Andreas Zuber stormed to the top of the timesheets in the half-hour GP2 Series practice session at the Hungaroring, but it was a case of good news/bad news for his Piquet Sports team when team-mate Pastor Maldonado suffered a huge crash, leaving the team with a heavy workload ahead of qualifying this afternoon.
The session took place under fine clear skies, albeit with temperatures down from the usual oppressive Hungarian heat, and the times was incredibly tight at the top. Zuber just edged points leader Giorgio Pantano and Lucas di Grassi in a session which also saw Romain Grosjean, Karun Chandhok and Vitaly Petrov within two tenths of the top spot.
While many of the competitors tripped over themselves at least once as they looked for the edge on a still largely 'green' surface, Maldonado was the only driver to hit the barriers. The oft-erratic Venezuelan speared across the gravel at turn eight at the 20-minute mark before making heavy contact with the barriers, tearing off most of the right side of his car. Although the driver was basically unhurt in the impact, and still managed to hold on to tenth in the times, the Piquet Sports team will have to go some to ensure that he is able to post a qualifying time.
Maldonado followed one-off GT team-mate Jerome d'Ambrosio and Sebastien Buemi in filling out the top ten, while Bruno Senna, Andy Soucek, Mike Conway and Alvaro Parente were all close to the Venezuelan times.
Fifteen drivers finished the session within a second of the top spot, with all bar three within another second, as Michael Herck, Carlos Iaconelli and Marko Asmer struggled to get to grips with the sinuous track.