|©AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic
Mark Webber topped the charts in the third and final practice session for the Hungarian Grand Prix indicating that Red Bull may have found the solutions to the difficulties that held it back on Friday.
The Australian clocked a time of 1 minute 21.550 seconds around the Hungaroring circuit under warm and sunny conditions on Saturday morning, ahead of the qualifying session scheduled in the afternoon.
Friday’s fastest driver, Lewis Hamilton, posted the second quickest time, less than a tenth off Webber’s pace but remains the favourite for the rest of the weekend.
"The boys in the factory did an amazing job - and I am definitely on it. The car feels great - pace-wise - and I am out to maximize that on every inch of the track,” the McLaren driver had said.
“Overtaking here is really difficult so positioning is very important. When you start at the front it makes the race here so much easier!” he laughed. “It would be nice to have a huge chunk of that ‘easiness’ in qualifying.”
Defending champion Sebastian Vettel was third while Bruno Senna continued to show good pace in his Williams in fourth.
Red Bull's performance greatly improved on their results at Friday's two practices, when Vettel achieved the team's best position with eighth place in the second session.
Championship leader Fernando Alonso too closed the gap to the leaders in fifth place, with the Ferrari three-tenths off the quickest time on this occasion. The Spaniard was some half a second slower than the quickest driver in both the practice sessions on Friday.
“In qualifying I have no doubt that Fernando all of a sudden will find half a second,” Hamilton pointed out. “I have no doubt that the Red Bulls will find a chunk of time and you should never forget the Lotus.”
The Lotus duo of Kimi Raikkonen and Romain Grosjean were sixth and seventh respectively.
Felipe Massa was eighth while Force India’s Paul di Resta and Jenson Button rounded up the top ten.
Mercedes completed the most number of laps, 30 each for Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, but were down in 17th and 18th respectively.