Hamilton tops FP3 at Hungaroring

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix, Friday – LAT Images. Credits: Daimler.

Lewis Hamilton had a difficult start to today’s FP3 but was able to find his pace and comfort in the car by the end as he topped the timesheets.

Track temperatures had remained high since yesterday, implying potential consequences for qualifying later in the day. It would also increase the chances of a two-stop race on Sunday.

Both Haas cars were the first out as they had been trying to maximize their track time in an attempt to gather as much data as possible.

The track had been continuously developing the entire weekend as was expected to evolve up till the race.

The AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda was next on track testing his pace on medium tires..

Lewis Hamilton came out on the softs 15 minutes into the session. The 7-time world champion was struggling with his set-up on his first timed lap as his onboard showed him fighting a lot of understeer through the lap.

McLaren hoped to increase their gap to Ferrari in the championship and had brought upgrades to Hungary to help their cause.

Max Verstappen was quick in coming to grip with the track and seemed happy with his set-up as he went 0.6s quicker than Hamilton on his first timed lap. Valtteri Bottas also seemed at ease as he went quicker than the Championship leader on his first push lap.

Sergio Perez did not seem to have the pace as he was 0.8s slower than his teammate. Daniel Ricciardo was also struggling as he was unable to break into the top 10 halfway into the session.

Ferrari expected to have a strong weekend as the Hungaroring demanded a lot of downforce, similar to Monaco. This was visible Carlos Sainz went 2nd quickest with 15 minutes to go.

Mick Schumacher lost the rear of his VF-21 and ended up in the wall at turn 11. The crash was massive as it took out the car’s front left tire as well as the front wing. This brought out the red flag.

The session was resumed with 9 minutes remaining as most of the drivers were ready to get on track on new Soft tires.

On the final qualifying simulation, Hamilton went quicker than Verstappen by less than a tenth of a second. Perez was unable to find more pace as he was a second off his teammate. Both Ferraris and Norris were ahead of the Mexican.

The top 10 of the Formula 1 Hungarian GP FP3:

1.Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:16.826
2.Max VerstappenRed Bull+0.088
3.Valtteri BottasMercedes+0.229
4.Carlos SainzFerrari+0.671
5.Charles LeclercFerrari+0.694
6.Lando NorrisMcLaren+0.946
7.Sergio PerezRed Bull+1.091
8.Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+1.116
9.Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1.166
10.Lance StrollAston Martin1.224s
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