Final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix saw a slightly jumbled order at the top of the timesheets. Romain Grosjean followed on from his strong showing in yesterday’s second practice session to finish fastest with a best time of 1:20.730, over a second under last year’s pole position time posted by Lewis Hamilton.
The stage is set for Grosjean to claim his maiden Formula 1 pole position and race win. The Frenchman qualified on the front row here last year, and has also won here before in the junior categories. He definitely has form at the Hungaroring.
Surprising – and yet encouraging – pace for McLaren saw Sergio Perez snatch third place from Sebastian Vettel by just under a tenth of a second. Teammate Jenson Button backed up his comments of fighting for a win in Spa by placing his MP4-28 just inside the top 10 in ninth place.
But Perez’s efforts were overshadowed by a late mishap in the final two minutes of practice. Coming out of Turn 10, the Mexican got a little too greedy and used more of the track that he thought was available, putting his left rear onto the grass, pitching him into the barriers at Turn 11. He caused considerable damage to the front left of his car, giving his mechanics an uphill battle to repair his car in less than two hours before qualifying gets underway.
His compatriot Esteban Gutierrez fared far worse. The Sauber driver encountered engine problems with his Ferrari V6 unit, sidelining him for most of the session. He failed to set a time.
Toro Rosso again struggled with their one lap pace, while Sutil, Raikkonen, Maldonado, Di Resta and Hulkenberg just finished outside the top ten and were separated by just four tenths of a second. It’ll be an interesting battle for Q3 with potentially fifteen drivers in contention for the final session.
2013 Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 3 Session Times:
|1.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:20.730||20|
|2.||Fernando Alonso||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:20.898||+ 0.168||13|
|3.||Sergio Pérez||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:21.052||+ 0.322||10|
|4.||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:21.125||+ 0.395||27|
|5.||Felipe Massa||Scuderia Ferrari F138||1:21.151||+ 0.421||14|
|6.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:21.158||+ 0.428||19|
|7.||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing Renault RB9||1:21.254||+ 0.524||17|
|8.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04||1:21.356||+ 0.626||23|
|9.||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes MP4-28||1:21.499||+ 0.769||15|
|10.||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:21.519||+ 0.789||20|
|11.||Kimi Räikkönen||Lotus F1 Renault E21||1:21.589||+ 0.859||17|
|12.||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Renault FW35||1:21.646||+ 0.916||19|
|13.||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes VJM06||1:21.963||+ 1.233||21|
|14.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sauber Ferrari C32||1:21.964||+ 1.234||21|
|15.||Daniel Ricciardo||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:22.180||+ 1.450||18|
|16.||Jean-Éric Vergne||Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8||1:22.423||+ 1.693||19|
|17.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Renault FW35||1:23.028||+ 2.298||16|
|18.||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham Renault CT03||1:23.975||+ 3.245||21|
|19.||Charles Pic||Caterham Renault CT03||1:23.987||+ 3.257||19|
|20.||Jules Bianchi||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:24.298||+ 3.568||20|
|21.||Max Chilton||Marussia Cosworth MR02||1:25.122||+ 4.392||20|
|22.||Esteban Gutiérrez||Sauber Ferrari C32||no time||2|