Lewis Hamilton has set the quickest time ahead of qualifying for the 2015 Hungarian Grand Prix, narrowly beating team-mate Nico Rosberg by less than a tenth of a second.
Hamilton had spent most of the first half of the session in the pits while Rosberg topped the timesheets with a 1:24.873 on the Medium compound tyre.
The Mercedes driver was then demoted down to second position by Nico Hülkenberg after the Force India driver had bolted on the Soft compound, and went quicker by almost four tenths of a second.
By this point, Hamilton had registered three laps on the Medium tyre and was 0.2 seconds off Hulkenberg’s pace of 1:24.483.
Rosberg left it until 10 minutes remained in the session to make the switch to the Soft compound tyre and complete his qualifying simulation, where he quickly jumped to the top of the table by 1.3 seconds. His stint at the top was short-lived however, as Hamilton pipped him on his second lap by 0.098s to go fastest in the session.
Despite finishing a close second, Rosberg’s session wasn’t all that straightforward, as his Mercedes stopped at the end of pitlane with two minutes left to run.
Mercedes Technical Director Paddy Lowe said that the engine had stalled, although he didn’t know why.
Sebastian Vettel finished third for Ferrari, eight-tenths of a second slower than Hamilton’s benchmark. His teammate Kimi Räikkönen was travelling well until his car suffered a water leak which cut his running short; he ended the session down in sixteenth position.
Fernando Alonso had been running as high as third close to the end of practice, showing encouraging signs for McLaren as they work to salvage as many points they can this season. The Spaniard finished FP3 in eighth position, while Jenson Button was in thirteenth in the second McLaren.
Red Bull opted to run longer on the Medium compound tyre to possibly focus on their race pace rather than the qualifying session. Both drivers finished in the top 10 with Daniil Kvyat in fourth while Daniel Ricciardo placed ninth after spending the first quarter of the session stuck in the garage.
|Formula 1 Pirelli Magyar Nagydíj 2015 – Free Practice 3 Results|
|Pos||Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:22.997||12|
|2.||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid||1:23.095||+ 0.098||20|
|3.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:23.886||+ 0.889||19|
|4.||Daniil Kvyat||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:24.215||+ 1.218||17|
|5.||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:24.326||+ 1.329||22|
|6.||Nico Hülkenberg||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:24.483||+ 1.486||30|
|7.||Max Verstappen||Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10||1:24.678||+ 1.681||22|
|8.||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:24.846||+ 1.849||16|
|9.||Daniel Ricciardo||Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11||1:24.929||+ 1.932||12|
|10.||Romain Grosjean||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:24.941||+ 1.944||22|
|11.||Pastor Maldonado||Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid||1:24.953||+ 1.956||16|
|12.||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:25.094||+ 2.097||13|
|13.||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda MP4-30||1:25.229||+ 2.232||16|
|14.||Valtteri Bottas||Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37||1:25.345||+ 2.348||17|
|15.||Sergio Pérez||Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B||1:25.393||+ 2.396||25|
|16.||Kimi Räikkönen||Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T||1:25.661||+ 2.664||12|
|17.||Felipe Nasr||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:26.060||+ 3.063||20|
|18.||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34||1:26.095||+ 3.098||20|
|19.||Will Stevens||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:28.757||+ 5.760||19|
|20.||Roberto Merhi||Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B||1:28.908||+ 5.911||20|
Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas