Lewis Hamilton said he was delighted with his start to the Hungarian Grand Prix after setting the pace in both free practice sessions at the Hungaroring.

Hamilton led team-mate Jenson Button to a McLaren 1-2 in the first session and then improved his fastest time in the second session to end the first day of running in Budapest on top.

After the disappointment of Germany last weekend, where he was forced to retire, Hamilton was pleased to start on top but said it was important to now carry the pace shown into qualifying at one of the most difficult circuits for overtaking on the calendar.

"It's been a really positive day," he said. "I'm very happy. During the sessions we made some useful changes to the car to get it dialled-in, and we're on the right path, but we've still got a bit of work to do. The guys did a fantastic job. We're going to keep pushing, though.

"I'm on it. I've been on it all year. I feel a lot of support from the fans, here and everywhere, and I think things are looking pretty good this weekend. I'll be focusing on maximising every lap and every opportunity I get out there.

"Overtaking here is difficult, so qualifying and track positioning will be of paramount importance. Some drivers may do longer runs, some may do shorter runs [in the race]. Either way, Jenson and I will be looking to qualify well and start at or near the front."

Team-mate Button ended the day with the sixth quickest time and he predicted a close battle for top honours in qualifying.

"I'm pretty happy with the car, all in all, and I think we're pretty competitive around here, but in FP2 we learned that a lot other teams are pretty competitive around here too," he said. "As ever, though, it'll be about getting the perfect balance.

"I reckon we're going to see a fierce battle for victory this weekend. Having said that, we had a good car at Hockenheim, and we should have a good car here too, so we should be up there. As I say, it's much too close to call, though."



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