Nicholas Latifi remarkably snatched top spot right at the end of a wet FP3 for the Hungarian Grand Prix interrupted by an accident for soon-to-retire Sebastian Vettel.
The Williams driver took advantage of a drying track to clock a lap 0.661sec faster than Charles Leclerc, whose reaction over the team radio indicated he was as surprised as everyone else!
Wet weather and even thunderstorms had been forecast all week for Saturday at the Hungaroring and a deluge duly materialised minutes before FP3 was scheduled to begin.
The session started on time though, full wet tyres the order of the day, as drivers familiarised themselves with the conditions they may also encounter in qualifying.
Just 10 minutes in, Leclerc considered the track ready for intermediate tyres, whereas his team-mate Carlos Sainz expressed it was “not worth the risk”, with Alpine‘s Fernando Alonso the first to go out on the green-marked rubber. The Spaniard was only fifth fastest of the 17 runners on the inters, however, and stopped for a set of full wets.
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Lewis Hamilton only emerged from the garage just before the halfway mark of the session – and the two Red Bulls had yet to appear at that point, but as the conditions dried up and the field switched to inters, out came Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez.
Leclerc, who had sat at the top of the timesheet for most of the session, survived a 360-degree spin and as blue sky and the sun finally broke through the gloom, Vettel lost the rear end of his Aston Martin and went into the barrier to red-flag the session.
There was still time for the drivers to go back out for one last run though and, timing his effort to perfection, Latifi jumped to the top of the leaderboard as the chequered flag fell.
The full FP1 timesheet is below and click here for the full FP1 session report.
1 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:41.480 17 laps
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 0.661s 14
3 Alex Albon Williams 0.901s 19
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1.725s 10
5 George Russell Mercedes 1.954s 13
6 Fernando Alonso Alpine 2.090s 16
7 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 2.109s 15
8 Lando Norris McLaren 2.263s 13
9 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 2.698s 14
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas 3.175s 20
11 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 3.352s 11
12 Mick Schumacher Haas 3.676s 18
13 Esteban Ocon Alpine 4.090s 17
14 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 4.144s 11
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 4.158s 17
16 Zhou Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo 4.211s 17
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 4.370s 17
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 4.450s 20
19 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 4.611s 18
20 Sergio Perez Red Bull 6.760s 11