Photo: Mercedes

F1 Hungarian GP FP3: Hamilton fastest ahead in final practice

The third practice session at the Hungaroring saw Lewis Hamilton top the times before qualifying later this afternoon. 

The returning Daniel Ricciardo was the first to hit the track in his Alpha Tauri, on a set of medium tyres. Every team was doing long runs following the new qualifying format.

The new format means hard tyres must be used for Q1, mediums in Q2, and softs in Q3, thus less tyres available over the weekend which means longer runs in practice.

Charles Leclerc, who topped practice two, was also out early, and went into the top three only behind the two Red Bulls. Teammate Carlos Sainz reported he was struggling with the wind after nearly losing the rear of his Ferrari at turn 3.

After 15 minutes of running, a lot of drivers were complaining about their tyres. Both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Sérgio Perez were two of these. They were also not happy with understeer.

As the session approached its halfway point, the two Alfa Romeo’s had made it into second and third following qualifying runs on the soft tyre, but they still sat behind Verstappen. The Mercedes still seemed to not be finding much pace in eighth and 13th, whilst McLaren sat fourth and sixth.

Although Verstappen was set to put on a soft set of tyres, Fernando Alonso went quickest of the session by just over a tenth. He was using the red striped Pirellis, but had a comfortable gap over the rest of the grid. However, a few minutes later he was beaten by Lando Norris on the mediums.

After most people were using the soft tyres, Hamilton went quickest over Verstappen who was still struggling for grip. Perez couldn’t catch the Mercedes either and sat over two tenths of a second behind first. Nico Hülkenberg put in an impressive lap at the end of the session as he went fourth. 

The latter stages of practice saw long runs taking place on the hard tyre, and the order didn’t change as Hamilton took first ahead of the two Red Bull drivers.

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