Hungary FP3: Advantage Hamilton, Verstappen close behind

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday - Jiri Krenek Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton topped a truncated FP3 for the Hungarian Grand Prix as Mercedes continued their impressive start to the weekend.

Buoyed by a strong Friday for the team, Hamilton ended the session with a 0.088 second advantage over his title rival Max Verstappen.

The top teams spent the session on the soft red-striped tyres as they prepare for qualifying, with the times dropping below the 1 minute 17 second mark for the first time this weekend.

Mick Schumacher brought out the red flags late on after losing control of his Haas at Turn 11, with the time spent recovering the strewn VF-21 costing the teams 10 valuable minutes of track time.

The main competitors were all able to get back out onto track for the final few minutes though, and it was then where Hamilton jumped up the order, pipping Verstappen thanks to a strong final sector.

Bottas had looked strong for much of the session but ended up third, two tenths back, while Carlos Sainz was never far away in fourth.

After three sessions, Verstappen, Bottas and Hamilton have all gone top once, so it appears very open heading into qualifying at 15:00 local time.

Sergio Perez has not been in the mix all weekend and had to settle for seventh, with Charles Leclerc just behind his teammate in fifth and Lando Norris sixth.

Things certainly look close between Ferrari and McLaren, although the Woking outfit will hope to see more from Daniel Ricciardo who was eighth.

Fernando Alonso took a spot in the top 10 for the third consecutive session, while Lance Stroll survived a scary pit lane incident with Antonio Giovinazzi to round out the top 10.

Pierre Gasly also got tied up with Giovinazzi late on as he looked to complete a flying lap, with the Frenchman 11th, while Esteban Ocon was 12th.

Sebastian Vettel was 13th for Aston Martin, with Yuki Tsunoda 14th and Kimi Raikkonen 15th.

George Russell and Nicholas Latifi came next, although Russell was unable to fully hook up a flying lap, with the incident-prone Giovinazzi 18th.

Haas will face a challenge to get 19th-place man Schumacher ready for qualifying thanks to the damage on his VF-21, while Nikita Mazepin rounded out the field.

hamilton fp3