BUDAPEST, July 30, 2011 (AFP) - Defending drivers' world champion and current runaway leader Sebastian Vettel topped the times for Red Bull in Saturday morning's third and final free practice session ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix.
After seeing Briton Lewis Hamilton dominate both free sessions on Friday, the 24-year-old German reacted with a committed and more fluent performance that lifted him clear of nearest rival two-times champion Fernando Alonso of Ferrari.
Alonso, who was 30 on Friday, was three-tenths of a second off the pace set by the flying German who clocked a best lap of one minute and 21.168 in the closing seconds.
Hamilton's McLaren team-mate and fellow-Briton Jenson Button was third fastest, one-tenth off the pace set by Alonso with Australian Mark Webber fourth in the second Red Bull.
Brazilian Felipe Massa was fifth for Ferrari ahead of German Nico Rosberg in the leading Mercedes and Hamilton, down in seventh and 1.4 seconds off the pace set by Vettel, in his McLaren.
Hamilton, however, was unable to clock a clear flying lap on super-soft tyres and a low fuel load in the closing minutes when he was clearly left frustrated. "Brakes didn't work," he snapped over the team radio as he flat-spotted his tyres on one effort to record a fast time.
Germany's seven-times champion Michael Schumacher, 42, was eighth in the second Mercedes ahead of Russian Vitaly Petrov of Renault - backed by a massed army of travelling support - with Briton Paul Di Resta 10th in the leading Force India car.
Button was fastest early in the session, but it was not long before Vettel took over showing more determination than recently and he topped the times for the rest of the session either side of a fast lap by Alonso.
Red Bull team chief Christian Horner said: "He's had a remarkable first 10 races, picking up six wins, three seconds and a fourth."For sure he wants to win more Grands Prix, but on races you can't win, you need to take second or the third or fourth. It all adds up. It's almost impossible to maintain strike rate he's been achieving."
Here are the times:
|HUNGARIAN GRAND PRIX PRACTICE 3 TIMES (FP3)|
|10||15||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:23.276||2.108||18|
|16||14||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:23.966||2.798||18|