Prac 1: Schu's opening salvo

In a race billed as the Michelin teams' best chance of beating Ferrari since Monaco, Michael Schumacher set the fastest time in the opening session of the weekend at the Hungaroring. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello was second fastest, but expect McLaren to figure in the second session

Prac 1: Schu's opening salvo

When Schumacher first appeared on track he fired off a 1m21.552s lap, which was 2.4secs faster than the previous best, set at the time by BAR tester Anthony Davidson. Ferrari team-mate Barrichello joined the party, and was consistently faster than Schumacher through the first sector, but couldn't manage it over a whole lap.

Kimi Raikkonen looked odds-on to top Schumacher's time, having eclipsed his best in the opening sector by a couple of tenths, but he ran wide on the exit of Turn 9 and his time was only good enough for fourth, behind Davidson.

Turn 9 was a hot spot, with both Sauber's Giancarlo Fisichella and Jaguar's Christian Klien going off into the gravel. Fisichella escaped, Klien did not. Juan Pablo Montoya's new-look Williams had a big spin at Turn 13, but was able to continue. He ended the session sixth fastest, just behind McLaren's David Coulthard, who was sporting a new helmet design as part of a competition.

Olivier Panis was seventh quickest in the revised Toyota, which the team's technical director Mike Gascoyne said was "a very solid start to the weekend", with new Friday tester Ryan Briscoe impressively right behind his French colleague. Renault's Jarno Trulli was next up, ahead of BAR's Jenson Button.

Last year's winner here, Fernando Alonso, was down in 11th, ahead of Fisichella and the third Toyota of Ricardo Zonta. Jaguar tester Bjorn Wirdheim was 14th, ahead of Jordan's Giorgio Pantano, Antonio Pizzonia (Williams) and Nick Heidfeld (Jordan).

BAR's Takuma Sato was down in 19th, while Mark Webber failed to record a flying lap as Jaguar opted to limit his engine mileage once again.

The session was enlivened further when a hare ran on to the track at Turn 13, in hot pursuit of Ryan Briscoe's Toyota. In terms of the tortoise, local hero Zsolt Baumgartner had to be pushed into the pits early on...

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