P6 for Max in final free practice at the Hungaroring

Published on 28 July 2018 by Raymond Snip

Max Verstappen came in 6th in the third and final free practice in Hungary. Sebastian Vettel, in his Ferrari, was the fastest at the 4.381 meter long Hungaroring, followed by the Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen put his Ferrari on P3.

After the free practice on Friday, it became clear that after a session at the High Court in London the Force India Formula 1 team was placed under guardianship. An administrator has been appointed for the ailing team. The Force India team has been unable to meet its payment obligations on its own for some time. However, the team can continue to participate in the racing weekend in Hungary.

When the final free practice in the run-up to the Hungarian Grand Prix starts, it is sunny and warm. Charles Leclerc is first on track. In the opening phase, half of the drivers make an installation lap, after which the Red Bulls appear on track on a set of mediums. Max and his Australian teammate also only complete an installation lap and return to the pits.

Kimi Raikkonen is the first to start a timed lap. With a time of 1.17.110, on the ultra softs, he immediately is faster than his best time on Friday. In the first part of the session the Mercedes and Ferrari teams are out on track a lot, while the complete Aston Martin Red Bull Racing team is waiting inside. After twenty minutes Max gets ready to go out on track. Ricciardo is already out. Because of traffic in his first flying lap, he does not get past P5.

When Max appears on track, he does so with a set of soft tyres. He starts with a 1.17.578 and is sixth. The Dutchman drives a harder compound tyre than the men in front of him. Attempts to improve his time in the next laps are ruined by Leclerc, who does not see the Red Bull coming. The Monegasque offers apologies through hand gestures.

With less than twenty minutes left, Lewis Hamilton spins in the chicane. The reigning World Champion can continue without damage. A few minutes later his teammate Bottas does the same. The Finn can also continue his stint after he went sideways into the guard rail. Max is still inside while work is being done on the front of his car.

With eleven minutes left, Max is back on the track. He is going to try to improve his fastest time on a set of ultra-soft tyres. In the meantime, Bottas is outside again after a check of his car. Max gets within 1:17 and improves to P5. Both the Mercedes’ and Ferraris are in front. Vettel is the quickest so far. In the final stint, both Red Bulls are pushing but only Ricciardo is able to improve his time, pushing Max back one spot.

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Results third free practice Hungary:

1Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:16.170 16
2Valteri BottasBOTMercedes1:16.229+0.059s17
3Kimi RäikkönenRAIFerrari1:16.373+0.203s16
4Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:16.749+0.579s17
5Daniel RicciardoRICRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:16.803+0.633s11
6Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:16.946+0.776s14
7Carlos SainzSAIRenault1:17.754+1.584s17
8Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:18.083+1.913s18
9Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:18.084+1.914s19
10Pierre GaslyGASScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:18.139+1.969s22
11Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:18.230+2.060s17
12Brendon HartleyHARScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:18.252+2.082s19
13Charles LeclercLECSauber Ferrari1:18.376+2.206s19
14Fernando AlonsoALOMcLaren Renault1:18.467+2.297s15
15Esteban OconOCOForce India Mercedes1:18.512+2.342s20
16Sergey SirotkinSIRWilliams Mercedes1:18.630+2.460s17
17Stoffel VandoorneVANMcLaren Renault1:18.789+2.619s14
18Marcus EricssonERISauber Ferrari1:18.842+2.672s18
19Sergio PerezPERForce India Mercedes1:18.962+2.792s18
20Lance StrollSTRWilliams Mercedes1:19.132+2.962s20