Formula 1

Vettel Back In Front After Saturday Practice

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Sebastian Vettel regained his superiority over the rest of the field with his fastest time of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend in Saturday Practice. The World Champion was the last man to attempt on qualifying simulation on the option tyres but leaped straight to the top of the timesheets when he did, going three tenths quicker than Fernando Alonso.

Alonso was the first of the big guns to use the super-softs and set a 1:21.469 which proved slightly out of reach for the two McLarens. Jenson Button was 0.170s away from the Ferrari in third while Lewis Hamilton didn't manage to set a time on his option tyre run after struggling with the brakes on his car and running wide at turn one. Hamilton's time from Friday afternoon remains the quickest of the weekend overall though and he will still fancy his chances of a shot at pole position later today.

Mark Webber didn't have an answer to the single lap pace of his teammate and wound up in fourth, almost half a second behind his teammate with Felipe Massa fifth, scratching his head at a similar gap to his Ferrari colleague.

Once again, Nico Rosberg was the fastest Mercedes in sixth with Hamilton only seventh after his problems, and Michael Schumacher eighth. Renault showed a marked improvement after a poor showing on Friday with Vitaly Petrov taking ninth ahead of Paul Di Resta, as Force India continue to show the potential which could take them into Q3 this afternoon.

Those two teams look set to be disputing the final two places in the top-ten shootout, particularly with the pace of Nick Heidfeld who all but matched Di Resta in eleventh. The two Sauber drivers will also feel they have an outside chance of sneaking through with Sergio Perez and Kamui Kobayashi right behind in 12th and 13th.

The major point of interest in Q1 will be the performance of the bottom two teams who look perilously close to missing the 107% cut off time. In final practice both Virgin and HRT runners were slower than the target time of 1:26.850 and may be relying on the frontrunners getting through on the prime tyres.


Hungarian Grand Prix: FP3 Result

Pos Driver Nat Constructor Lap Time
1 Sebastian Vettel GER Red Bull Racing Renault 1:21.168
2 Fernando Alonso SPA Ferrari +0.301
3 Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes +0.471
4 Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault +0.477
5 Felipe Massa BRA Ferrari +0.834
6 Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes +1.366
7 Lewis Hamilton GBR McLaren Mercedes +1.499
8 Michael Schumacher GER Mercedes +1.869
9 Vitaly Petrov RUS Renault +2.007
10 Paul Di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes +2.108
11 Nick Heidfeld GER Renault +2.113
12 Sergio Perez MEX Sauber Ferrari +2.207
13 Kamui Kobayashi JAP Sauber Ferrari +2.458
14 Rubens Barrichello BRA Williams Cosworth +2.495
15 Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Cosworth +2.726
16 Adrian Sutil GER Force India Mercedes +2.798
17 Jaime Alguersuari SPA STR Ferrari +2.830
18 Sebastien Buemi SWI STR Ferrari +3.893
19 Jarno Trulli ITA Lotus Renault +3.973
20 Heikki Kovalainen FIN Lotus Renault +4.333
21 Jerome D'Ambrosio BEL Virgin Cosworth +5.787
22 Daniel Ricciardo AUS HRT Cosworth +5.823
23 Timo Glock GER Virgin Cosworth +6.006
24 Vitantonio Liuzzi ITA HRT Cosworth +6.545
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