Lewis Hamilton began the session as if determined to recapture the spirit, the exact frame of mental reference, that had assisted him in driving to victory less than seven days previously at the Nurburgring. And while he wasn't the first out of the blocks of the favourites to set a quick time - that honour went to his McLaren team-mate Jenson Button - Hamilton was the quickest whenever he was on the dirty, purchase-limited Hungaroring asphalt in P1.
Even at the end of the 90-minute session, when most were well into a performance comparison run, or a set-up change evaluation, Hamilton was still on it banging in purple sector times with vigour.
Hamilton set the fastest time in first practice © LAT
That he didn't improve on the 1m23.350s lap that set the mark for P1 was only down to his perception that Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso was occupying his favoured choice of line. The McLaren snapped to the outside, drove around the Spaniard's machine, then made that point through crystal clear language that his car's motion displayed.
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