Free practice 3

Hello and welcome to ESPNF1's coverage of the final free practice session ahead of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton was quickest in both of Friday's sessions, can he continue the McLaren resurgence?

There was a lot of talk about the new shared television rights deal in the UK yesterday, but we can now turn our attentions back to what promises to be a closely fought battle at the Hungaroring. Practice yesterday showed McLaren and Ferrari both appear to have the one-lap pace to challenge Red Bull for pole, and all three teams are closely matched on race pace too. Excited? I am.

Williams (WilliamsF1team) on Twitter: "10 minutes to go until cars on track - final prep going on in the garage"

It's warm and sunny in Budapest, which should help Ferrari more than McLaren and Red Bull - McLaren especially have enjoyed the cooler temperatures. Of course, it's not just the front of the grid where it's close. Virgin and HRT seem to have a similar pace and Lotus is a lot closer to the midfield than it has been for many races.

So, before we see the outright pace of each team we've got an hour-long session for the teams to evaluate their cars one last time. That's most important for Sebastian Vettel today, because it transpires that Red Bull broke the curfew on working late in the garage last night making wholesale changes to Vettel's car. He'll want to get a feel for the car again and find the best setup for the rest of the weekend.

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FP3 has begun, and Kovalainen is the first man on track, followed closely by Glock, Liuzzi, D'Ambrosio and Trulli.

Button, Alonso and Webber head out on track, followed by Vettel.

These are just installation laps of course, being the first time that the cars have turned a wheel today.

Track temperature is up at 33C at present, and with the sun out that is only likely to climb.

Everyone has completed an installation lap now, with Petrov staying out to do two laps before returning to the pits and the track goes quiet again.

Pirelli (Pirelli_Media) on Twitter: "Ferrari and McLaren out on the P Zero Yellow tyres. Most of the running in this session should be on the soft compound."

The BBC is reporting that Red Bull decided to take its time over the work on Vettel's car last night rather than rush to try and beat the curfew. There's no penalty though, as teams can break the curfew four times in a season before being penalised.

Renault is reporting that it's very windy out on track, which can have a real effect on braking points and top speed.

Anyone fancy going for a drive?

Ah, just as I was about to start complaining, D'Ambrosio heads out on track in the Virgin to break the silence.

After my mention of the wind, everyone's jumping on the bandwagon! Pirelli and Renault Sport both tweeting, with Renault saying "Nose wind in the straight : 9m/s (more than 30k) ! Hard for the top speed and the 7th gear"

D'Ambrosio will set the first timed lap of the day, and it's a 1:32.884. That's a lot slower than he managed yesterday, five seconds in fact.

Kobayashi has just started a timed lap, with Kovalainen, Glock, Trulli and Perez also out on track

D'Ambrosio improves to a 1:30.634 before Kobayashi goes quicker with a 1:27.338

The track is much busier now, with 12 cars on track. Button is the first of the front runners to go out.

Kobayashi has improved to a 1:26.188 with Perez second on a 1:26.887

Rosberg goes quickest with his first timed lap: a 1:24.464.

Schumacher follows him over the line just 0.001s slower.

Nigel emails in to ask: "Is the continuing talk of Perez going to Ferrari in 2013, if the test works out well this fall, driven essentially by the strong backing he has from $lim (Slim), the Mexican gazillionnaire, and currently the richest person in the world? Whereas Koybashi doesn't seem to have a torrent of money pushing him ahead. In his case, it is raw talent.

The real question, is how important is third party sponsorship for very good drivers and potentially top drivers, like Kobayashi, who are not with a top 3-4 team, to get a drive in a contending car."

Heavy sponsorship helps drivers get in to the sport in the first place, Nigel, but to gain a drive in the top teams it really does come down to talent - they make enough through their own sponsorship deals and just want the best drivers in their car.

As for Perez, he is getting time in the Ferrari as he is part of the Ferrari stable of drivers, along with Jules Bianchi who will also test a car alongside Perez later in the year.

Button has gone quickest with a 1:23.526

And then Button improves to a 1:23.016

Kobayashi runs wide at turn 11, and then with dirty tyres runs wide at turn 12 too

Schumacher complaining over the radio that he is struggling with the rear of the Mercedes

Vettel, Hamilton and Webber are also on track, with only both Ferrari's yet to come back out after their installation laps

The track has been steadily improving over the weekend as the grip levels increase. The Hungaroring is rarely used outside of the grand prix weekend, and therefore is very slippery at the start of Friday practice.

Loggie wants to know how Ricciardo is getting on. He's completed eight laps so far with a best lap of 1:28.955, 0.1s quicker than D'Ambrosio and 0.3s quicker than his team-mate Liuzzi.

Vettel goes quickest with a 1:22.360, followed by Hamilton in 1:22.978

Lewis Hamilton locks up and misses the chicane, following di Resta in skipping the corner

Hamilton is told that he needs to find another 0.2s over the radio. The wind is causing issues in to the chicane as Maldonado loses the rear end and has to turn left in to a right hander before skipping though the gravel

Maldonado did well to find gravel on the outside of the circuit, as most traps have now been replaced with ashphalt run-off areas in Hungary. It gives drivers a fairly safe way out when they make an error; too easy?

Vettel improves to a 1:22.021 and Hamilton a 1:22.667 before they both pit

Only Webber, Massa, Alonso, Trulli and D'Ambrosio on track right now

And Webber pits, as Alonso continues running round 3.5s off the pace. That appears to be a high fuel run

Alonso can go a lot quicker - he's less than a second down during the first two sectors but then backs off in sector three

Trulli runs wide at turn nine, but uses one of those lovely (for the drivers) run-off areas and continues.

Schumacher is out on the supersoft tyres, but still 0.8s down in the first two sectors

Schumacher goes sixth, a full second slower than Vettel despite being on the supersoft tyres.

Massa loses the rear end trying to turn in for turn eight, and runs wide on to the grass and almost in to the tyre wall

Rosberg also on supersoft tyres and he's the quickest man in sector one.

Rosberg goes second in 1:22.534

Perez is off-line turning in to the final corner, gets out on to the marbles and runs wide

Barrichello appears to be completing heavy fuel runs on the soft tyre as he tests Williams' new front wing

Oddly, part of Liuzzi's front wing flew off his HRT as he exited turn 11.

Speaking of HRT, it's still close at the back of the field, with both Virgins and both HRTs separated by just 0.3s

The wind has picked up again, back to 9m/s, displayed by the trees around the circuit bowing in the wind

Apologies for a few technical gremlins that seem to be slowing our leaderboard down. The techie powers that be are looking in to it. It's still Vettel fastest from Rosberg, Hamilton, Webber, Alonso and Button.

Vettel skips the chicane having lost the rear end under braking. The wind is up to 10.5s now and it is a direct tail wind in to the chicane which is causing so many errors.

Rosberg and Alonso both out on the supersoft tyre and starting laps

Webber improves to a 1:22.392 having set the fastest final sector

Rosberg was very slow, but Alonso is on low fuel and goes quickest with a 1:21.469

A lot of supersoft tyre runs now, as Trulli is also on a lap. Button and Hamilton both have supersoft tyres on but are yet to leave the pits

Massa is out on supersoft tyres, as Vettel and Webber also wait to go out on the options

Massa goes second with a 1:22.002, having had a big moment in turn three

Alonso still running on the supersoft and sets a new fastest second sector, but doesn't improve

Hamilton and Button are now on track, we're going to see a hint of true pace, but probably not the full hand

Hamilton completely misses his braking point for turn one and has to abort the lap. He says over the radio "brakes didn't work for turn one"

Button goes second quickest, just 0.170s slower than Alonso

Webber is on track, but Vettel is yet to leave the garage

Hamilton's brakes working this time, as he tries a flying lap again

Hamilton's slow in the second sector though, as Webber runs a touch wide in turn one and locks up in turn two. He's 0.5s down in the first two sectors

Vettel starts a flying lap, as Webber blitzes the final sector and goes third, 0.176 off the fastest time

Hamilton pits and ends his run early.

Vettel goes quickest, a 1:21.168 putting him 0.3s quicker than Alonso

Webber on another lap, and quicker than Vettel in sector one

The chequered flag is out, as Webber loses half a second compared to Alonso in the middle sector. He finishes the lap 0.5s down

Vettel is pushing on but had already crossed the line so pits at the end of his lap

So, the session comes to an end with Sebastian Vettel on top, a 1:21.168 putting him 0.3s quicker than Fernando Alonso. Button is third and Webber fourth, both within half a second, while Hamilton is seventh quickest, 1.5s off the pace having not set a flying lap on supersoft tyres

Does that point to further Red Bull domination? Or do Hamilton and Alonso have the pace to end its stranglehold on pole position? Join us in two hours to find out.