Vettel keeps himself on top in final free practice

© XPB 

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel kept himself ahead of the field in the Saturday morning's dress rehearsal before the afternoon's qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.

With a lap in 1m16.170s, the German enjoyed an advantage of 0.059s over Mercedes Valtteri Bottas, with Kimi Raikkonen ending the session third.

Lewis Hamilton's morning run to fourth overall was marked by a spin resulting from a very unstable handling Silver Arrows.

Hungarian Grand Prix - Free Practice 3

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:16.170s 16
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:16.229s + 0.059s 17
3 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1:16.373s + 0.203s 16
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.749s + 0.579s 17
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:16.803s + 0.633s 11
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:16.946s + 0.776s 14
7 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:17.754s + 1.584s 17
8 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:18.083s + 1.913s 18
9 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:18.084s + 1.914s 19
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1:18.139s + 1.969s 22
11 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:18.230s + 2.060s 17
12 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 1:18.252s + 2.082s 19
13 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1:18.376s + 2.206s 19
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:18.467s + 2.297s 15
15 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:18.512s + 2.342s 20
16 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 1:18.630s + 2.460s 17
17 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:18.789s + 2.619s 14
18 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:18.842s + 2.672s 18
19 Sergio Pérez Force India 1:18.962s + 2.792s 18
20 Lance Stroll Williams 1:19.132s + 2.962s 20

The dominant theme in the Hungarian paddock was the news overnight of Force India going into administration. The Silverstone-based outfit was alive and well however on Saturday morning, and it was very much business as usual for the pink squad.

Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen was the first driver to put a significant time on the board, the Finn clocking in with a 1m17.057s on ultrasofts that just edged Renault's Carlos Sainz.

But the Iceman was demoted at the top by countryman Valtteri Bottas with a 1m16.986s that was almost immediately blow away by Sebastian Vettel who went 0.643s faster.

Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton appeared to struggle with his Silver Arrows, the Brit's car looking uncharacteristically unstable around the Hungaroring's twisty layout as he lined up fourth fastest.

McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne certainly appeared a lot happier yesterday, after the team reverted to an older chassis, but the Belgian was stranded for much of the morning session, his mechanics replacing the floor on his MCL33.

Among the low runners was also Daniel Ricciardo, although the Red Bull driver's efforts were still good for a spot among the top five.

Impressions of Hamilton's struggles from the outside were confirmed when the Mercedes driver spun at the chicane at the top of the hill,a mistake that did his ultrasoft tyres no good at all.

His more stable team mate hooked up a good lap to move once again at the top of the timesheet, but again the Finn was quickly surpassed by Vettel with a 1m16.170s lap that edged Bottas by 0.059s.

But soon after, Bottas replicated Hamilton's loose move through the chicane, losing the rear upon entry and spinning in the outside barrier, fortunately lightly. Still, the contact would warrant a thorough check by the Mercedes crew.

With the exception of Verstappen moving ahead of his team mate in P5, the order remained unchanged among the front-runners.

Sainz was best of the rest in seventh, and led Haas' Romain Grsojean, Toro Rosso's Pierre Gasly and Kevin Magnussen.

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