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Ferrari take charge in final Hungarian GP practice

Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets in the final practice session ahead of the Hungarian grand prix with a blistering time of 1:17.017, smashing Ruebens Barrichello’s 2004 record.

The Ferrari driver finished nearly half a second clear of team mate Kimi Raikkonen, stamping Ferrari’s authority all over the session.

The Mercedes team, however, seemed to struggle for pace – not enjoying the combination of the hot weather and supersoft tyres. Neither of the drivers was happy with balance or handling of their cars and this will be the first weekend since Russia that Mercedes has not finished on the top spot of at least one session during the course of the F1 weekend.

hungary-ricciardoValterri Bottas was the fastest of the two Mercedes drivers, albeit a further half a second off Raikkonen’s time. Max Verstappen was fourth fastest for Red Bull Racing, 3 tenths behind Bottas. The Red Bulls seemed very comfortable and very quick this weekend but team mate Ricciardo was forced to end his session early when his car suffered an electronic issue which simply switched the car off. Very disappointing for the Australian driver as he had dominated the Friday practice sessions and was yet to set a competitive time.

Lewis Hamilton struggled his way through the session and finished fifth fastest. The Briton had a few very scruffy laps with a good few lock ups and off track ventures.

The McLaren drivers will be a whole lot happier with their session with both drivers finishing within the top 10 times for the session. Stoffel Vandoorne set a very impressive time to go sixth fastest ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, the stricken Daniel Ricciardo, and team mate Fernando Alonso. Perhaps those Silverstone penalties in order to perform better in Budapest is paying off?

Jolyon Palmer rounded out the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz, Esteban Ocon, and Daniil Kvyat. Force India’s Sergio Perez took the fourteenth spot ahead of Hass F1 team’s Romain Grosjean who also had a hard time handling his car around the Hungaroring.

Team mate Kevin Magnussen finished next on the time sheets just ahead of Williams driver Felipe Massa. The Brazilian has been unwell this weekend, complaining of feeling dizzy and sick. It has been confirmed that reserve driver Paul di Resta will be making an F1 comeback, taking over from Massa for the remainder of the weekend.

Williams team mate Lance Stroll finished 18th quickest ahead of the Sauber duo of Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson.

If the Mercedes team can turn up the heat a little for qualifying we should be in for a nice close three-team battle with the Ferrari and Red Bull teams. Join us on Twitter @F1_Madness for live commentary and chat throughout the session.

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About Adele Groenendaal

Some say she's Murray Walker's illegitimate offspring. Others say she was a right wheel-gunner for the Lotus F1 team. All we know is Adele has high octane fuel running through her veins and Formula One is her passion. Follow Adele on Twitter @aprilrain500

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2017 Belgian GP Broadcast Times

CDTBSTGMT+2Local
Free Practice 1Friday 03:00Friday 09:00Friday 10:00Friday 10:00
Free Practice 2Friday 08:00Friday 13:00Friday 14:00Friday 14:00
Free Practice 3Saturday 04:00Saturday 10:00Saturday 11:00Saturday 11:00
QualifyingSaturday 08:00Saturday 13:00Saturday 14:00Saturday 14:00
RaceSunday 08:00Sunday 13:00Sunday 14:00Sunday 14:00

2017 Drivers Championship

Pos.DriverPoints
1 Sebastian Vettel202
2 Lewis Hamilton188
3 Valtteri Bottas169
4 Daniel Ricciardo117
5 Kimi Raikkonen116
> Full Championship Table

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