Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Hungaroring, 2021

Hamilton narrowly leads Verstappen as Schumacher crashes

2021 Hungarian Grand Prix third practice

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Lewis Hamilton ended the final practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix with the fastest time.

But the world champion was less than a tenth of a second faster than championship rival Max Verstappen, as Red Bull reduced the deficit to their rivals on Saturday.

The final hour of practice was disrupted after Mick Schumacher crashed his Haas heavily. He was unhurt, but the extensive damage to the left-hand side of his VF-21 will put his participation in qualifying in serious doubt.

After a scruffy-seeming second practice session where both cars finished outside the top ten times, Ferrari seemed to recover their form in the cooler temperatures. Carlos Sainz Jnr placed second-fastest after the first qualifying simulation runs and managed to hold on to be fourth fastest, Charles Leclerc just behind him.

Lando Norris took sixth, ahead of Sergio Perez, who was a full second slower than his team mate. Daniel Ricciardo seemed to struggle early in the session but improved and his best time of the weekend so far put him eighth fastest.

Compared to yesterday the Alpine cars weren’t as competitive as they looked in the hotter sessions, Fernando Alonso managing ninth but Esteban Ocon was outside the top 10.

When the session restarted following the red flag for Schumacher’s crash, a bizarre and potentially dangerous pit lane incident occured involving Antonio Giovinazzi and Lance Stroll. The Alfa Romeo driver was released from his garage as the Aston Martin was approaching his position. As Giovinazzi pulled into the fast lane his front wing made contact with Stroll’s right-rear tyre.

Both cars continued onto the track but the stewards unsurprisingly summoned Giovinazzi for a chat. It will be the first of two, as after joining the circuit he was seen holding up Pierre Gasly, which is also under investigation.

Aside from the red flag to retrieve Schumacher’s car, the session was largely uninterrupted. The opening minutes saw little running: Only five cars set a lap time in the first 13 minutes.

As forecast, temperatures fell from the extreme highs seen yesterday. At the start of final practice the air was a relatively cool 27C and the track 11C cooler than the Friday afternoon session at 52C.

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’16.82620
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’16.9140.08813
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.0550.22915
455Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’17.4970.67120
516Charles LeclercFerrari1’17.5200.69416
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’17.7720.94612
711Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’17.9171.09112
83Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’17.9421.11615
914Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’17.9921.16615
1018Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.0501.22416
1110Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.1151.28917
1231Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’18.1741.34815
135Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.2351.40915
1422Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.4611.63525
157Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’18.6831.85721
1663George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’18.7941.96814
176Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’18.8211.99515
1899Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’19.1132.28714
1947Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’19.4062.58015
209Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’19.9333.10716

Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’16.826

+0.088 Max Verstappen – 1’16.914

+0.229 Valtteri Bottas – 1’17.055

+0.671 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’17.497

+0.694 Charles Leclerc – 1’17.520

+0.946 Lando Norris – 1’17.772

+1.091 Sergio Perez – 1’17.917

+1.116 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’17.942

+1.166 Fernando Alonso – 1’17.992

+1.224 Lance Stroll – 1’18.050

+1.289 Pierre Gasly – 1’18.115

+1.348 Esteban Ocon – 1’18.174

+1.409 Sebastian Vettel – 1’18.235

+1.635 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’18.461

+1.857 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’18.683

+1.968 George Russell – 1’18.794

+1.995 Nicholas Latifi – 1’18.821

+2.287 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’19.113

+2.580 Mick Schumacher – 1’19.406

+3.107 Nikita Mazepin – 1’19.933

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’17.7221’17.0391’16.826-0.21372
2Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’17.5551’17.3101’16.914-0.39658
3Valtteri BottasMercedes1’17.6161’17.0121’17.055+0.04370
4Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’18.1151’18.4411’17.497-0.61876
5Charles LeclercFerrari1’18.3911’18.3701’17.520-0.8569
6Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’18.7651’17.7591’18.174+0.41570
7Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’18.6491’18.3131’17.772-0.54163
8Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’18.4661’17.8241’17.917+0.09355
9Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’19.2651’18.7371’17.942-0.79568
10Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’18.3851’18.1691’17.992-0.17768
11Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.7551’18.3201’18.050-0.2771
12Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.1811’18.1131’18.115+0.00275
13Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’18.9891’18.2281’18.235+0.00768
14Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’18.7701’19.6711’18.461-0.30946
15Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’19.2771’18.683-0.59442
16George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’19.7241’19.2921’18.794-0.49867
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’19.8241’19.4791’18.821-0.65869
18Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’21.8891’20.1861’19.113-1.07347
19Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’20.3831’19.8171’19.406-0.41170
20Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’20.9921’21.8811’19.933-1.05967
21Robert KubicaAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’20.63923

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2021 Hungarian Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a freelance journalist who roams the paddocks of Formula E, covering the technical and emotional elements of electric racing. Usually found at...

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19 comments on “Hamilton narrowly leads Verstappen as Schumacher crashes”

  1. Did LH and MV set it on softs? Also on the other note, for all the hate that Mazepin gets he was relatively crash free compared to Schumacher.

    1. @rockgod Yes, on soft, and I agree with you on Haas drivers.

    2. Mick is crashing a lot more, he is a lot quicker though.

    3. So far he’s slow. Now I said it…just only once.

  2. Michael (@freelittlebirds)
    31st July 2021, 12:15

    Tight at the front.

    Ricciardo closer to Norris

    Sainz and Leclerc – nothing between them

    Alonso ahead of Ocon (or O’Connor as my iPad thinks)

    Perez… It seems to be getting further away from him something that also happened to Gasly and Albon.

    1. i sometimes think the 2nd driver at redbull,doesnt quite get the same car as the number 1 driver.
      dont get me wrong,max is very talented,,but i dont think the speed difference is all down to his talent.
      i would like to see alonso or norris in that redbull..if its the same story,then i’ll be convinced by my suspicion.

      1. Yes. Because Red Bull wants there second driver completely out of the fight…

        Makes totally sense. They just want max to look good, they aren’t trying to win. 🙄

        Reply moderated
      2. Red Bull are fighting for their first genuine constructors title for 8 years. There is no way they sabotage that by having one car not full up-to-spec. It seems like you have a theory and are willing to reach for any evidence to support it, even if it makes little sense. I don’t understand why it’s so difficult for some people to fathom that a wealthy top team like Red Bull that’s fighting for the top prize is able to put two fully-updated and equal cars on track.

        1. @mashiat, You’re not wrong but it is possible that Perez has his car set up for a 1 stop strategy, something he has been very successful at, while Ver is going for the banzai option, which is his thing.

        2. @mashiat have Red Bull given any indication of how much of a priority they think the constructors championship is? The idea that a team might place more of a priority on the drivers championship over the constructors championship is something that has happened in the past – whether you might or might not think Red Bull are doing that is another matter, but the underlying idea isn’t impossible in itself.

  3. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    31st July 2021, 12:24

    At the beginning of the year, despite Red Bull being strong, I was pretty convinced that by the midpoint a turnaround would happen and Mercedes would resume business as usual. They’d get on top of their car issues and become the obvious frontrunner and the title would be theirs no matter what Red Bull did. I do think we’re starting to see that. I’m sure people will say I’m jumping to conclusions too fast, and if I’m wrong at the end of the year I’ll happily admit that though.

    1. @rocketpanda I share the same feeling.

    2. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
      31st July 2021, 13:10

      @rocketpanda The Red Bull still appears to be marginally faster, thus Max has a good chance of taking the crown this year. The constructors will likely go to Mercedes because Perez has been blowing hot and cold, whereas Bottas has been consistently in the P3-P5 range.

  4. Perez is a second down on Max, I feel Gasly might be promoted mid season, or the car is just too difficult to drive and somehow only Max is able to tame the bull.

    Reply moderated
    1. Should’ve taken alonso, he wouldn’t settle for number 2, but in the end your performance dictates who is number 1 and 2, so he’d end up being a natural number 2 to verstappen at his age, and certainly better than perez.

      1. @esploratore1 Alonso would be stop gap just like Perez. Redbull is a team that believes in nurturing young blood. Imagine Russel not getting the seat in the Merc and Redbull steals him. I feel Russel, Norris definitely deserve better cars, more than Alonso or Perez.

        Reply moderated
  5. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
    31st July 2021, 12:37

    RBR yet to turn the engines up fully.

    1. Andy (@andyfromsandy)
      31st July 2021, 12:38

      Perez unable to get rhythm in the middle sector.

    2. Wow Perez is nowhere. He won’t feature this weekend, Max gotta do it on his own.

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