Williams driver Nicholas Latifi ended the third and final practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix on top, beating Ferrari's Charles Leclerc by over six tenths of a second. F1Technical's Balázs Szabó reports from the Hungaroring paddock.
The long-expected rain arrived when the lights went green for the final practice session at the Hungaroring. Although there was torrential rain at the beginning, drivers did not hesitate to stay in the garages, venturing out in the damp and challenging conditions in a bid to gain track experiences in the very different set of weather conditions compared to the hot Friday sessions.
Ferrari’s duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz led the field for the majority of the session after setting convincing lap times at the start. With the rain becoming more intense, there was no chance to beat the Scuderia’s driver in the middle part of the session.
Despite the huge amount of water, several drivers including the Williams, AlphaTauri, Alfa Romeo and Alpine duo completed a series of laps, trying to figure out the best lines and the crossover point between the intermediate and wet tyres.
The session was then red-flagged with ten minutes to go when Sebastian Vettel crashed out at Turn 10. The marshals were quick to clear the track, providing drivers with a last four-minute track time in drying conditions.
After having spent the majority of the session in the garage, reigning champion Max Verstappen was quick on his final hot lap and went quickest. However, Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc took over the lead just a couple of seconds later only to lose it when Nicholas Latifi put his Williams in P1 with a stunning lap of 1m 41.480s.
The Canadian’s team mate Alexander Albon was also quick in the challenging drying conditions, setting the third quickest lap of the session.
Mercedes finished the session in the midfield with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton taking 5th and 11th. Alpine’s Fernando Alonso ended up sixth fastest with his team mate 2021 Hungarian GP winner Esteban Ocon languishing down in P13.
Vettel took 9th, appearing to have a reasonable pace in the early part of the session. His team mate Lance Stroll set the 15th fastest lap. McLaren might hope for better weather conditions after their strong showing in Friday practices as Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo only finished down in P8 and P14 respectively.
|1||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||1:41.480||17|
|3||23||Alexander Albon||Williams Mercedes||1:42.381||+0.901s||18|
|4||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:43.205||+1.725s||9|
|6||14||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault||1:43.570||+2.090s||15|
|8||4||Lando Norris||Mclaren Mercedes||1:43.743||+2.263s||12|
|9||5||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:44.178||+2.698s||14|
|10||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:44.655||+3.175s||19|
|12||47||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari||1:45.156||+3.676s||17|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault||1:45.570||+4.090s||16|
|14||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Mclaren Mercedes||1:45.624||+4.144s||10|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Aramco Mercedes||1:45.638||+4.158s||16|
|16||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:45.691||+4.211s||17|
|17||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:45.850||+4.370s||16|
|18||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:45.930||+4.450s||20|
|19||10||Pierre Gasly||Alphatauri Rbpt||1:46.091||+4.611s||17|
|20||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing Rbpt||1:48.240||+6.760s||10|