Sunday, April 21, 2024

Hamilton Tops Final Hour of Practice Ahead of Hungarian GP

In the final hour of practice in Budapest, Lewis Hamilton set the pace ahead of championship leader Max Verstappen and his Oracle Red Bull Racing teammate Sergio Pérez.

With only sixty minutes left in the weekend to fine-tune their setups for qualifying and Sunday’s race, the drivers headed out onto a much greener Hungaroring compared to the previous day due to heavy rain overnight.

Teams continued to adjust to Pirelli’s Alternative Tyre Allocation for the weekend, which mandated the use of hards in Q1, mediums in Q2, and softs in Q3. Some drivers opted to start the session on used slick tires. However, Verstappen, who was on a fresh set of mediums, quickly set the fastest time with 1:18.478s.

As the session progressed, drivers switched to brand-new soft tyres, and Hamilton climbed to the top of the timesheets with a time of 1:17.811s, putting him two and a half tenths ahead of Verstappen in second on the same tyre compound.

Perez continued his recovery from his crash in Free Practice One and a damaging lock-up in the second practice session, securing the third position. An impressive lap from Haas F1 Team driver Nico Hülkenberg, while Lando Norris rounded out the top five, intriguingly setting his best time on mediums.

George Russell was the sixth fastest, followed by the Scuderia Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr. Fernando Alonso claimed ninth fastest, while Valtteri Bottas showed good pace for Alfa Romeo F1 Team Stake to secure tenth place. His teammate Zhou Guanyu finished in twelfth position, with Lance Stroll in between the Alfa Romeo pair.

Alex Albon secured the thirteenth fastest time for Williams Racing, ahead of Oscar Piastri and Kevin Magnussen. Pierre Gasly, the lead BWT Alpine F1 Team driver, finished sixteenth, while Logan Sargeant followed in seventeenth place.

Former Hungaroring winner Esteban Ocon had a tough session, finishing nineteenth, respectively. Yuki Tsunoda found himself at the bottom of the field. Daniel Ricciardo has his final hour of practice before returning to F1 qualifying and put in a good lap to finish three-tenths ahead of his teammate on the same tyre compound.

1 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 1:17.811 20
2 1 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:18.061 +0.250s 23
3 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT 1:18.067 +0.256s 25
4 27 Nico Hulkenberg HAAS FERRARI 1:18.077 +0.266s 21
5 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:18.082 +0.271s 19
6 63 George Russell MERCEDES 1:18.119 +0.308s 22
7 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 1:18.190 +0.379s 28
8 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 1:18.234 +0.423s 29
9 14 Fernando Alonso ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:18.350 +0.539s 20
10 77 Valtteri Bottas ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:18.489 +0.678s 24
11 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES 1:18.536 +0.725s 20
12 24 Zhou Guanyu ALFA ROMEO FERRARI 1:18.544 +0.733s 23
13 23 Alexander Albon WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:18.592 +0.781s 17
14 81 Oscar Piastri MCLAREN MERCEDES 1:18.598 +0.787s 19
15 20 Kevin Magnussen HAAS FERRARI 1:18.649 +0.838s 26
16 10 Pierre Gasly ALPINE RENAULT 1:18.776 +0.965s 22
17 2 Logan Sargeant WILLIAMS MERCEDES 1:18.814 +1.003s 16
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:18.828 +1.017s 28
19 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 1:18.979 +1.168s 22
20 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA RBPT 1:19.156 +1.345s 29