Hungarian GP FP3: Lewis Hamilton marginally ahead of Nico Rosberg

Lewis Hamilton goes into this afternoon's qualifying session for Formula 1's Hungarian Grand Prix as favourite for pole position after setting the pace in third free practice

Hungarian GP FP3: Lewis Hamilton marginally ahead of Nico Rosberg

The Mercedes driver set the pace early in the session when everyone was lapping on the slower medium-compound Pirellis, just over a tenth faster than team-mate Nico Rosberg.

With most leaving it until the final 15 minutes before bolting on the softs and completing qualifying simulations, Hamilton was then knocked off top spot by Force India driver Nico Hulkenberg.

Hulkenberg was shuffled down to sixth by the end of the session, with Rosberg the first to relegate him after setting a 1m22.997s lap with 12 minutes remaining.

Three minutes later, Hamilton completed his 'qualifying' run, outpacing Rosberg by 0.098s to complete the preparation for his bid for a fifth Hungarian GP pole position.

Rosberg's session ended with two minutes remaining when his engine stalled at the end of the pitlane when he was about to attempt a practice start.

The two Mercedes drivers were untouchable at the front, with Sebastian Vettel best of the rest in third, nine-tenths off Hamilton's pace.

Daniil Kvyat edged the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz with his final lap of the session, putting the Red Bull fourth ahead of its sister car.

Kvyat's team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was unable to match the Russian, ending the session ninth after both Red Bulls started late to manage their engine mileage.

Max Verstappen also performed well, ending up seventh behind Hulkenberg and one place ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso.

Alonso had been among the earliest drivers to set a time on the soft Pirellis, which put him third for a spell before he was shuffled back.

Behind Ricciardo, Romain Grosjean completed the top 10 for Lotus, 12-thousandths of a second ahead of team-mate Pastor Maldonado.

Williams had a quiet session, with Felipe Massa 12th and Valtteri Bottas - running the latest-specification front wing - 14th.

Perez, who had been as high as fourth by taking the soft tyre early, was 15th fastest ahead of the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

The Finn was unable to complete a qualifying simulation run because of a water leak, but he would have been comfortably in the top six had he done so given the performance gain of soft tyres.

FP3 RESULTS

Pos Driver Car Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m22.997s 12
2 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 0.098s 20
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.889s 19
4 Daniil Kvyat Red Bull/Renault 1.218s 17
5 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1.329s 22
6 Nico Hulkenberg Force India/Mercedes 1.486s 30
7 Max Verstappen Toro Rosso/Renault 1.681s 22
8 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Honda 1.849s 16
9 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1.932s 12
10 Romain Grosjean Lotus/Mercedes 1.944s 22
11 Pastor Maldonado Lotus/Mercedes 1.956s 16
12 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 2.097s 13
13 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 2.232s 16
14 Valtteri Bottas Williams/Mercedes 2.348s 17
15 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 2.396s 25
16 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 2.664s 12
17 Felipe Nasr Sauber/Ferrari 3.063s 20
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 3.098s 20
19 Will Stevens Marussia/Ferrari 5.760s 19
20 Roberto Merhi Marussia/Ferrari 5.911s 20

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