Romain Grosjean ended Red Bull’s clean sweep of the timesheets in practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix by finishing quickest in FP3 on Saturday morning at the Hungaroring.
The Lotus driver took advantage of the warm track conditions to post the fastest lap in the dying stages of the session as the teams switched to the soft tire in order to practise for qualifying following their fuelled runs on the harder compound, with Lewis Hamilton impressing many during this part of the session.
Red Bull, who had sealed 1-2 finishes in both FP1 and FP2, failed to repeat their form as Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber could only manage 4th and 7th respectively. Vettel’s closest challenger in the drivers’ championship, Fernando Alonso, ran well on the soft tire to finish P2 behind Grosjean with his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa finishing 5th.
Sergio Perez produced a good performance to finish 3rd but his session came to an end with a couple of minutes remaining after a crash at turn eleven that saw him finish in the wall, leaving McLaren with a busy two hour period before qualifying later today. However, the problems were even worse for Perez’s compatriot, Esteban Gutierrez, who failed to set a time due to a gearbox due to an engine issue.
Qualifying begins at 8am live on NBC Sports Network.
Gabby Chaves is set to return to the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship at Watkins Glen International later this month.
The Columbian-American driver, who last competed in IMSA in 2016 – with the DeltaWing outfit – will sub for the injured Joao Barbosa – he hurt his wrist in a cycling accident earlier in June – in the No. 5 Mustang Sampling Racing Cadillac DPi-V.R in the Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen.
Chaves will partner Filipe Albuquerque and Christian Fittipaldi in the No. 5 Cadillac.
Chaves expressed gratitude for being asked to fill in, but kept his enthusiasm muted, noting that he is getting the opportunity ultimately because another driver got hurt.
“The first thing is of course that you never want to have an opportunity because someone got hurt, so this is an unfortunate circumstance with Joao having his injury,”said Chaves. “But I appreciate the opportunity to join the championship-leading team. Mustang Sampling Racing has had a strong start this year and hopefully I can help the team continue to have those kinds of results.”
Chaves added, “I love Watkins Glen, it is a great track and I am looking forward to racing the Cadillac Prototype there. I’m excited to be going back to endurance racing. With different classes all racing at the same time, there is a lot for the driver to deal with as you work through traffic. So I am looking forward to racing at the Glen again, and I really appreciate this opportunity with Mustang Sampling Racing.”
Chaves’ most recent IMSA event was the 2016 Sahlen’s Six Hours of the Glen, when he finished seventh in the Prototype class.
The No. 5 Action Express Cadillac currently sits tied with the sister No. 31 Whelen Engineer Racing Cadillac of Eric Curran and Felipe Nasr atop the IMSA standings, though Barbosa’s hopes of a driver’s championship are set to take an enormous hit with him missing Watkins Glen.