso now out with the softer tyres on the Renault. He jumps up to second quickest with a 1m22.369s lap.

40 min: Jenson Button is tenth but on the move as he sets personal best times in the first and second sector of the lap ... he moves up to fifth and finds himself just behind team-mate Barrichello, who has just improved to fourth. They are both less than half-a-second off the pace.

42 min: Sebastien Buemi uses the soft tyres to move up into fourth spot with a lap of 1m22.547s.

42 min: Heikki Kovalainen sets the fastest first sector, which is quickly beaten by team-mate Hamilton as the McLarens both resume their challenge.

43 min: As Lewis Hamilton tops the times, Adrian Sutil has crashed at Turn 8 in the Force India.

44 min: The German has nosed his Force India into the barriers at Turn 8 after placing his car wrongly as he approached the left-hander.

45 min: There is a reasonable amount of wheel and suspension damage as the VJM02 is craned away from from the tyre barrier.

46 min: As the recovery of Sutil's car concludes, Lewis Hamilton is on top of the order with a lap of 1m22.074s in the McLaren. Fellow super-soft runners Fernando Alonso and Jaime Alguersuari make up the top three.

47 min: Sutil was pushing hard to find an improvement in lap time, but in exiting the Turns 6 and 7 chicane he was slightly too far across to the right hand side of the road, and as he was about to launch the car into Turn 8 he placed his right hand wheels on the dust just off the track, and then lost control of the car, and the tyre barrier was all-too-welcoming.

47 min: With Sutil's car now well out of the way, the drivers can now go and set some quick times again.

47 min: Heikki Kovalainen moves up to third quickest with a run on the harder Bridgestone.

49 min: The super-soft rubber is clearly providing the better grip around the Hungaroring today and these final ten minutes will see all the drivers testing the softer option ahead of qualifying.

49 min: Felipe Massa pops his Ferrari up to third quickest with a 1m22.339s. He may go on to another quick lap as the drivers are finding even more speed into a second and third tour.

50 min: Brawn drivers Button and Barrichello are back out on track for their final run of the morning. Meantime, Hamilton continues to set the pace with just under ten minutes to go, with Alonso second, Massa third, Kovalainen fourth and Alguersuari in fifth place.

51 min: Massa is indeed quicker on his second lap with super-soft rubber and the Ferrari is now on top of the pile in 1m21.911s.

53 min: Jaime Alguersuari continues his training for qualifying on the super-soft tyre and is up to fifth. Team-mate Sebastian Buemi is up to third on a similar qualifying test.

54 min: Red Bull have been making a series of changes with Sebastian Vettel's set-up throughout the session. They have been working on securing the rear end stability of the RB5 and lowering the ride height to help them do this.

One drawback is that Vettel's rear end is the one feeling the heat - from the ground. Sebastian tells the team that he can't continue running this low as he is getting way too hot in some sensitive areas.

54 min: Lewis Hamilton is back out on super-soft rubber and he is immediately setting the pace. Hamilton is on top again with a 1m21.502s.

55 min: Toyota have worked quickly and the Glock car is now fully repaired following a lengthy hydraulic problem.

He is on track and improving as he plays catch-up on the rest of the field. He quickly improves to seventh position with a lap of 1m22.286s.

57 min: Hamilton continues on his super-soft rubber and trims a further three tenths off the time to beat, which now stands at 1m21.207s.

57 min: Felipe Massa is also finding speed on a run of laps with the softer tyres and is up to third.

58 min: Nico Rosberg follows the Briton in second, with Massa third, Buemi up to fourth, Barrichello now fifth and Fernando Alonso has slipped down to sixth spot.

58 min: The track is very busy as the teams all test multiple-lap runs on the softer tyre option.

58 min: Nick Heidfeld springs up to second quickest with a 1m21.408s in the BMW.

59 min: Timo Glock improves again in the repaired Toyota and is now in the top five with a latest lap of 1m21.849s.

59 min: Heikki Kovalainen takes sixth fastest with the early laps of his softer tyre run.

59 min: Lewis Hamilton continues to enjoy the super-soft rubber and is quicker yet again, several laps into the run.

10:00 The session has ended. Cars that have already started a lap may complete it.

10:00 Mark Webber sets his quickest lap of the session, but is well outside the top ten in the Red Bull. Team-mate Vettel is just inside the top ten, almost one second off the pace.

10:01 Hamilton's best time now stands at 1m21.009s, while team-mate Kovalainen took fourth quickest with his final effort of the session.

10:02 The cars tour back into the pits to round out practice in Hungary.

10:03 Lewis Hamilton is fastest at the Hungaroring once again with a quickest lap of 1m21.009s and now he is a serious threat for the front row in qualifying.

Nick Heidfeld jumped up to second in the dying moments, with Nico Rosberg third, Heikki Kovalainen fourth, Sebastien Buemi fifth in the Toro Rosso and Timo Glock making the best of a bad job in sixth place.

10:04 As ever, the timesheet at the end of final practice paints an uncertain picture, with a mixture of pre-qualifying fuel loads being tested at the end of the session.

Nevertheless, a tight and exciting qualifying hour is in prospect, with grid position so vital here in Hungary.

10:10 The final practice report is now available:

McLaren remains on top in final practice

10:12 McLaren Mercedes have two cars in the top four once again at the Hungaroring, while Brawn and Red Bull spent time working with a slightly higher fuel load.

Are we set for one of the closest qualifying sessions ever? Join us at 11:45 GMT to find out.

  OVERVIEW PRACTICE THREE  
Session length: 60 minutes
  CURRENT WEATHER
Mainly sunny High Temp: 24°C / 75°F
Track: Dry
  INFOBOX
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  LIVE COVERAGE NAVIGATOR
Monday 20 Jul Start GMT
 Hungarian Grand Prix Weather 15:00
Friday 24 Jul
 Friday Morning Practice 07:45
 Friday Afternoon Practice 11:45
Saturday 25 Jul
 Saturday Morning Practice 08:45
 Qualifying 11:45
Sunday 26 Jul
 Race day at the Hungaroring 10:30
  ABOUT
Emlyn Hughes and Geoff Creighton are autosport.com's live commentary team. The dynamic duo have developed an inimitable style and a reputation for fast, accurate and insightful commentary. With unrivaled access to events unfolding at the circuit, they bring you the very latest, as it happens.

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