Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton topped the third and final free practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Briton, however, did not enjoy a big margin over his rivals as second-placed Max Verstappen and third-placed Sebastian Vettel were within a tenth of a second.
The session started with the delay of ten minutes as Turn 4 of the track had to be cleared. The fast bend that drivers take almost blind was slippery after an incident with Ralf Boschung’s car during the Formula Two race which took place in the morning. The delay also forced the race direction to shorten the third and final practice session to avoid any change to Saturday’s schedule.
As lights went green, drivers did not hesitate to take it to the track. However, dust covered the area around Turn 4, meaning that caution was of key importance on the slippery surface.
The Haas drivers set the early pace with Grosjean recording a lap time of 1:24.689. McLaren then took over the lead, Lando Norris set the first impressive lap with a time of 1m18.706. However, it did not last long after the two Ferrari drivers joined the track action. Charles Leclerc took over the lead from McLaren’s British driver with a lap time of 1:18.228, but his team-mate Sebastian Vettel was even quicker by setting a time of 1m17.435.
Mercedes drivers could not match Ferrari’s early pace with their first flying laps, but after completing two cooling laps Hamilton took over a lead with Bottas setting the second fastest lap. However, the Anglo-German team’s lead did not last long as Max Verstappen went even quicker, recording a lap time of 1m17.035.
With their second set of Pirelli tyres, Kevin Magnussen and Lando Norris set impressive lap times. The Briton was particularly fast by setting the third best lap at that point of the session with a time 1m17.162.
As the top driver joined the track on their second fresh set of Pirelli tyres, Mercedes produced impressive pace. Hamilton went quickest by 1m16.339.in front of his team mate Valtteri Bottas. However, Charles Leclerc could react on Mercedes’ thrilling speed and on his second lap he improved to go second quickest, only 0.053 off Hamilton’s time.
In the closing stages, the top drivers went on to the track for the final time on a fresh set of soft compound. Hamilton could improve further, breaking the previous record lap time with 1m16.084. The Briton's Mercedes was impressive thorugh the last sequence of corners, but Verstappen and Vetterl could stay within reach to the Briton.
|2||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:16.097||+0.013s||16|
|6||10||Pierre Gasly||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:16.684||+0.600s||19|
|7||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:16.774||+0.690s||20|
|8||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:17.216||+1.132s||22|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:17.217||+1.133s||23|
|10||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:17.230||+1.146s||17|
|11||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:17.293||+1.209s||21|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:17.432||+1.348s||21|
|14||11||Sergio Perez||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:17.670||+1.586s||17|
|15||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:17.929||+1.845s||22|
|17||23||Alexander Albon||SCUDERIA TORO ROSSO HONDA||1:18.024||+1.940s||19|
|18||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:18.072||+1.988s||23|
|19||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:18.534||+2.450s||20|
|20||88||Robert Kubica||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:18.709||+2.625s||26|