Hamilton tops third Hungarian GP practice

Zak Mauger/Motorsport Images

Hamilton tops third Hungarian GP practice

Formula 1

Hamilton tops third Hungarian GP practice

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Lewis Hamilton edged Max Verstappen by just 0.088s in final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix after the session was suspended following a heavy crash by Mick Schumacher.

The title rivals set their times in a frantic final nine-minute dash for qualifying-representative times after teams lost eight minutes to Schumacher’s crash with a quarter of an hour remaining.

Schumacher had been embarking on a final qualifying simulation of his own when he lost the rear of his Haas car at the right-hand Turn 11, sliding off the circuit and smacking heavily sideways into the tire barrier.

The German sounded winded over team radio but emerged from the wreckage unscathed, though the scale of the damage puts his qualifying participation in serious doubt, with only two hours from the end of final practice to the start of the grid-setting hour.

The session resumed with nine minutes on the clock with Valtteri Bottas still at the head of the time sheet, the Finn having taken top spot with a lap as the circuit temperature struck 131 degrees F on another warm afternoon at the Hungaroring. But the track cooled during the pause in proceedings, and without another set of softs to contend at the resumption, Bottas slipped to third and 0.229s off his Mercedes teammate’s pace.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were very closely matched at the head of the midfield. Sainz led the way with a new internal combustion engine, turbocharger and MGU-H after concerns for his power unit on Friday, he and Leclerc just within 0.7s adrift of Hamilton.

Lando Norris followed, the McLaren driver 0.25 slower than the Ferrari drivers but quick enough to top Sergio Perez in the second Red Bull Racing car, the Mexican all of 1.091s off the headline pace.

Daniel Ricciardo was fractionally adrift in the second McLaren to finish eighth ahead of Alpine’s Fernando Alonso in ninth.

Lance Stroll completed the top 10 for Aston Martin after overcoming an unsafe release in the pit lane after the red flag. The Canadian had his left-rear wheel struck by Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi, who had been directed out of his garage as Stroll swept past in a collision that will be investigated by the stewards after the session.

Pierre Gasly slipped to 11th for AlphaTauri ahead of Esteban Ocon, Sebastian Vettel and Yuki Tsunoda, who gathered valuable mileage after his FP1 crash kept him garaged for most of FP2.

Kimi Raikkonen was 15th for Alfa Romeo ahead of Williams teammates George Russell and Nicholas Latifi, while Giovinazzi finished 18th.

The crashed Schumacher was 19th ahead of Haas teammate Nikita Mazepin in 20th.

 

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