Daniel Ricciardo was fourth in his Red Bull followed by his team-mate Daniil Kvyat with Sebastian Vettel sixth.

Lewis Hamilton went fastest in first practice Raikkonen’s session was then brought to a premature end however, after he suffered a front left tyre puncture which caused bits of his Ferrari front wing to scatter the track. The Italian firm says the combination is well suited to providing the mechanical grip necessary to negotiate all the corners, yet hardy enough to withstand the punishing heat.

Hamilton changed the construction of his brakes last year – switching from Brembo discs to Carbone Industrie ahead of the German GP after a brake failure resulted in him crashing during qualifying – and Rosberg confirmed that he has also been experimenting with different components.

Many drivers wore tributes to Jules Bianchi, with race stickers such as “Ciao Jules” or “JB 17” on their helmets for the driver’s initials and vehicle number.

The Mexican driver suffered a rear suspension failure as his auto flipped after hitting the wall and finished upside down on the exit of turn 11.

Hamilton’s led Kvyat by. Bianchi, 25, died Friday July, 17, from head injuries sustained in a crash at last year’s Japanese Grand Prix.

“It was really good fun out there today and I’m starting to think this might be my favourite track”, said Hamilton, who is bidding for a record fifth win in Hungary on Sunday. Force India Mercedes – Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. “I am sure Jules would love to watch us race flat out this weekend and give our all for him so that is exactly what we’ll do”.

Fears for Perez’s safety were quickly eased as he waved to fans at the Hungaroring on his walk to the medical center for a mandatory check.

“The accident cut short our morning and we opted to withdraw from the afternoon session as a precaution until we had a clear understanding of the problem. Thank God I’m alright and we’re ready for the rest of the weekend”. By the evening they still had not put their finger on what exactly had caused it.

With track temperatures hovering between 40 and 55 degrees, Hamilton added: “It’s incredibly hot, though – like driving in a sauna!”

Hamilton, who arrived in Budapest on Thursday morning in his distinctive red private jet, is a victory shy of becoming the most successful driver in the history of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

Rosberg was the first to set a time around the 2.722-mile (4.381-km) 14-turn circuit when he clocked a 1:29.215, and he then improved that to a 1:27.306.