Hungarian GP: Lewis Hamilton ahead of Max Verstappen in final practice, Mick Schumacher crashes
Watch the Hungarian GP live only on Sky Sports F1, with qualifying at 2pm on Saturday; Max Verstappen faces pole challenge from both Mercedes drivers at Hungaroring, but Sergio Perez adrift; Mick Schumacher a doubt for qualifying after Turn 11 crash causes big car damage
By James Galloway
Last Updated: 31/07/21 1:09pm
Lewis Hamilton narrowly edged out Max Verstappen to the fastest time of final practice with Hungarian GP qualifying appearing set to pitch the title challengers into another blockbuster fight for pole position.
With Valtteri Bottas also running strongly around the technical Hungaroring in the other Mercedes, but Sergio Perez off the leading pace in the second Red Bull, championship Verstappen appears set to face a double challenge to head the grid when the battle for pole begins at 2pm live on Sky Sports F1.
Hamilton was initially a long way off Bottas' early leading pace but found speed and grip on his final run, lapping in a 1:16.826 to outpace Verstappen, who also posted his effort late on, by 0.088s.
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Bottas was third, but within two tenths of a second of his Mercedes team-mate.
Mick Schumacher brought the red flags in the final quarter of an hour in a heavy crash at Turn 11 which calls the Haas driver's participation in qualifying into doubt due to apparent significant car damage.
Schumacher lost control going through the fast right-hander and spun into a hefty side-on impact with the outside tyre wall.
"I'm okay," said the German rookie, who sounded winded, over the radio. "Really sorry for that. I know what it means. Sorry."
When the session resumed, there was an incident in the pit lane involving Alfa Romeo's Antonio Giovianzzi and Aston Martin's Lance Stroll. Alfa Romeo released their car from the garage into the path of Stroll, who was driving down the pit lane, and the two cars fortunately made only the merest of contact, damaging Giovinazzi's front wing.
The stewards are investigating that incident ahead of qualifying.
Elsewhere on the timesheet and Ferrari and McLaren made their expected moves after lower-key Fridays.
Ferrari, who nearly won at Silverstone and took pole at the last high-downforce circuit, Monaco, similar to Budapest that F1 visited, were fourth and fifth; McLaren were sixth with Lando Norris and eighth with Daniel Ricciardo.
Red Bull's Perez ended up sandwiched between the two McLarens, 1.1s adrift of the front-running rivals.
The Mexican, who endured a wretched and point-less Silverstone after spinning in the sprint event, will likely have more speed in hand - he all-but matched his best time of 1:17.917 on a second timed lap on the soft tyres - but appears unlikely to be battling team-mate Verstappen or the Mercedes drivers in qualifying on the evidence of practice.
Alpine slipped down the timesheet after running high up on Friday, but Fernando Alonso kept them in the top 10 ahead of the lead Aston Martin of Stroll.
Hungarian GP Practice Three Timesheet
|1) Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:16.826|
|2) Max Verstappen||Red Bull||+0.088|
|3) Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes||+0.229|
|4) Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||+0.671|
|5) Charles Leclerc||Ferrari||+0.694|
|6) Lando Norris||McLaren||+0.946|
|7) Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+1.091|
|8) Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||+1.116|
|9) Fernando Alonso||Alpine||+1.116|
|10) Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+1.224|
|11) Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||+1.289|
|12) Esteban Ocon||Alpine||+1.348|
|13) Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+1.409|
|14) Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||+1.635|
|15) Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo||+1.857|
|16) George Russell||Williams||+1.968|
|17) Nicholas Latifi||Williams||+1.995|
|18) Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo||+2.287|
|19) Mick Schumacher||Haas||+2.580|
|20) Nikita Mazepin||Haas||+3.107|