Hamilton catches some oversteer on his way to P1
Lewis Hamilton claims his ambitions for the Saturday afternoon qualifying session in Hungary are to qualify his McLaren Mercedes inside the top ten. However, based on the practice times this morning, the defending champion
could prove to be a real spoiler to expected front-runners as he topped the timesheets in the final practice session ahead of qualifying by a cool four-tenths of a second.
With passing all but impossible at the 4.381km Hungaroring circuit, qualifying takes on extra importance this afternoon and - as ever - some opted to simulate the first and second rounds of qualifying with a very light fuel load in this session, while those confident of making the top ten ran with a relatively heavy fuel load to simulate the conditions the final ten minute pole position shoot out.
Hamilton however proved fast on both the harder prime tyre and also the soft option tyre as he set the pace with a best lap of 1:21.009s, a second up on his Friday afternoon best. While Hamilton looks strong in his McLaren, Red Bull Renault and Brawn Mercedes found themselves some way down the timesheets which is almost certainly down to the relative fuel levels run in this session. Nick Heidfeld
was second fastest in his BMW Sauber on a light fuel run ahead of Nico Rosberg in the leading Williams. Rosberg should be a contender this afternoon as should Heikki Kovalainen who set the fourth fastest time in the second McLaren.
Sebastien Buemi recorded the fifth fastest time on what will have been a light fuel load while Timo Glock lost most of the 60-minute session courtesy of a hydraulic issue with his Toyota. The team made the necessary repairs and the German racer was able to set the sixth fastest time ahead of the chequered flag.
Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen
were seventh and 15th for Ferrari and it is almost impossible to tell how much pace the pair has in the F60 challenger. If recent events are anything to go by, a top ten start is the aim with a heavy fuel load for race day.
Kazuki Nakajima managed the ninth fastest time in the second Williams ahead of the Red Bull Renault duo of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel. At just a under a second off the ultimate pace, it is clear that the team opted to run both RB5s with race fuel on board. Rubens Barrichello
led the Brawn Mercedes challenge with the 13th best time just behind Robert Kubica and Jarno Trulli
with team-mate Jenson Button
just 17th in the second BGP 001 trailing Nelson Piquet and Kimi Raikkonen
Assuming that the Brawn team also ran Barrichello and Button with race fuel in this session, they remain between a tenth and three-tenths off the pace of major rivals Red Bull Renault and that will be the key point in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix this afternoon.
Jaime Alguersuari continued to acclimatise to Formula One with Toro Rosso Ferrari and was 18th best, three-tenths clear of Giancarlo Fisichella
in the leading Force India Mercedes. Team-mate Adrian Sutil crashed out of the session with 15 minutes remaining, his VJM002 sustaining light front-end damage. The German was slowest of the 20 drivers.