Strong start for Hamilton
Championship leader improves in afternoon session
Seeking his third straight race win, Lewis Hamilton maintained his current strong form by setting the fastest time of the day during Friday practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
With temperatures hitting 30 degrees centigrade in Budapest, Hamilton's performance in the afternoon session underlined the fact he starts favourite for Sunday's race.
The current World Championship leader was only fourth quickest in the morning session behind his main title rivals, Ferrari's Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen, as well as McLaren Mercedes team-mate Heikki Kovalainen.
However, Hamilton vaulted to the top of the timesheets in the afternoon after posting a best effort of one minute 20.554 seconds.
That was 0.194 secs quicker than Nelson Piquet in his Renault. However, the Brazilian's quickest lap was a qualifying special on low fuel at the end of the 90-minute session.
Piquet, who finished second to Hamilton at the German Grand Prix 12 days ago, then undid his fine work somewhat with a spin on his very next lap.
Kovalainen was third overall, 0.206secs adrift of Hamilton, with double World Champion Fernando Alonso fourth in his Renault.
Ferrari duo Raikkonen and Massa, who set the pace in the morning, were fifth and sixth in the afternoon, separated by 0.001 secs but almost half a second slower than Hamilton.
The BMW Saubers of Nick Heidfeld and Robert Kubica finished seventh and eighth, with Toyota's Jarno Trulli and Williams' Nico Rosberg rounding out the top 10, the latter a second off the pace.
David Coulthard was 13th in his Red Bull, with Jenson Button down in 16th for Honda, just over 1.5 secs off Hamilton's pace.
Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel endured a wretched day on the first anniversary of his debut for Toro Rosso, the young German propping up the timesheets in both sessions.
The 21-year-old completed just four laps in the morning due to a hydraulics problem which the team seemingly failed to fix during the two-and-a-half-hour interval prior between sessions.
Vettel managed just five laps in the afternoon before again rolling on to the grass, almost collecting Timo Glock as he slowed in his Toyota.
Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday practice, session two:
1 L. Hamilton McLaren 1:20.554 seconds 35 laps
2 N. Piquet Jr. Renault 1:20.748 38 laps
3 H. Kovalainen McLaren 1:20.760 33 laps
4 F. Alonso Renault 1:20.923 35 laps
5 K. Räikkönen Ferrari 1:21.009 36 laps
6 F. Massa Ferrari 1:21.010 36 laps
7 N. Heidfeld BMW 1:21.138 46 laps
8 R. Kubica BMW 1:21.363 36 laps
9 J. Trulli Toyota 1:21.505 42 laps
10 N. Rosberg Williams 1:21.581 34 laps
11 T. Glock Toyota 1:21.662 39 laps
12 M. Webber Red Bull 1:21.733 43 laps
13 D. Coulthard Red Bull 1:21.837 34 laps
14 K. Nakajima Williams 1:21.902 33 laps
15 S. Bourdais Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:21.955 41 laps
16 J. Button Honda 1:22.150 41 laps
17 G. Fisichella Force India F1 1:22.197 36 laps
18 A. Sutil Force India F1 1:22.358 37 laps
19 R. Barrichello Honda 1:22.448 33 laps
20 S. Vettel Scuderia Toro Rosso 1:22.945 5 laps