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 uk Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:22.997 12
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W06 Hybrid 1:23.095 + 0.098 20
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:23.886 + 0.889 19
4. Daniil Kvyat ru Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:24.215 + 1.218 17
5. Carlos Sainz es Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:24.326 + 1.329 22
6. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:24.483 + 1.486 30
7. Max Verstappen nl Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR10 1:24.678 + 1.681 22
8. Fernando Alonso es McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:24.846 + 1.849 16
9. Daniel Ricciardo au Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB11 1:24.929 + 1.932 12
10. Romain Grosjean fr Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:24.941 + 1.944 22
11. Pastor Maldonado ve Lotus F1 Team Mercedes E23 Hybrid 1:24.953 + 1.956 16
12. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:25.094 + 2.097 13
13. Jenson Button uk McLaren Honda MP4-30 1:25.229 + 2.232 16
14. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW37 1:25.345 + 2.348 17
15. Sergio Pérez mx Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM08B 1:25.393 + 2.396 25
16. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T 1:25.661 + 2.664 12
17. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:26.060 + 3.063 20
18. Marcus Ericsson se Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C34 1:26.095 + 3.098 20
19. Will Stevens uk Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:28.757 + 5.760 19
20. Roberto Merhi es Manor Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03B 1:28.908 + 5.911 20

Image via Mercedes AMG Petronas

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