Mark Webber denied Red Bull team-mate Sebastian Vettel the perfect platform to launch his bid for four successive pole positions.
Vettel was by far the quickest following yesterday’s two 90-minute practice sessions for the Hungarian Grand Prix, finishing half-a-second faster than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso and Webber.
The 33-year-old Australian, however, turned the tables on Vettel in today’s final 60-minute practice run at the Hungaroring with a lap 0.484secs quicker, and was the first to dip under 80 seconds.
Webber clocked a lightning lap of one minute 19.574secs for the 4.381km Hungaroring circuit, with Vettel just over the 80-second mark with a 1:20.058.
As for the remainder of the field, they were effectively nowhere and it is hard to see anything beyond a Red Bull one-two on the grid in qualifying for what would be the sixth time this season.
Their nearest challenger was again Alonso, but the 29-year-old finished 1.150secs adrift, followed by Renault’s Robert Kubica and Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa.
Brazilian Massa was 1.690secs off Webber’s pace and half a second down on Alonso, whilst the McLarens of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button were again sixth and ninth, as they were yesterday.
Hamilton was 1.8secs and Button 1.9secs adrift, at least evenly matched amongst themselves, but a mile away from the Red Bulls.
That will be a major worry ahead of qualifying and ahead of the looming summer break.
Sandwiched in between were Renault’s Vitaly Petrov and the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg, with fellow German Nico Hulkenberg 10th for Williams.
Rosberg and Hulkenberg had their respective team-mates behind them in veterans Rubens Barrichello and Michael Schumacher in 11th and 12th, albeit over two seconds behind.
At the bottom of the timesheet were Bruno Senna and Sakon Yamamoto for Hispania Racing, with the gulf to the leaders 6.9secs and 7.5secs respectively.