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FP3: Hamilton heads Verstappen and Perez in final practice session at the Hungaroring

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Lewis Hamilton led the way in the final hour of practice in Budapest, as the Mercedes driver set the pace ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen and his Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez, as preparations wrapped up ahead of qualifying later today.

With just 60 minutes left in the weekend to hone their set-ups ahead of qualifying and the race on Sunday, the drivers made their way out on to a much greener Hungaroring track to the one they left yesterday, with heavy rain having hit the circuit overnight.

PRACTICE DEBRIEF: A mixed picture after a disrupted day in Budapest – with the potential for some qualifying surprises

As the teams continued to adapt to Pirelli’s Alternative Tyre Allocation for the weekend – mandating the use of hards in Q1, mediums in Q2 and softs in Q3 – we saw a number of drivers go out on used slick tyres to begin the session. One driver who was on a fresh set of mediums was Verstappen, and he went straight to the top of the timesheets with a time of 1m 18.478s.

Hungary 2023

Practice 3 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1HAM1:17.811
2VER+0.25s
3PER+0.256s
4HUL+0.266s
5NOR+0.271s
View Full Results

The drivers then began to make the switch to some brand-new soft tyres, with Hamilton vaulting straight to the top of the timesheets with a time of 1m 17.811s, exactly two and half tenths ahead of Verstappen in second.

Perez continued his recovery from his crash in FP1 and his damaging lock-up in second practice to go third, ahead of the impressive Haas of Nico Hulkenberg in fourth, with Lando Norris rounding out the top five – although his best time was intriguingly set on the mediums.

READ MORE: 'Felt like I never really left' – Ricciardo happy to be back after first day of running with AlphaTauri in Budapest

The other Mercedes of George Russell was sixth fastest ahead of the Ferrari pair of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, with the Aston Martin of Fernando Alonso in ninth place.

Valtteri Bottas showed a good turn of pace in his Alfa Romeo to go 10th, with his team mate Zhou Guanyu further back in 12th, as the other Aston Martin of Lance Stroll slotted in between the pair.

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JULY 22: Alexander Albon of Thailand driving the (23) Williams FW45 Mercedes

FP3 saw drivers get their final laps in before qualifying later on Saturday

Alex Albon was 13th fastest for Williams ahead of McLaren's rookie Oscar Piastri and the other Haas of Kevin Magnussen. Pierre Gasly was 16th as the lead Alpine, ahead of the other Williams of Logan Sargeant.

READ MORE: FP2 pace-setter Leclerc admits Friday times ‘difficult to read’ but confident Ferrari can achieve ‘great result’ in Hungary

Former winners at the Hungaroring, Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon were 18th and 19th respectively for AlphaTauri and Alpine, with Yuki Tsunoda left at the bottom of the field.

All three practice sessions are now done, meaning the drivers have a little bit of time now to debrief with their teams and finalise their set-ups ahead of qualifying in Budapest later today at 1600 local time.

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