Formula One: Hamilton on top again in final practice in Hungary

Hamilton clocked a best lap of 1min 22.997sec.
Hamilton clocked a best lap of 1min 22.997sec. PHOTO: AFP

BUDAPEST (AFP) - Formula One series leader and defending two-time world champion Lewis Hamilton topped the times ahead of his Mercedes team-mate and main title rival Nico Rosberg in Saturday's final free practice for Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.

On another hot day, with air temperatures soaring past 30 deg C and track temperatures climbing beyond 50 deg, the 30-year-old Briton maintained his supremacy after going quickest in both sessions on Friday.

Hamilton clocked a best lap of 1min 22.997sec to outpace Rosberg by just 0.098sec when the pair ran on super-soft tyres in the closing minutes. Four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel was 0.899sec adrift in third for Ferrari.

Hamilton leads Rosberg, whose car stalled at the end of the session when he attempted a practice start, by 17 points in the championship with Vettel third, 42 points behind Rosberg.

Russian Daniil Kvyat was fourth for Red Bull ahead of Spaniard Carlos Sainz of Toro Rosso and German Nico Huelkenberg of Force India, the Silverstone-based team having returned to the fray after overnight repairs following Sergio Perez's spectacular accident on Friday morning.

Mexican Perez was 15th, one place ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen, whose Ferrari suffered a water leak that curtailed his session.

Dutch teenager Max Verstappen was seventh in the second Toro Rosso ahead of two-time champion Spaniard Fernando Alonso, making the best of his McLaren-Honda's suitability to the tight and twisting Hungaroring circuit.

Australian Daniel Ricciardo was ninth in the second Red Bull and Frenchman Romain Grosjean 10th for Lotus.

Force India took dramatic action to make sure their cars were safe to resume after Perez's crash by flying suspension parts back to England for repairs and testing. They were returned and fitted in time for final practice.

The team's chief operating officer Otmar Szafnauer said they were satisfied with the job done. "We've done a lot of work overnight and we are ready," he said, adding that vibrations had caused the problems.