Formula One: Vettel on top again in final Hungary practice; Bottas, Hamilton in a spin on hot track

Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel clocked a best lap of 1min 16.170sec ahead of the qualifying sessions of the Hungarian Grand Prix.
Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel clocked a best lap of 1min 16.170sec ahead of the qualifying sessions of the Hungarian Grand Prix.PHOTO: REUTERS

BUDAPEST (AFP) - Sebastian Vettel enjoyed a dominant third and final practice in blistering heat on Saturday (July 28) ahead of the qualifying sessions of the Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Ferrari driver, who crashed out of last weekend's German Grand Prix while leading, clocked a best lap of 1min 16.170sec to wind up narrowly ahead of Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes by 0.059 of a second and his Ferrari team-mate Kimi Raikkonen.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was fourth in the second Mercedes behind the two Finns, but ahead of the two Red Bulls of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen.

Carlos Sainz was seventh ahead of his Renault team-mate Nico Hulkenberg with two Frenchmen Romain Grosjean and Pierre Gasly ninth and 10th for Haas and Toro Rosso.

On another sweltering morning at the Hungaroring, where the track temperature was 58 deg C and the air 32, Ferrari were swift to set the pace with Raikkonen leading the way.

Bottas then took the initiative followed by Vettel, who trimmed the best time by six-tenths after only 15 minutes. He and Bottas then swopped best laps while Hamilton struggled for grip.

Both Hamilton and Bottas had spins at the chicane, the Finn sliding up to the barriers, which he touched with making heavy impact.

When Mercedes advised Hamilton of Vettel's lap times, he said: "I just don't have that grip."

The high track temperatures reduced the grip of the tyres, notably the ultra-softs, with Mercedes having the most severe problems despite overnight efforts to find a solution.

Vettel was fastest in Thursday's second practice while Ricciardo led the times in the opening session.

Both Force India cars took part in the third session following Friday evening's decision at the High Court in London to put the team into administration. Frenchman Esteban Ocon was 15th and Mexican Sergio Perez 19th.