And it was Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen who recorded the fastest time of the morning in Hungary, as he beat Williams-Toyota's Nico Rosberg by only 0.059 seconds in the closing stages of P1.
It was only after the halfway points of the session that the championship big guns started to post some significant lap times, and Nurburgring winner Mark Webber was the first to top the field. However, with only 6 minutes left to drive, the McLaren duo started to really put some pressure on the Aussie and were not to be denied of a strong P1 result.
First, it was Lewis Hamilton to get pass the Red Bull driver, while quickly bettered by Rosberg a few seconds later. While trying to get back on top, the reigning world champion made a slight error halfway through his quick lap and eventually abandoned it, ending the session in the pits.
McLaren's honor was to be saved by Kova, however, as the Finn made a huge comeback from the rear of the classification to end the morning with the best time of 1:22.278. Williams' Kazuki Nakajima and Toyota's Jarno Trulli ended the P1 in 5th and 6th place respectively, while followed by Ferrari duo Kimi Raikkonen and Felipe Massa. The Top 10 was completed by Renault's Fernando Alonso and championship leader Jenson Button.
Jaime Alguersuari's very debut in Formula One ended quite well, as he finished the session only 0.230 seconds off pace from teammate Sebastien Buemi. At one point, his car stalled at the end of the pit lane, but quickly recovered afterwards.
Here are the complete time reports from Hunagrian GP's P1:
1. Heikki Kovalainen (McLaren-Mercedes) 1:22.278
2. Nico Rosberg (Williams-Toyota) 1:22.337
3. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren-Mercedes) 1:22.554
4. Mark Webber ( Red Bull-Renault) 1:22.615
5. Kazuki Nakajima (Williams-Toyota) 1:22.619
6. Jarno Trulli (Toyota) 1:22.705
7. Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari) 1:22.796
8. Felipe Massa (Ferrari) 1:22.855
9. Fernando Alonso (Renault) 1:23.001
10. Jenson Button (Brawn-Mercedes) 1:23.130
11. Robert Kubica (BMW-Sauber) 1:23.146
12. Nick Heidfeld (BMW-Sauber) 1:23.154
13. Rubens Barrichello (Brawn-Mercedes) 1:23.209
14. Timo Glock (Toyota) 1:23.234
15. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull-Renault) 1:23.283
16. Giancarlo Fisichella (Force India-Mercedes) 1:23.484
17. Nelson Piquet (Renault) 1:23.678
18. Adrian Sutil (Force India-Mercedes) 1:23.845
19. Sebastien Buemi (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:23.998
20. Jaime Alguersuari (Toro Rosso-Ferrari) 1:24.228