Hungarian GP: Hamilton outpaces Rosberg again in FP3

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the final practice session ahead of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix in Budapest.

Hamilton again outpaced his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg, both on the medium-compound tyre and the soft-tyred qualifying simulation. His fastest time was 0.098s quicker than Rosberg could manage.

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was best of the rest, but the best part of a second slower.

Story of the session

Kimi Raikkonen and Vettel set the early pace for Ferrari, with the Mercedes pair sitting out the first 20 minutes of the session.

Rosberg was the first to run, immediately jumping to the top of the times on 1m25.201s. He lowered that to 1m24.873s on his second flying lap on the medium-compound tyres.

Hamilton beat that at his first attempt with 1m24.747s, before flatspotting his front-left tyre, with the Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat almost a second off the Mercedes pace at this point.

Rosberg made several suspension changes during the session, and was first of the frontrunners on the soft tyre. He managed 1m23.095s, but Hamilton beat him again with 1m22.997s.

Rosberg ended his session early when he got out of his car when it stalled at the end of the pitlane after an attempted practice start.

Vettel was third fastest in the session, 0.889s off Hamilton’s pace.

Ferrari’s troubles continued, however, as Raikkonen suffered what his engineer called a “dramatic water leak” that soaked his rear tyres and almost caused him to go off.

Raikkonen didn’t get to run on the soft tyre, which will hamper his chances in qualifying. He ended the session 16th.

Red Bull disappointed after its strong Friday, with Kvyat fourth – 1.2s off the pace – and Ricciardo only managed ninth after a big moment at Turn 5 ruined his lap.

Carlos Sainz was an impressive fifth fastest in his Toro Rosso, with Max Verstappen seventh in the sister car.

Force India back on track

Both Force Indias were in action today, following Sergio Perez’s big accident in FP1 and Nico Hulkenberg’s subsequent withdrawal while it made revisions to rear suspension wishbones.

The session wasn’t without trouble, however: Perez spun at Turn 1, and a piece of Hulkenberg’s car fell off on the approach to the first corner soon after.

Hulkenberg topped the session following an early soft-compound tyre run, and the lap was good enough for sixth, with Perez down in 15th.

Fernando Alonso was a solid eighth for McLaren, despite a big moment at Turn 1 on the soft tyres. Jenson Button complained of “very poor” rear grip after making an overnight setup change, and he was 13th.

Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten in his Lotus, just ahead of teammate Pastor Maldonado.

Williams had a poor session, with Felipe Massa 12th and Valtteri Bottas 14th.

F1 - Hungarian GP - Free Practice 3
01   L. Hamilton   Mercedes 1:22.997   12
02   N. Rosberg   Mercedes 1:23.095 +0.098 20
03   S. Vettel   Ferrari 1:23.886 +0.889 19
04   D. Kvyat   Red Bull 1:24.215 +1.218 17
05   C. Sainz   Toro Rosso 1:24.326 +1.329 22
06   N. Hulkenberg   Force India 1:24.483 +1.486 30
07   M. Verstappen   Toro Rosso 1:24.678 +1.681 22
08   F. Alonso   McLaren 1:24.846 +1.849 16
09   D. Ricciardo   Red Bull 1:24.929 +1.932 12
10   R. Grosjean   Lotus 1:24.941 +1.944 22
11   P. Maldonado   Lotus 1:24.953 +1.956 16
12   F. Massa   Williams 1:25.094 +2.097 13
13   J. Button   McLaren 1:25.229 +2.232 16
14   V. Bottas   Williams 1:25.345 +2.348 17
15   S. Perez   Force India 1:25.393 +2.396 25
16   K. Raikkonen   Ferrari 1:25.661 +2.664 12
17   F. Nasr   Sauber 1:26.060 +3.063 20
18   M. Ericsson   Sauber 1:26.095 +3.098 20
19   W. Stevens   Manor 1:28.757 +5.760 19
20   R. Merhi   Manor 1:28.908 +5.911 20

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Event Hungarian GP
Sub-event Saturday practice
Track Hungaroring
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Article type Practice report