Mercedes-AMG swept to another 1-2 result as final practice drew to a close for this weekend’s Hungarian Formula 1 Grand Prix, with championship leader Valtteri Bottas just edging teammate Lewis Hamilton.
The Finn clocked a rapid 1:15.437 around halfway into the final one-hour hit-out, a benchmark time that Hamilton fell just short of matching to the tune of 0.042 seconds. The British driver impressively held a twitch of oversteer exiting the penultimate corner, but his lap was still good enough to secure the reigning Constructors’ champions their second lockout of the timesheets this weekend.
Racing Point showed they will be a competitive force this weekend, with both Sergio Pérez and Lance Stroll finishing inside the top five. Pérez was particularly impressive, lapping barely one-tenth of a second slower than Bottas’ best time. The pink cars, whose results at last weekend’s Styrian Grand Prix are under protest by Renault, were separated by a seemingly much-improved Ferrari of Charles Leclerc. The sister Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was eighth-fastest and the last of the drivers to lap within a second of the ultimate pace.
Much was expected of Red Bull Racing come into this weekend given the high-downforce requirements of the Hungaroring circuit have tended to favour the Adrian Newey designed cars in years past. That pattern does not seem set to continue, however, with Max Verstappen the better of its pairing in sixth-fastest but almost seven-tenths of a second off the pace.
Such were the drivers’ concerns over the RB16’s wayward handling that the team broke curfew in order to conduct further set-up tweaks to both cars ahead of FP3. It didn’t appear to have worked, as Verstappen was spotted struggling with lurid oversteer on several occasions which resulted in the Dutchman spinning at Turn 12. While he finished sixth-quickest, his teammate Alexander Albon could do no better than twelfth-fastest, complaining of a vibration in the front-left corner of his car.
The McLarens continued their solid midfield prospects, with Lando Norris lapping seventh-quickest, four spots and three-tenths of a second clear of teammate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Pierre Gasly made up for his limited Friday mileage, posting his first dry-weather laps around the Hungaroring in the AlphaTauri AT01. The Frenchman finished an encouraging ninth-fastest, well clear of teammate Daniil Kvyat who was mired in P17 ahead of the two Alfa Romeos and Nicholas Latifi’s Williams.
Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo had a quick lap disallowed for exceeding track limits, but a late effort from the Australian managed to get him back into the top-ten. His teammate Esteban Ocon was thirteenth-fastest, one spot ahead of a surprise performer in the form of George Russell who put his Williams P14.
Daniel Ricciardo scraped into the top-10 with a late effort, his team mate Esteban Ocon 13th at the flag with Williams’ George Russell just behind in an impressive P14.
|FORMULA 1 ARAMCO MAGYAR NAGYDÍJ 2020 – FREE PRACTICE SESSION 3|
|Driver||Team / Entry||Time||Gap||Laps|
|1.||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:15.437||18|
|2.||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG F1 Team W11||1:15.479||+ 0.042||20|
|3.||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:15.598||+ 0.161||16|
|4.||Charles Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:15.781||+ 0.344||19|
|5.||Lance Stroll||Racing Point F1 Team RP20||1:16.033||+ 0.596||15|
|6.||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:16.084||+ 0.647||18|
|7.||Lando Norris||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:16.193||+ 0.756||18|
|8.||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari SF1000||1:16.351||+ 0.914||18|
|9.||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:16.453||+ 1.016||20|
|10.||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:16.508||+ 1.071||14|
|11.||Carlos Sainz Jr.||McLaren F1 Team MCL35||1:16.545||+ 1.108||21|
|12.||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing RB16||1:16.582||+ 1.145||19|
|13.||Esteban Ocon||Renault F1 Team R.S.20||1:16.706||+ 1.269||20|
|14.||George Russell||Williams Racing FW43||1:16.847||+ 1.410||23|
|15.||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:17.866||+ 1.429||15|
|16.||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team VF-20||1:17.086||+ 1.649||14|
|17.||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia AlfaTauri AT01||1:17.292||+ 1.855||15|
|18.||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:17.496||+ 2.059||20|
|19.||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing C39||1:17.527||+ 2.090||25|
|20.||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Racing FW43||1:17.650||+ 2.213||17|
Image via Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team