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Lewis Hamilton has started the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix as he means to go on by comfortably pacing first free practice at the Hungaroring in a session interrupted by a spectacular crash for Sergio Perez.

A four-time winner around the notoriously twisty circuit, Hamilton wasted little time in establishing the benchmark, his effort of 1min 25.291secs coming in the opening phase of the session and staying firm until the chequered flag.

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It was enough to put him a tenth of a second between himself and Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg, the German trailed leading Ferrari driver Kimi Raikkonen, who caused a late red flag when his front-wing collapsed over the kerbs at turn 12 and left debris strewn across the circuit.

However, the session was also marred by a dramatic incident involving Force India's Perez after he crashed on the exit of turn 11 and flipped over. Appearing to suffer a right-rear suspension failure over the exit kerbs, the car was pitched into the opposite barriers nose-first before the front wheel tucked beneath the chassis and flipped it over.

Landing upside down, Perez was quickly able to scramble out of the heavily damaged VJM08 before he was taken to the medical centre for checks. He has since been discharged and he says he is unhurt.

Behind Raikkonen, the premature conclusion would allow the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat to split the Ferraris, with Sebastian Vettel sixth, 1.2secs off the top spot.

Carlos Sainz was seventh fastest in the best of the Toro Rossos, ahead of Perez, while Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen rounded out the top ten.

Elsewhere, Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button completed the session 11th and 12th respectively for McLaren, while Lotus managed only a handful of laps after it emerged Pirelli hadn't released its tyre allocation until just before the session due to an unpaid bill. As a result, Jolyon Palmer did not set a lap time at all, while Pastor Maldonado managed just nine revolutions en route to 17th.

Meanwhile, Fabio Leimer made his mark by almost out-performing Manor team-mate Will Stevens on his first outing in the car, the Swiss driver ahead for much of the session before the Englishman surpassed him late on.