F1 Hungarian GP: Hamilton Outstrips Verstappen in the Last Practice Session

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In the wake of a new tyre allocation policy limiting teams from 13 to 11 sets of tyres per weekend, teams leveraged FP3 as a preparation ground for each qualifying phase.

This led to aggressive timings across all compound types, as opposed to merely strapping on softs for hot-lap preparation.

Track temperatures exceeding 45C posed a challenge for drivers in surpassing their FP2 timings, as the cooler track surface post-rain made for better conditions. However, overnight rainfall had wiped the Hungaroring surface clean of the rubber left from Friday.

Daniel Ricciardo posted the first timed lap of the session, which was soon outdone by Kevin Magnussen’s 1m20.454s, and later overtaken by Sergio Perez’s initial lap on a set of used mediums.

Verstappen, however, outdid his teammate with a 1m18.478s on a new set of mediums, having exclusively used soft tyres during FP2 on Friday.

Despite various attempts on soft tyres, Oscar Piastri’s 1m18.949s could not surpass the Red Bull team, even with a strong middle sector. Piastri’s run was on new softs, while the following laps from Lando Norris, Esteban Ocon, and Pierre Gasly were on already used sets.

Maintaining their commendable pace from FP2, Alfa Romeo duo Valtteri Bottas and Zhou Guanyu split the Red Bulls on fresh softs, with Bottas trailing Verstappen’s best by 0.011s as the session’s opening third came to a close.

Norris managed to pull ahead of Perez into fourth, as Perez struggled to cool his tyres on the heated tarmac.

Just as Verstappen had led for more than half an hour, Fernando Alonso topped him with a 1m18.350s on new softs, clearing the reigning champion’s time by just 0.128s.

After about five minutes in the lead, Alonso was overtaken by Norris on fresh mediums by 0.268s. Norris managed this with some spectacular handling of his McLaren MCL60.

As the session neared its final quarter, Mercedes pair George Russell and Lewis Hamilton took their runs on soft tyres. While Russell’s attempt had a few hiccups, landing him third, Hamilton smoothly pulled off a series of top sectors and raced to the top with a 1m17.811s.

Verstappen tried but failed to beat Hamilton with new soft tyres, finishing a quarter-second off and griping about a lack of grip while settling for second. Perez followed into third, just 0.013s behind his teammate.

The Ferrari team attempted to climb the ranks after spending most of the session with lower timings due to focusing on longer medium runs. However, they fell back after strong first sectors and ended sixth and seventh.

Nico Hulkenberg surpassed both Ferraris to claim fourth, while Magnussen’s best first sector couldn’t lift him into the top half of the scoreboard.

Perez’s last-ditch effort to squeeze between Hamilton and Verstappen came up 0.006s short of his teammate’s time, leaving him third, ahead of Hulkenberg.

Norris’s previous attempt placed him fifth, followed by Russell, Leclerc, and Sainz in the top eight. Alonso’s previous top timing landed him ninth overall, beating Bottas’s time, as Lance Stroll nestled between the Alfa Romeos in 11th, ahead of Zhou.

The top 16 all clocked in within a second, with Logan Sargeant narrowly missing the margin by 0.003s in 17th place.

Ricciardo outperformed teammate Yuki Tsunoda by three tenths, with the two bottoming out the leaderboard, separated by Ocon.

[Complete Results Omitted for Brevity]

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about F1 Hungarian GP Final Practice

Who outperformed the rest in the final practice for the F1 Hungarian GP?

Lewis Hamilton outpaced all the other drivers in the final practice for the F1 Hungarian GP.

What new policy has been introduced regarding tyre allocation?

A new tyre allocation policy has been introduced which limits teams from 13 to 11 sets of tyres per weekend.

Who initially led the session before being overtaken by Hamilton?

Max Verstappen initially led the session for more than half an hour before being surpassed by Lewis Hamilton.

How did Ferrari’s performance fare in the session?

The Ferrari team spent most of the session with lower timings focusing on longer medium runs. They attempted to climb the ranks but ended in the sixth and seventh positions.

Who was Hamilton’s closest competitor in the session?

Max Verstappen was Hamilton’s closest competitor in the session, finishing a quarter of a second off Hamilton’s time.

More about F1 Hungarian GP Final Practice

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DutchSpeedster July 23, 2023 - 1:17 am

Don’t count out Max yet, he’s got this championship in the bag. just wait n see! 😉

RedBullRacer92 July 23, 2023 - 2:00 am

i can’t believe verstappen was so close yet again! just needs a lil more grip and he’s got this.

TyreTalk July 23, 2023 - 2:50 am

New tyre policy seems interesting. Wonder how it’ll shake up the strategies for the teams. Looks like everyone’s still adjusting.

SandyPitCrew July 23, 2023 - 4:27 am

ferrari’s gotta step up their game, seems like they can’t find the pace… sixth and seventh ain’t gonna cut it, guys!

James F1Fan July 23, 2023 - 7:02 am

Wow, Hamilton’s on fire this season! Another top spot! Go Mercedes!


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