Hungarian GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report
Romain Grosjean set the pace in the final practice session prior to Saturday afternoon's qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. The Lotus driver beat out Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) and Sergio Perez (McLaren). Sebastian Vettel, who had been quickest in both sessions on Friday, could only manage fourth best in his Red Bull.
The ambient air temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 88 degrees Fahrenheit (31 degrees Celsius), and the track temperature was 109 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius).
Paul di Resta (Force India) and Max Chilton (Marussia) got the 60-minute session underway.
Ten minutes into the session, Caterham teammates Charles Pic and Guido van der Garde topped the times with respective laps of 1:24.692 and 1:25.564. They were also the only two drivers to have set times by that stage.
12 minutes into the session, Sebastian Vettel joined the party with a 1:25.888 in his Red Bull.
15 minutes into the session, Kimi Raikkonen got serious with a lap of 1:22.717 in his Lotus.
18 minutes into the session, Romain Grosjean took top honors with by clocking a 1:22.345 in the other Lotus. And then Sergio Perez (McLaren) deposed Raikkonen from second place with a time of 1:22.577. Then Mark Webber (Red Bull) pushed Raikkonen down to fourth by setting a 1:22.644. But all was not well with the Red Bull as it was having gearbox problems.
So far everybody had been using Pirelli's medium compound slick tires.
26 minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton shot to the top with a 1:22.266 in his Mercedes.
At the midpoint of FP3 the top ten were: Hamilton (who now had set a 1:21.942), Grosjean, Webber, Perez, Raikkonen, Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Valtteri Bottas (Williams), Pastor Maldonado (Williams), Adrian Sutil (Force India) and Jenson Button (McLaren.)
The drivers were setting their fastest time on the second timed lap, having pushed the car on the first lap as well.
With 22 minutes remaining in the session, Chilton mistakenly hit the pit lane speed limiter button instead of the KERS button and his car slowed dramatically.
With 20 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was still using the medium compound tires.
With 13 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg turned a 1:22.437 to move up to third place.
With 11 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was in the pits expect Nico Hulkenberg (Sauber.) It was time to set the cars on the soft tire and to go for some qualifying runs.
With 10 minutes remaining in the session, Hulkenberg joined the pitlane bunch as Fernando Alonso headed out with a set of the softs fitted to his Ferrari. Next out were Raikkonen and Sutil.
With 7 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso set a new mark with a 1:20.898 while Sutil and Raikkonen slotted into second and third. Then Grosjean beat that with a 1:20.730.
With 2 minutes remaining in the session, Perez, who had just gone third fastest, spun and crashed his McLaren at Turn 11. The yellow flags in that sector ruined the chances of the other drivers to do a quick lap in the final moments.
The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Grosjean, Alonso, Perez, Vettel, Felipe Massa (Ferrari), Hamilton, Webber, Rosberg, Button and Sutil.