Hungarian GP - Saturday - Practice Session 3 Report

Seb's Ahead

Lewis Hamiilton, Hungarian GP 2014

Lewis Hamiilton, Hungarian GP 2014 

 © Active Pictures

Sebastian Vettel was ahead of the rest of the pack but, naturally, behind the Mercedes drivers at the end of Free Practice 3 on Saturday morning. Lewis Hamilton topped the times and was 0.047 of a second quicker than Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg. Vettel, third, was 0.407 of a second slower than Rosberg. Vettel's Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo ended up fourth ahead of Valtteri Bottas (Williams) and Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 79 degrees Fahrenheit (26 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 111 degrees Fahrenheit (44 degrees Centigrade.)

Toro Rosso teammates Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat were the first out on track for the 60-minute session.

Most drivers were on the medium compound Pirelli slicks. In FP1 and FP2 on Friday the teams had found that the soft compound tires gave better overall performance.

Nico Rosberg set an early benchmark by clocking a time of 1:26.374 in his Mercedes. None of the other heavy hitters had been out 12 minutes into the session. Then Lewis Hamilton started a flying lap in his Mercedes but he could only manage a 1:28.986 which put him sixth in the standings.

16 minutes into the session, most of the drivers were now on track. Williams man Valtteri Bottas moved into second place with a 1:26.949. Rosberg improved to a 1:26.292.

18 minutes into the session, Sebastian Vettel slotted his Red Bull into second place with a time of 1:26.362. His teammate Daniel Ricciardo joined him with a 1:26.418.

20 minutes into the session, Bottas topped the times with a 1:26.240. The order was now Bottas, Rosberg, Vettel, Ricciardo and Felipe Massa (Williams).

But it did not stay that way for long as Ricciardo jumped to first with a 1:25.999 as Bottas improved to a 1:26.094.

24 minutes into the session, just about everybody was in the pits preparing for qualifying simulations on the soft tires.

26 minutes into the session, Rosberg, on mediums, was one of the few drivers doing laps.

Midway through FP3 the top six were: Ricciardo, Bottas, Rosberg, Vettel, Massa and Kimi Raikkonen (Ferrari). Kevin Magnussen (McLaren), Kvyat, Sergio Perez (Force India) and Vergne rounded out the top 10. Fernando Alonso had done just three laps and had not set a time in his Ferrari.

With 26 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso popped to the top with a 1:25.954. Other drivers were back on the track now but they were still using the medium tires.

With 21 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton clocked a 1:25.682 to move out front.

With 20 minutes remaining in the session, nobody had yet to venture out on the soft tires.

With 15 minutes remaining in the session, Max Chilton (Marussia) was the only guy out there, and then he also pitted. It had to be finally time to do the qualifying sims on the soft slicks.

With 12 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was still in the pits. Then Alonso became the first driver to go out. His Ferrari was fitted with the yellow sidewalls soft tires. His teammate Raikkonen soon joined him.

With 8 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso clocked a 1:24.769 to take first place. Raikkonen moved into second with a 1:24.818.

With 6 minutes remaining in the session, Rosberg turned a 1:24.501. Then Bottas took second with a 1:24.685.

With 5 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was on track except Jules Bianchi.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton slammed in a 1:24.048, and then Vettel moved into second with a 1:24.455 only to be deposed by Rosberg who set a 1:24.277. Then Ricciardo grabbed fifth in his Red Bull.

Rosberg improved to a 1:24.095 and Ricciardo to a 1:24.678.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Ricciardo, Bottas, Alonso, Raikkonen, Magnussen, Vergne and Kvyat.

Follow grandprixdotcom on Twitter