Hamilton keeps McLaren on top in Hungary practice

Formula One world champion Lewis Hamilton kept McLaren on top for a third straight practice session at the Hungarian Grand Prix today.

The 24-year-old Briton, who was fastest on Friday and will be chasing his third Hungarian pole in a row, produced the quickest time of the weekend so far with a lap of one minute, 21.009 seconds.

Germany's Nick Heidfeld, in a BMW-Sauber, was second quickest, and 0.399 slower than Hamilton.

Neither Hamilton nor Finnish team mate Heikki Kovalainen have stood on the podium this season after spending the first half of the year struggling with an uncompetitive car. Kovalainen won in Budapest last year and led Friday's first session.

However, the Mercedes-powered team have made significant improvements in the past month and are hoping to be back in the running after Brawn and Red Bull dominated the first nine rounds.

Brawn's championship leader Jenson Button, who won six of the first seven races and is 21 points clear in the standings, had hoped to be back to form in the Hungarian heat but lapped only 17th quickest in the final practice before qualifying.

His Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello was 13th.

Red Bull's Mark Webber, who took his first win in 130 starts at this month's German Grand Prix, was ninth on the timesheets with German team mate Sebastian Vettel 10th. Vettel is second in the championship.

Ferrari's Felipe Massa, who had victory snatched from his grasp by a late engine failure in Hungary last year, lapped seventh quickest and the Italian team seemed to struggle on the twisty track.

Spanish new boy Jaime Alguersuari put in another solid performance for Toro Rosso, lapping quicker than both the Force India drivers and again keeping out of trouble in his 20 laps.

The 19-year-old will become the youngest driver to start a race on Sunday.

Force India's Adrian Sutil ended the session 15 minutes early after he ploughed into the tyre wall, leaving his mechanics with work to do before qualifying.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'
Sarah Lucas is the perfect artist to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale

Flesh in Venice

Sarah Lucas has filled the British pavilion at the Venice Biennale with slinky cats and casts of her female friends' private parts. It makes you proud to be a woman, says Karen Wright
11 best anti-ageing day creams

11 best anti-ageing day creams

Slow down the ageing process with one of these high-performance, hardworking anti-agers
Juventus 2 Real Madrid 1: Five things we learnt, including Iker Casillas is past it and Carlos Tevez remains effective

Juventus vs Real Madrid

Five things we learnt from the Italian's Champions League first leg win over the Spanish giants
Ashes 2015: Test series looks a lost cause for England... whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket

Ashes series looks a lost cause for England...

Whoever takes over as ECB director of cricket, says Stephen Brenkley
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power