Robert Kubica got one over on the McLaren versus Ferrari that is engulfing the sport on and off the track at the moment by securing the fastest time in first practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Marking his Formula 1 anniversary this weekend having made his race debut around the Hungaroring twelve months ago, Kubica celebrated in style with a lap of 1min 22.390secs, a fair tenth up on nearest competitors Ferrari.

Effectively his home grand prix also, BMW revealed a good hand in general during the session, with Kubica and team-mate Nick Heidfeld both considerably quicker than anyone else in the second sector, although the German would lose time in sectors one and three to eventually leave him down in sixth.

Kubica though kept it solid for the whole lap to edge out Felipe Massa, who saw his session come to a premature end when a mechanical problem caused him to come to a halt. His team-mate Kimi Raikkonen looks most ominous in third though, the Finn quickest in sectors one and three, but losing enough time in the middle section to leave him in third position overall.

McLaren followed closely behind, Fernando Alonso leading Lewis Hamilton, both just under and over two tenths off the ultimate pace respectively suggesting a close weekend of racing is in the offing.

Nico Rosberg found himself in the mix in seventh, just marginally behind Heidfeld, while eighth and ninth fastest for Honda duo Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello will prompt encouragement that they can challenge in the mid-field more effectively this weekend.

Ralf Schumacher rounded out the top ten in the leading Toyota with team-mate Jarno Trulli 12th, the duo separated by Super Aguri's Anthony Davidson in 11th, the Brit also returning to the scene of his Formula 1 debut some five years ago this weekend.

Nurburgring stars Alex Wurz and David Coulthard were 13th and 14th fastest, ahead of the leading Renault of Heikki Kovalainen, the French manufacturer seemingly adopting a conservative start to proceedings with Giancarlo Fisichella down in 17th also.

They were split by Sebastian Vettel who got the early nod over new Scuderia Toro Rosso team-mate Vitanotnio Liuzzi with the 16th fastest time, although German had to wait until the final few seconds to move further into the top twenty.

Liuzzi had to be content with 18th instead, with Takuma Sato and Mark Webber completing the top twenty, the latter expecting mechanical problems and only completing 14 laps. Spyker filled the final two positions, Adrian Sutil eight tenths behind Webber in 21st, while newcomer Sakon Yamamoto brought up the rear 5.7secs off Kubica's pace and 1.8secs behind his German team-mate.

 

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