Budapest Practice 3: Grosjean fastest from Alonso as McLaren shows promise

27 July, 2013

Romain Grosjean fastest in FP3

Romain Grosjean fastest in FP3

Romain Grosjean topped the timing sheets at the end of the final free practice session of the Hungarian Grand Prix weekend, at Hungaroring where the Lotus driver’s strong form continued to impress, with Fernando Alonso also showing a healthy turn of pace ahead of the crucial qualifying session later in the day.

Grosjean’s best lap 1:20.730 is the fastest thus far around the tight and twisty circuit near Budapest and suggests that the pole winning time will dip below  80 seconds. The Frenchman appeared more at ease in the current version of the E21, than teammate Kimi Raikkonen during the first three free practice sessions. Raikkonen was 11th on the timing sheets.

Alonso also seemed to have the edge on his teammate, with strong race pace in their arsenal Ferrari are looking strong contenders for a win, particularly the Spaniard. Felipe Massa was fifth.

Fernando Alonso was second quickest

Fernando Alonso was second quickest

McLaren seemed to have made a step forward since Germany as Sergio Perez set the third fastest time, but a heavy crash into the barriers in Turn 11 late on in the session could compromise him. Nevertheless the apparent new found pace in the otherwise below par MP4-28 is a strong positive for the Woking outfit. Jenson Button was ninth fastest.

After dominating the opening day Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest in FP3, suggesting that Red Bull had other matters on their programme in the 60 minute session than hot laps. Mark Webber was seventh.

With ambient temperatures hovering around 31 °C, and track temperatures in the forties, Mercedes appear to be struggling. Lewis Hamilton was fastest of the Brackley pair, with the sixth best time, almost half a second down on the top time and Nico Rosberg in eighth a further quarter second down. Neither driver looked comfortable on the softer tyre.

Sergio Perez third fastest in FP3

Sergio Perez third fastest in FP3

Adrian Sutil rounded out the top ten in the Force India, with Paul di Resta 13th on the timing sheets.

Williams also appeared to thrive in the heat with Pastor Maldonado able to flex his muscles in a manner  seldom shown this season. He was 12th and the last driver within a second of Grosjean’s top time.

The session is a difficult one to read as Red Bull are surely better than 4th and 7th, however the fact is that Lotus and Ferrari look strong in both race and hot-lap trim which sets the scene for an thrilling qualifying shoot out and an equally intriguing race on Sunday. (GP247)

Subbed by AJN.

Hungarian Grand Prix, Free Practice 3 – Saturday, 27 July 2013

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:20.730 20
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:20.898 0.168 13
3 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.052 0.322 10
4 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:21.125 0.395 27
5 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:21.151 0.421 14
6 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:21.158 0.428 19
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:21.254 0.524 17
8 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:21.356 0.626 23
9 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:21.499 0.769 15
10 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:21.519 0.789 20
11 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:21.589 0.859 17
12 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:21.646 0.916 19
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:21.963 1.233 21
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:21.964 1.234 21
15 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:22.180 1.450 18
16 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:22.423 1.693 19
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:23.028 2.298 16
18 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:23.975 3.245 21
19 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:23.987 3.257 19
20 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:24.298 3.568 20
21 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:25.122 4.392 20
22 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari No time 2

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