F1 Hungarian GP: Hamilton tops final practice ahead of Verstappen

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in final practice for Formula 1’s 2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, edging out title rival Max Verstappen by 0.088s.

F1 Hungarian GP: Hamilton tops final practice ahead of Verstappen

Although the majority of the field spent the first third of the session in their garages, the Haas pair headed out immediately – with Nikita Mazepin on the mediums and Mick Schumacher on the softs, a split that was replicated across the few cars that soon joined them.

Mazepin established the first place benchmark at a 1m25.419s with his opening lap, which Schumacher immediately bettered with a 1m22.804s.

After Schumacher improved on his next lap to a 1m21.898s, Yuki Tsunoda, Kimi Raikkonen and Carlos Sainz Jr all enjoyed brief moments at the head of the times – the Alfa Romeo running the softs with the AlphaTauri and Ferrari on the mediums.

Just after Raikkonen had retaken first place with a 1m19.267s just before the 15-minute mark, Hamilton headed on for his opening run on the softs.

The world champion duly went quickest on a 1m18.587s, but he struggled with a badly oversteering car all around the lap – including Hamilton having to get fully off the power to correct a slide at the last corner – and he immediately pitted when he spotted a pin embedded in his right-front tyre, which Mercedes quickly removed.

As the rest of the runners headed out after 20 minutes had passed, Hamilton lowered the first place benchmark to a 1m18.204s but was deposed by Verstappen running just behind him on the track.

The Red Bull driver’s opening lap on the softs swept him to first place on a 1m17.510s, which put him 0.694s clear of his title rival and with the fastest times in all three sectors at that stage.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB16B

Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images

But when Valtteri Bottas came through to complete his first flying lap of FP3, the second practice pacesetter put Mercedes back on top with a 1m17.428s – the Finn toppling Verstappen’s best segment times in sectors two and three as he gained ground as the lap went on.

After a lull in action ahead of the final 20 minutes, Bottas reappeared on another set of softs to improve the fastest time to a 1m17.055s, just before the session was red flagged when Schumacher crashed at the fast, 90-degree right of Turn 11 at the end of the second sector.

The rookie lost the rear of his Haas mid-corner and he spun off backwards at high-speed, with the car snapping back to the left and hitting the barriers side-on as a result.

The session was suspended for seven minutes before the pack head out for a final set of runs in the closing minutes.

Verstappen gained 0.3s on Bottas’s best time in the first sector on his final flying lap, which he held in the second segment and then lost time in the last sector, even though he ended up moving back to the top spot on a 1m16.914s.

But Hamilton restored Mercedes’ place at the head of the times as he ran just behind Verstappen on his final push lap, going faster as the lap went on to end up quickest in the final two sectors and overall with a 1m16.826s.

Bottas held onto third despite a late moment locking up and going off at the Turns 6/7 chicane, with Sainz – who had jumped up the order with a fast lap just before the red flag – fourth for Ferrari.

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Carlos Sainz Jr., Ferrari SF21, Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes W12

Photo by: Charles Coates / Motorsport Images

Charles Leclerc finished fifth ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, while Sergio Perez could only take seventh fastest in the second Red Bull.

Daniel Ricciardo was eighth ahead of Fernando Alonso, with Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10.

Stroll was involved in a bizarre and nearly very dangerous moment as the cars returned to the track after the red flag, when he drove down the pitlane and was clipped by Antonio Giovinazzi’s front wing as the Alfa Romeo emerged, at very low speed, from its garage.

The incident is being investigated ahead of qualifying, with Giovinazzi, who finished 18th in the final order, only ahead of the Haas duo, also getting involved in a second late incident with Pierre Gasly.

In that moment in the final minutes that is also being investigated by the stewards, Gasly, who ended up 11th in FP3, had to shoot around Giovinazzi’s outside and nearly go into the pitlane as the Alfa toured slowly ahead of a final flying effort, while the AlphaTauri was already on a fast lap that was ruined in the incident.

F1 Hungarian Grand Prix - FP3 results

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 20 1'16.826  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 13 1'16.914 0.088
3 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 15 1'17.055 0.229
4 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 20 1'17.497 0.671
5 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 16 1'17.520 0.694
6 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 12 1'17.772 0.946
7 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 12 1'17.917 1.091
8 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 15 1'17.942 1.116
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 15 1'17.992 1.166
10 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 16 1'18.050 1.224
11 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 17 1'18.115 1.289
12 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 15 1'18.174 1.348
13 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 15 1'18.235 1.409
14 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 25 1'18.461 1.635
15 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 21 1'18.683 1.857
16 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 14 1'18.794 1.968
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 15 1'18.821 1.995
18 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 14 1'19.113 2.287
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 15 1'19.406 2.580
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 16 1'19.933 3.107
shares
comments

Related video

F1 Hungarian GP Live commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Previous article

F1 Hungarian GP Live commentary and updates - FP3 & Qualifying

Next article

Why the tension between Mercedes and Red Bull won’t ease off

Why the tension between Mercedes and Red Bull won’t ease off
Load comments
Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words Plus

Hamilton at 100 wins: In his adversaries’ words

Some 18 drivers have finished runner-up to Lewis Hamilton on his way to 100 wins. Three of those recall their battles with Formula 1’s centurion and give their personal insights into the seven-time world champion on his rise to unchartered territory

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Russian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

The 2021 Russian GP was decided by late-arriving rain that allowed some to climb and caused others to plummet. But the events which played out beforehand are equally significant when considering the all-important driver ratings

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi Plus

How Mercedes made the “blind faith” call that won Hamilton his 100 milestone at Sochi

Until rain turned the Russian Grand Prix on its head in the closing stages, Lando Norris was set to convert his first Formula 1 pole position into a maiden win. But having recovered well from being shuffled back at the start, Hamilton and his Mercedes team called the changing conditions spot-on for a landmark 100th F1 victory

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces Plus

Why momentum is again behind Australia’s aces

At the Italian Grand Prix Daniel Ricciardo turned around a troubled F1 season and, in F2, Oscar Piastri demonstrated once again that he is a potential star of the future. BEN EDWARDS weighs up the prospects of F1 having two Australian stars

Formula 1
Sep 26, 2021
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

Formula 1
Sep 25, 2021
The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021