Hungarian GP Practice Three: Lewis Hamilton just ahead of rivals
Get set for a close Mercedes vs Red Bull vs Ferrari battle for pole position in Hungary from 2pm on Sky Sports F1
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 03/08/19 1:43pm
Lewis Hamilton left it late to pip Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel to the fastest time of Practice Three as less than a tenth of a second separated Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari in Hungary.
Setting the stage for what is poised to be a thrilling close battle for pole position from 2pm, F1's Big Three teams showed there was little to separate them over the Hungaroring lap with the respective three cars showing different strengths around the 2.7-mile lap.
Hamilton finished a mere 0.013s ahead of Verstappen thanks to a new track record of 1:16.084, with Vettel also within a tenth for Ferrari, who were the quickest through the faster first sector.
But the trio's respective team-mates were cut adrift, with Valtteri Bottas 0.3s back in fourth ahead of Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly.
Lando Norris enjoyed a fine session for McLaren and finished within a tenth of Gasly's Red Bull in seventh place. Team-mate Carlos Sainz was also in the top 10 for McLaren, while eighth-fastest Kimi Raikkonen continued to run promisingly for Alfa Romeo.
Sky Sports F1's qualifying build-up is on air from 1pm with the session starting at 2pm.
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Too close to call for qualifying
The start to the final practice session was delayed by 10 minutes due to a major clean-up operation at Turn Four after an oil spill during the early F2 race.
With cement dust put down all around the corner, F1 cars started to kick up plumes of dust when released onto the circuit - with conditions at that point of the circuit initially very slippery.
But as the grip ramped up through the remainder of the hour, so did the lap times, with Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari trading fastest sectors on a repeat basis.
"It was a great demonstration of how this circuit has got different aspects to it," said Sky F1's Damon Hill, a two-time winner in Hungary.
"You can now look at where one car is better than another - and yet all of them came up with a similar lap time."
Hungarian GP Practice Three Timesheet
|1. Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:16.084|
|2. Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.013|
|3. Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||+0.082|
|4. Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+0.271|
|5. Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.308|
|6. Pierre Gasly||Red Bull||+0.600|
|7. Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.690|
|8. Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+1.132|
|9. Carlos Sainz||McLaren||+1.133|
|10. Kevin Magnussen||Haas||+1.146|
|11. Romain Grosjean||Haas||+1.209|
|12. Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||+1.348|
|13. Nico Hulkenberg||Renault||+1.583|
|14. Sergio Perez||Racing Point||+1.586|
|15. Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+1.845|
|16. Daniel Ricciardo||Renault||+1.878|
|17. Alexander Albon||Toro Rosso||+1.940|
|18. George Russell||Williams||+1.988|
|19. Lance Stroll||Racing Point||+2.450|
|20. Robert Kubica||Williams||+2.625|
Sky Sports F1's Hungarian GP schedule
Saturday, August 3
1pm: Hungarian GP Qualifying Build-up
2pm: HUNGARIAN GP QUALIFYING
3.30pm: The F1 Show
3.45pm: F3 Race One - Live on Red Button
4pm: F3 Race One
Sunday, August 4
8.55am: F3 Race Two (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
10.15am: F2 Race Two
10.30pm (Sky One): The F1 Show
11.40am: Porsche Supercup
12.30pm: Hungarian GP: Pit Lane Live
1,30pm: Hungarian GP: On The Grid
2.10pm: THE HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX LIVE! (Simulcast on Sky Sports Main Event)
4pm: Hungarian GP Paddock Live
5.30pm: Hungarian GP Highlights
6.30pm: Hungarian GP Best Bits
7pm: Hungarian GP Race Rerun
Don't miss the next instalment of F1 2019 at the Hungarian GP this weekend on Sky Sports F1 - the final race before the summer break. Find out how to watch all the 2019 season live.