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Kral on top in Friday practice

Josef Kral made good use of a clear track in the middle of Friday morning practice session in Hungary to top the timesheets ahead of Fabio Leimer and James Calado.
Josef Kral managed to find a quiet moment with no traffic underfoot to set the fastest time of the Friday morning session in Hungary.

Daniël de Jong had been the first man out on track for practice at the Hungaroring, in his return behind the wheel of the Rapax car after missing Hockenheim because of a conflicting round of the AutoGP World Series championship. With the benefit of a clear track ahead of him, his first lap was a stately 1:41.160s with the rest of the field well back from him on that first run as they experienced various traffic jams and duly backed off to save their tyres for a proper run of it next time around.

The Lotus GP duo then duly jumped to the top, James Calado setting a benchmark of 1:30.483s three quarters of a second faster than Esteban Gutiérrex, and Luiz Razia slotting in between them with his own effort in the Arden. Caterham's Giedo van der Garde, Racing Engineering's Fabio Leimer and Coloni's Stefano Coletti filled out the initial top six.

Rio Haryanto shaved Calado's margin over the field to under a tenth of a second just before Razia got out of shape and spun at turn 13 ten minutes into the session, and his Carlin team mate trimmed that even further to just four thousandths of a second a couple of minute later. But it was finally iSport's Marcus Ericsson who toppled Calado with a 1:30.422s before his time was quickly beaten in turn by Giedo van der Garde and then by Fabio Leimer who went top with 1:30.078s.

Calado responded with the first lap under the 90s mark, posting a time of 1:29.837s 12 minutes into the session to put him ahead of Van der Garde and DAMS' Davide Valsecchi, at which point most of the drivers started to return to pit lane for their mid-session set-up tweaks and consultation with their race engineers. One of the few to stay out and benefit form the traffic-free conditions was Josef Kral, who made the most of it by going top with a lap of 1:29.573s for Barwa Addax with a little over ten minutes remaining as the track continued to rubber in and clean up.

Kral's benchmark time continued to stand even as Leimer just held on to a seat-of-the-pants 1:29.732s with less than five minutes remaining in the session, and iSport's Jolyon Palmer improved into fourth place with a lap of 1:29.916s after getting baulked by traffic in his earlier flying laps. However, few of the front runners were inclined to throw a new set of tyres at a purely practice session which meant that no one else was able to significantly improve their times or threaten to dislodge Kral from the top, especially once local yellows came out for a piece of bodywork (the top of the cockpit section which fits over the driver's headrest) that had become detached from Victor Guerin's Ocean Racing car and come to rest by the side of the track in sector 2.

Apart from Razia's early mishap - from which he was able to keep his engine running and get back underway - there was only a harmless spin for de Jong with seven minutes to go in the session and some minor lock-ups from the likes of Felipe Nasr and Giedo van der Garde.

What had proved to be a brisk and efficient 30 minutes practice session was held in dry conditions, with temperatures rapidly climbing toward the scorching conditions expected for the afternoon sessions and no sign of any thunderstorms forecast for later over the race weekend.

The qualifying session will take place at 3pm after F1 Free Practice 2. The 39-lap feature race 1 on Saturday afternoon is scheduled to get underway at 2.40pm after Grand Prix qualifying, and the Sunday morning 28-lap sprint race 2 at 9.35am. All sessions are scheduled to be shown live on Sky Sports F1.

Full Friday practice session times available.



Related Pictures

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Josef Kral (CZE, Barwa Addax Team) (Photo Credit: Alastair Staley/GP2 Media Service.)
Josef Kral (CZE, Barwa Addax Team) (Photo Credit: Daniel Kalisz/GP2 Media Service.)
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Daniel de Jong (NED, MP Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
Matt Parry - Koiranen GP   [pic credit: GP3 Media Service]
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Saturday 25 July 2015. Matthew Parry (GBR, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Seb Morris (GBR, Status Grand Prix) &Matheo Tuscher (SUI, Jenzer Motorsport) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) & Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) leads Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Raffaele Marciello (ITA, Trident) and the rest of the field at the start. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) & Stoffel Vandoorne (BEL, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) celebrates in parc ferme. Photo: Steven Tee/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP2 Series Round 6. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Nobuharu Matsushita (JPN, ART Grand Prix) crosses the line and takes the chequered flag and the win. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP2 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium with Esteban Ocon (FRA, ART Grand Prix) and Jimmy Eriksson (SWE, Koiranen GP). Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service
2015 GP3 Series Round 4. Hungaroring, Budapest, Hungary. Sunday 26 July 2015. Kevin Ceccon (ITA, Arden International) celebrates on the podium. Photo: Sam Bloxham/GP3 Media Service

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