Sebastian Vettel continued his strong run at the Hungarian Grand Prix, as he headed Valtteri Bottas for third practice session, whilst the two Mercedes drivers continued to struggle with the rear, as both Hamilton and Bottas spun.
Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel broke his own lap record set last year in qualifying with a 1.16.170s, which set his 0.059s clear of Valtteri Bottas, however the German potentially left some time in the bag, which will come later in qualifying.
Story of the session
As a very hot session got underway in Budapest, all the teams took to track for their initial installation laps, whilst Mercedes put it to track to improve upon their dismal Friday practice, that put them ‘third best’ in Budapest, behind Ferrari and Red Bull.
Raikkonen was first of the front-runners to set a lap, which was a 1.17.057s to take him to the top of the order, with Sainz 1.149s off the pace. The Mercedes’ and the other Ferrari of Vettel took to circuit, as Bottas momentarily went fastest – however, Vettel smashed the opposition with a 1.16.343s, which took him to the top of the order by 0.6s.
Upon their second attempts, the Mercedes drivers slightly improved, as Bottas closed the gap to Vettel to make it a 0.450s deficit to the Ferrari man, with Raikkonen sandwiched between the two Mercedes.
As the drivers took to circuit for Qualifying simulations, Sebastian Vettel broke his own lap record from last year with a 1.16.170s, which put the German 0.059s clear of his nearest competitor Valtteri Bottas.
Further back Kimi Raikkonen could not get a clean lap in first time around, and eventually went third fastest, whilst Lewis Hamilton was more than half a second off Sebastian Vettel’s benchmark in fourth place.
As the Mercedes drivers continued to struggle with the rear of their car, both drivers spun at the Budapest chicane, whilst Bottas’ spin resulted in him crashing into the wall, but got away with it after close inspection by the team.