Vettel and Ferrari dominate final practice in Hungary
Hungarian Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel and Ferrari dominate final practice in Hungary

Sebastian Vettel set a blistering pace in the final practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix, smashing the previous lap record by over a second with a time of 1:17.017.

Ferrari dominated the session with Kimi Raikkonen in second place, 0.475s off his teammate and 0.422s quicker than the fastest Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas in third. Max Verstappen finished the session fourth fastest, 1.177s off the pace, after teammate Daniel Ricciardo -- who was the fastest man in Friday practice -- stopped midway through the hour with his car stuck in fifth gear.

For the second session in a row, Lewis Hamilton failed to hook up a clean lap after making a series of mistakes throughout his three attempts at a qualifying-style run on super-soft tyres. On his first attempt he missed the apex at Turn 1 and backed off, on his second attempt it was Turn 2 that caught him out and on his final attempt he again ran wide at Turn 1. The combination of mistakes left him in fifth place, 1.417s off the pace of title rival Vettel and half a second off teammate Bottas.

Ferrari's pace looks genuine and Vettel's best lap was nearly 1.5s quicker than Ricciardo's fastest times on Friday. The cars of both Ferrari drivers looked nimble and well-planted throughout the lap, but Vettel's edge over Raikkonen makes him the clear favourite for pole position.

In Ricciardo's absence, Stoffel Vandoorne broke into the top six for McLaren as the team's competitive weekend looks set to continue. Nico Hulkenberg was quick again in the Renault in sixth but will face a five-place grid drop from wherever he qualifies after his team was forced to make an unscheduled gearbox change ahead of FP3. Ricciardo's best effort left him eighth ahead of the second McLaren of Fernando Alonso and the second Renault of Jolyon Palmer.

Outside the top ten much of the focus was on Felipe Massa, who was taken ill following Friday's second practice session and made a precautionary trip to the local hospital in the evening. He was cleared fit to drive ahead of final practice on Saturday morning but completed just 12 laps after feeling unwell in the cockpit of his Williams. Reserve driver Paul di Resta was preparing himself to stand in should Massa be unable to take part in qualifying, but at the end of the session Williams had yet to make a final decision on who would drive for the rest of the weekend.

Either way, Williams looks set to struggle this weekend as Massa and teammate Lance Stroll slumped to 17th and 18th in the order during FP3. Ahead of them, Haas appeared to make an improvement from Friday, finishing the session 15th and 16th, behind a brewing battle between Force India and Toro Rosso just outside the top ten.

Sauber repaired Pascal Wherlein's wrecked car overnight to allow him finish the session 19th, 0.302s ahead of teammate Marcus Ericsson in last place.

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