Barely a whisker split the top three teams in final practice at the Hungarian Grand Prix, with Mercedes-AMG’s Lewis Hamilton just pipping Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel to top spot on the time sheets.

With Friday’s two practice sessions impacted by showers, the sun made an appearance on Saturday morning. The session started ten minutes late and ran to a reduced 50-minute duration after emergency works were carried out at Turn 4 to clean up a huge oil spill left by an engine failure in the earlier Formula 2 Championship Feature Race.

Once the heavy layer of cement dust had been thrown down and then cleared away as the F1 drivers continued to lap the circuit, track conditions improved rapidly. Hamilton’s benchmark time, a 1:16.084, broke the circuit’s unofficial lap record previously held by Vettel. The current championship leader led a top-three that was split by just 0.084 seconds, triggering hopes that fans will be treated to a genuine tussle in this afternoon’s qualifying session.

Their respective teammates occupied the next three positions on the timesheets, with Valtteri Bottas placing fourth-fastest ahead of Ferrari counterpart Charles Leclerc and FP2 pace-setter Pierre Gasly in the Red Bull Racing Honda.

Fractionally slower than Gasly was McLaren’s Lando Norris, who had another impressive session to lead the ‘best of the rest’ charge. He and his teammate Carlos Sainz Jr. sandwiched the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Räikkönen, while the Haas Ferraris of Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean rounded out the top ten.

Slipping out of the top ten were Scuderia Toro Rosso and Renault. German Grand Prix star performers Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon – who crashed dramatically in FP2 – placed 12th and 17th-fastest respectively, while their Renault counterparts Nico Hülkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo were 13th and 16th.

A team showing improvement was this year’s cellar-dwellers, Williams. The heavily upgraded FW42 has looked a far more competitive prospect this weekend than it has at any point this season, and George Russell was able to outpace the Racing Point of Lance Stroll, with the Englishman lapping within two seconds of Hamilton’s benchmark time.

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:16.084 21
2. Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing RB15 1:16.097 + 0.013 16
3. Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:16.166 + 0.082 18
4. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Motorsport W10 1:16.355 + 0.271 19
5. Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari SF90 1:16.392 + 0.308 18
6. Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing RB15 1:16.684 + 0.600 19
7. Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:16.774 + 0.690 20
8. Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:17.216 + 1.132 22
9. Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren F1 Team MCL34 1:17.217 + 1.133 23
10. Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:17.230 + 1.146 17
11. Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team VF-19 1:17.293 + 1.209 21
12. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:17.432 + 1.348 21
13. Nico Hülkenberg Renault F1 Team RS19 1:17.667 + 1.583 19
14. Sergio Pérez Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:17.670 + 1.586 17
15. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing C38 1:17.929 + 1.845 22
16. Daniel Ricciardo Renault F1 Team RS19 1:17.962 + 1.878 19
17. Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:18.024 + 1.940 19
18. George Russell ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:18.072 + 1.988 23
19. Lance Stroll Racing Point F1 Team RP19 1:18.534 + 2.450 20
20. Robert Kubica ROKiT Williams Racing FW42 1:18.709 + 2.625 26

Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.