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Practice report
Formula 1 Hungarian GP

F1 Hungarian GP: Hamilton beats Verstappen to top FP3

Lewis Hamilton headed the final practice session ahead of the Hungarian Grand Prix, as Formula 1 championship leader Max Verstappen was 0.25s adrift of his former title rival.

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

With the introduction of the alternative tyre allocation for this round, limiting teams from 13 sets of tyres per weekend to 11, the teams attempted to use FP3 as preparation for each phase of qualifying. This yielded all-out times across the full range of compounds, rather than simply bolting on softs as hot-lap preparation.

Track temperatures of 45C and above also made it more difficult for the drivers to initially beat their FP2 times, when the track surface had been cooled by earlier rain, although an overnight downpour had stripped the Hungaroring surface of rubber laid down on Friday.

Daniel Ricciardo set the first timed lap of the session, but his sighter was quickly beaten by Kevin Magnussen's 1m20.454s, who in turn was usurped by Sergio Perez's first lap on a set of used mediums.

Max Verstappen then dispatched his team-mate with a 1m18.478s having pressed a new set of mediums into service, as the Dutchman only used soft tyres in FP2 on Friday.

This withstood a series of runs on soft tyres, as Oscar Piastri's 1m18.949s was not enough to beat either Red Bull despite setting a best middle sector. Piastri's run was completed on new softs, while the trailing laps from team-mate Lando Norris and Alpine's Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were already used sets.

Continuing its impressive pace from FP2, Alfa Romeo pair Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu then split the two Red Bulls on fresh softs, Bottas getting within 0.011s of Verstappen's benchmark as the opening third of the session's run-time had been completed.

Norris then found a smidgen more life in his used softs to move past Perez into fourth, as the Mexican complained that he was struggling to cool the tyres on the sweltering tarmac.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images

As Verstappen had been on top for well over half an hour, Fernando Alonso relieved him of service with a lap on new softs and buzzed the line with a 1m18.350s, just 0.128s clear of the reigning champion's time.

The Spaniard was granted over five minutes on top of the pile, until Norris then employed a fresh set of mediums and beat Alonso's time by 0.268s, wagging the tail of his McLaren MCL60 as he drew across the line.

As the session entered its final quarter, the Mercedes duo embarked upon runs on the soft tyre. George Russell's attempt was punctuated by a few loose moments and went into third place, but Lewis Hamilton cruised to a suite of purple sectors and surged to the top with a 1m17.811s.

Verstappen then attempted to beat his 2021 title rival with new soft tyres, but was a quarter of a second away from Hamilton's benchmark - and complained of no grip while still slotting into second. Perez then vaulted into third, 0.013s behind his team-mate.

The Ferrari duo, who had spent most of the session sitting towards the bottom of the timesheets after focusing on long medium runs, then attempted to move to the top - but lost time beyond their strong first sectors and moved into sixth and seventh.

Nico Hulkenberg then beat both works Ferraris and moved up to fourth, while Magnussen's best first sector was not enough to carry him into the top half of the timesheets.

Perez tried a late effort to try and break between Hamilton and Verstappen at the top, but was 0.006s shy of his team-mate's time to remain third ahead of Hulkenberg.

Norris's earlier effort was good enough for fifth, ahead of Russell, Leclerc and Sainz in the top eight. Alonso's previous headliner carried him into ninth overall, beating Bottas' time as Lance Stroll split the Alfa Romeos to sit 11th, ahead of Zhou.

The top 16 sat all within a second, with Logan Sargeant just 0.003s outside of that margin in 17th place.

Daniel Ricciardo outpaced team-mate Yuki Tsunoda by three tenths, with the two split at the bottom of the timesheets by Esteban Ocon.

F1 Hungarian GP FP3 results

 
 
       
Driver Info
 
 
 
   
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 20 1'17.811   202.691
2 Netherlands M. Verstappen Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 23 +0.250 0.250 202.041
3 Mexico S. Perez Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 25 +0.256 0.006 202.026
4 Germany N. Hulkenberg Nico Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 21 +0.266 0.010 202.000
5 United Kingdom L. Norris Lando Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 19 +0.271 0.005 201.987
6 United Kingdom G. Russell George Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 22 +0.308 0.037 201.891
7 Monaco C. Leclerc Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 28 +0.379 0.071 201.708
8 Spain C. Sainz Carlos Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 29 +0.423 0.044 201.595
9 Spain F. Alonso Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 20 +0.539 0.116 201.296
10 Finland V. Bottas Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 77 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 24 +0.678 0.139 200.940
11 Canada L. Stroll Lance Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 20 +0.725 0.047 200.820
12 China Z. Guanyu Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 24 Alfa Romeo Ferrari 23 +0.733 0.008 200.799
13 Thailand A. Albon Alex Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 17 +0.781 0.048 200.676
14 Australia O. Piastri Oscar Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 19 +0.787 0.006 200.661
15 Denmark K. Magnussen Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 26 +0.838 0.051 200.531
16 France P. Gasly Pierre Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 22 +0.965 0.127 200.208
17 United States L. Sargeant Logan Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 16 +1.003 0.038 200.111
18 Australia D. Ricciardo Daniel Ricciardo AlphaTauri 3 AlphaTauri Red Bull 28 +1.017 0.014 200.076
19 France E. Ocon Esteban Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 22 +1.168 0.151 199.693
20 Japan Y. Tsunoda Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 22 AlphaTauri Red Bull 29 +1.345 0.177 199.247

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