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Hungarian GP 2015

JULY 25, 2015

Practice 3 Report - Catch 22

Lewis Hamilton, Hungarian GP 2015
© The Cahier Archive


Lewis Hamilton was the only driver to break into the 1 minute 22 second lap time range as he clocked a 1:22.997 in Free Practice 3, although his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg came close with a time of 1:23.095 which was just 0.098 of a second slower.

The ambient temperature at the start of the session was 29 degrees Fahrenheit (84 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 45 degrees Fahrenheit (113 degrees Centigrade).

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Red Bull Renault - Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Toro Rosso Renault - Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz. Lotus Mercedes - Romain Grosjean and Pastor Maldonado. Marussia Ferrari - Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi. Sauber - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr.

Rosberg had not managed to match Hamilton's pace on Friday.

"I just didn't find the balance in the car," Rosberg said. "There was a lot of understeer and it went from oversteer to understeer and it was a bit difficult to explain.

"I was always chasing my tail, so I wasn't very happy about that and we need to work on that for tomorrow. Tomorrow morning is free practice and I have enough time to get into it and sort it out, but race pace was very good today.

"I'm confident because I always have (sorted it out) in the past even when there have been difficulties in a weekend, so it will be okay."

Vettel was the first out in FP3.

Force India had fixed the suspension problems that had caused Perez's accident in FP1, so Perez and Hulkenberg were able to take part in FP3. Hulkenberg set the first time of the session - 1:27.421 - but Perez and Grosjean soon went quicker than that.

8 minutes into the session, Nasr and then Sainz went off and back on at Turn 12. By now Verstappen was on top with a time of 1:26.363, but the big guns had yet to clock any times.

11 minutes into the session, Perez had a spin at Turn 1.

13 minutes into the session, Raikkonen posted a 1:25.943, beating Vettel's 1:26.322. But Vettel responded with a 1:25.926, which was a mere 0.017 of a second faster.

17 minutes into the session, Button radioed: "Very, very, very poor rear grip. We've lost all rear grip."

21 minutes into the session, Rosberg took the lead with a 1:25.201.

24 minutes into the session, Rosberg improved to a 1:24.873 while Ricciardo moved into third place.

Until now the drivers had been using Pirelli's medium compound slicks, but then 25 minutes into the session Perez tried a set of the softs and went second quickest with a 1:25.393. Next Hulkenberg took the lead with a 1:24.483 on the softs.

28 minutes into the session, Rosberg went off at Turn 1. Moments later Hamilton did the same. Most of the other drivers were still running the mediums.

With 26 minutes remaining in the session, Alonso, on soft tires, moved into third place.

With 23 minutes remaining in the session, the order was: Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Perez, Bottas, Raikkonen, Sainz, Ricciardo and Kvyat.

With 16 minutes remaining in the session, Perez and Hulkenberg were the only drivers on track,

With 14 minutes remaining in the session, the top 10 were: Hulkenberg, Hamilton, Alonso, Rosberg, Button, Perez, Vettel, Bottas, Raikkonen and Sainz.

Now some of the drivers headed out on the soft tires. Rosberg was first with a 1:23.095 with 12 minutes remaining in the session,

With 9 minutes remaining in the session, Hamilton beat that with a 1:22.997. Then Sainz took over third place. But the Ferrari and Red Bull drivers had yet to use the softs.

With 4 minutes remaining in the session, everybody was on track except Raikkonen and Hamilton.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Hamilton, Rosberg, Vettel, Kvyat, Sainz, Hulkenberg, Verstappen, Alonso, Ricciardo and Grosjean.