Rosberg comfortably tops FP3
Signing a new contract heading into the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, Nico Rosberg looked comfortable heading into qualifying, topping the final practice session.
Team mate Lewis Hamilton was under pressure to make up for a lack of mileage in FP2, after spinning and clouting into a barrier on Friday.
The Briton would begin Saturday practice with an early appearance, though his first flying lap was hampered by a flat spotted super-soft tyre.
He would later complain of over-heating in his cockpit, finishing with a 1:20.769.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo proved the German team’s pace was within striking range, topping the timesheet in the early stages.
However, Rosberg would later seize the fastest time, then besting it at the 39 minute mark to a 1:20.547.
He would improve this in the final ten minutes by two-tenths, as team-mate Lewis Hamilton struggled to set a top three competitive lap time.
Max Verstappen would become the surprise of the afternoon, succeeding team-mate Ricciardo into second position with a scintillating lap – only two-thousandths slower than Rosberg.
Ferrari also found themselves unable to fully capitalise on Red Bull, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing fifth with a 1:20.859.
However the talking point of the afternoon would be the controversial ‘track limits’ crackdown.
With turn 4 catching numerous victims, all drivers were informed they would only be allowed to exceed the white line by 20 cm.
Despite this, over seven drivers were reported to have breached the limits in the corner.
Lock ups, oversteer and a desire to establish the limits were all attributed to driver’s exceeding Formula One’s newest rule.
Adding to this afternoon’s qualifying intrigue, Renault exhibited an improved package with Jolyon Palmer in 10th, and Kevin Magnussen in 12th.
Both times were faster than the Haas drivers, with Esteban Gutierrez ahead of Romain Grosjean in 14th and 15th respectively.
Improved Mclaren performances in the lead up to the mid-year break is reason for hope to the Woking team’s fans, as Fernando Alonso finished the session seventh with 1:21.584.