Vettel sets track record in final Hungary practice
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[July 29, 2017]
By Alan Baldwin
BUDAPEST (Reuters) - Ferrari's Formula
One championship leader Sebastian Vettel smashed the absolute track
record in final practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday
while title rival Lewis Hamilton remained off the pace.
The German, who leads Mercedes driver Hamilton by a single point
ahead of the last race before the August break, lapped the
Hungaroring in one minute 17.017 seconds on supersoft tyres.
The four-times world champion's time was 0.475 quicker than second
placed team mate Kimi Raikkonen.
Now-retired Brazilian Rubens Barrichello set the previous track
record of 1:18.436 with Ferrari in 2004.
Triple world champion Hamilton, who is hoping to equal Michael
Schumacher's all-time record of 68 pole positions later on Saturday,
appeared to have his work cut out at a track where he was won five
The Briton's time, on the slower soft tyres, was 1.417 seconds off
Vettel's and he was only fifth fastest.
Finnish team mate Valtteri Bottas was quicker, 0.897 slower than
Vettel but still the quickest of Ferrari's rivals. Dutch teenager
Max Verstappen was fourth on the timesheets for Red Bull.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo, who was fastest in both Friday
sessions, pulled over at the half hour mark with a suspected
"Everything turned off," he said over the radio, with the team
telling him not to change gear after he reported the car was stuck
in fifth gear.
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Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel during practice REUTERS/Laszlo Balogh
Double world champion Fernando Alonso celebrated his
36th birthday with the ninth fastest time for McLaren, who had both
their cars in the top 10 on Friday.
Brazilian Felipe Massa started the session, after feeling unwell on
Friday and being taken to hospital, but cut it short with continuing
uncertainty about whether he would be able to take part in
Williams confirmed that the veteran had wanted to stop as he was
still not feeling well. British reserve Paul di Resta was on
standby, if given the official go-ahead.
"I'm ready to pounce if he needs a stand in," the Scot told Sky
"You're very anxious. Nervous but very excited. You go straight in
the deep end. It's a tricky little track. You have to be very
committed and confident."
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Pritha Sarkar)
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