Nico Rosberg has narrowly edged Max Verstappen in the final practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix by just 0.002 seconds. 

The teenager registered a late lap with just over five minutes left to run to post an almost identical time to the Mercedes driver, while his teammate Daniel Ricciardo finished four-tenths off the pace in third position.

Rosberg set the pace of the session early after demoting Ricciardo’s initial best of 1:21.028 by two-tenths of a second, the championship leader then quickly improved on his time to clear the Australian by almost half a second.

Ferrari struggled to get up to speed but eventually Sebastian Vettel slotted into fourth from ninth position when a few minutes later his teammate Kimi Raikkonen managed to find a few extra tenths and move into third.

Despite spending almost half of final practice sat in the garage, Verstappen’s first lap was good enough to beat Lewis Hamilton’s time by 0.06 seconds. He then went quicker on his second flying lap to shave a further four-tenths of a second off his time.

Hamilton spent time on car setup and race simulation as he missed most of the second practice session yesterday after crashing in the first 15 minutes, but posted a flying lap in the latter half of the session to finish in fourth position, although he was half a second off Rosberg’s benchmark.

Fernando Alonso only completed 11 laps in the session, however the Spaniard managed to get his McLaren into the top ten and finish behind the Ferrari pair of Raikkonen and Vettel in seventh position.

Williams’ Valtteri Bottas also cracked the top ten finishing eighth ahead of Sergio Perez, who spent most of final pracice on the medium compound tyre along with his teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

Having only completed six laps during yesterday’s FP2, Jolyon Palmer made the most of his time on track Saturday morning and clocked up 19 laps with a best time of 1:21.935, good enough to see the Briton round out the top ten.

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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