Hamilton hopes to maintain momentum

Lewis Hamilton made it three from three practice sessions in Hungary (AP)

Lewis Hamilton made it three from three practice sessions in Hungary (AP)

First published in National Sport News © by

Lewis Hamilton completed a clean sweep of practice for the Hungarian Grand Prix - with the aim now for a trouble-free qualifying.

On one of his favourite circuits, the Hungaroring, Hamilton has been on pole four times and taken the chequered flag on four occasions over his seven years in Formula One.

Another win on Sunday will ensure Hamilton becomes the most successful driver at this track in F1 history, with the 29-year-old and Michael Schumacher tied on four wins apiece.

But despite topping the timesheet again with the quickest lap of the weekend to date of one minute 24.048 seconds, Hamilton knows he has to have a clean qualifying session to give him a shot at a fifth win.

In Monaco, Hamilton's second hot lap was disrupted by yellow flags for a seemingly contentious off-track moment from team-mate Nico Rosberg who went on to claim pole position.

In Canada and Austria Hamilton made mistakes, whilst at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix an error of judgement again resulted in pole slipping through his fingers.

Last Saturday in qualifying for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim, a right-front brake disc failure in the first session catapulted Hamilton into a 30g impact into the barriers.

Despite still struggling with a sore back which has required physiotherapy, Hamilton has so far shown no signs of being plagued by the issue, showing impressive form in practice.

On his one-and-only flying lap on the quicker of the two compounds of Pirelli tyre available this weekend, the softs, Hamilton immediately went half a second quicker than Mercedes team-mate Rosberg.

The German, currently leading the standings by 14 points to Hamilton, managed to eventually narrow the time gap down to 0.047secs, but it appears his main title rival has far more in hand.

Four-times champion Sebastian Vettel, according to team principal Christian Horner now more at ease with his car than at any other time this season, finished four tenths of a second off the pace in third.

Team-mate Daniel Ricciardo was fourth, 0.630secs down, followed by Williams' Valtteri Bottas, showing some speed for the first time this weekend on a circuit not expected to suit the team's car.

The Ferrari duo of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen were next up, both around seven tenths of a second adrift, with McLaren's Kevin Magnussen in close attendance in eighth on the timesheet.

The top 10 was completed by the Toro Rosso pair of Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniil Kvyat, with Williams' Felipe Massa 11th, all 1.1secs off of Hamilton.

Two-time winner at this track Jenson Button has so far struggled, finishing 12th and 1.420secs behind Ha milton, but more disconcertingly half a second adrift of McLaren team-mate Magnussen.

Marussia's Max Chilton was down in 20th, four seconds in arrears.

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