Formula 1

Hamilton Edges Verstappen in Final Practice at Hot Hungaroring as Schumacher Crashes

3 Mins read
Credit: Jiri Krenek

Lewis Hamilton edged out Max Verstappen in final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix as the two title protagonists led the way at the Hungaroring on Saturday morning.

On the back of their collision on the opening lap of the British Grand Prix, all eyes have been on the battle between the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Red Bull Racing drivers, and the duo were again at the front of the field in the final running before Qualifying.

Hamilton set a best time of 1:16.826 to edge out Verstappen by 0.088 seconds, while it seems to be advantage Mercedes as Valtteri Bottas ended third despite a big lock-up at the chicane on his final flying lap that saw the Finn go off track.

The second Red Bull of Sergio Pérez was down in seventh, with the Mexican appearing to be struggling in comparison to his team-mate Verstappen.  Pérez ended up behind both Scuderia Ferrari drivers and McLaren F1 Team’s Lando Norris, but more alarmingly for Red Bull, he was over a second down on the outright pace.

There was a red flag in the final quarter of the session when Mick Schumacher crashed his Uralkali Haas F1 Team car at the fast turn eleven, with both the front and rear of the left-hand side of the car damaged.  He was able to get out of the car under his own power but his participation in Qualifying is now in doubt.

The session resumed with nine minutes remaining and it saw the majority of the field heading onto the track on the softest Pirelli tyre available this weekend, although Verstappen was slightly delayed as his mechanics looked at his rear wing and his Drag Reduction System.

There was a very close call in the pit lane when Antonio Giovinazzi was released into the path of Lance Stroll, with the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver’s front wing clipping the rear wheel of the Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team’s AMR21.  The incident will be investigated after the session, but Alfa Romeo might be in line for a financial penalty for it.

Pierre Gasly was also displeased with Giovinazzi in the closing moments of the session when the Frenchman came up on the slow-moving Italian on the racing line at the penultimate turn, ruining his quick lap.  It has not been a great weekend to date for Giovinazzi, who ended up eighteenth fastest, ahead only of the Haas cars of Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was the quickest of the two Ferrari drivers in fourth, just ahead of team-mate Charles Leclerc, while Norris showed McLaren have speed this weekend to place sixth, ahead of Pérez and team-mate Daniel Ricciardo.

After showing good pace on Friday, the Alpine F1 Team appeared to fall back a little bit on Saturday morning, with Fernando Alonso down in ninth and Esteban Ocon only twelfth.  In between them was Aston Martin’s Stroll and Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda’s Gasly.

The second Aston Martin of Sebastian Vettel had a quiet session in thirteenth, with the German finishing just over two-tenths quicker than AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda, with the Japanese racer happy to be on track after crashing in first practice on Friday and missing most of second practice as a result.

Kimi Räikkönen was fifteenth for Alfa Romeo, just ahead of the two Williams Racing drivers, George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, with just 0.027 seconds splitting the Briton from the Canadian.  The field was rounded out by Giovinazzi, Schumacher and Mazepin.

Temperatures at the Hungaroring continued to soar, with the expected cooler conditions failing to materialise.  It means drivers were struggling to conserve life in their tyres during their Qualifying simulations, particularly in the final sector, and with even hotter conditions expected later in the day, it could make Qualifying an even more difficult session for the twenty drivers.

Hungaroring Free Practice 3 Result

144Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:16.826 20
233Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:16.914+0.08813
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:17.055+0.22915
455Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari1:17.497+0.67120
516Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:17.520+0.69416
64Lando NorrisITAMcLaren F1 Team1:17.772+0.94612
711Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing1:17.917+1.09112
83Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:17.942+1.11615
914Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:17.992+1.16615
1018Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:18.050+1.22416
1110Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:18.115+1.28917
1231Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:18.174+1.34815
135Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:18.235+1.40915
1422Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:18.461+1.63525
157Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:18.683+1.85721
1663George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:18.794+1.96814
176Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:18.821+1.99515
1899Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:19.113+2.28714
1947Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:19.406+2.58015
209Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:19.933+3.10716
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