Entertainment: F1 drivers navigate rain-drenched practice before qualifying

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BUDAPEST, Hungary (AP) — Formula One drivers tackled a difficult rain-drenched third practice ahead of qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix later Saturday.

  F1 drivers navigate rain-drenched practice before qualifying © Provided by The Canadian Press

Runaway championship leader Max Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez only came out late into the hour-long session. Aston Martin driver Sebastian Vettel lost the rear tires and went backward into the crash barriers, bringing out a red flag with about 10 minutes to go. The session restarted with four minutes left.

After the intense heat of Friday, rain began thundering down around midday and the Hungaroring track was drenched by the 1 p.m. start.

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The Ferraris were the first to go out and Charles Leclerc — who leads F1 with seven poles this season — slid as he missed a chicane.

As rain got even heavier and visibility worsened, Vettel — who is retiring at the end of the season — missed a turn and AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly just about avoided a crash barrier, then later did a 360 spin.

Mercedes driver George Russell said he was “struggling a lot," McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo spoke of having “absolutely no grip" and Haas driver Mick Schumacher complained his rear tires felt like they were slipping on ice.

Williams driver Nicholas Latifi surprised everyone by posting the fastest time on his final lap, a sizeable .67 seconds clear of Verstappen.

“I was wondering if that clapping was for me,” joked Latifi, who is last in the standings and yet to score a point.

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Jerome Pugmire, The Associated Press

David Coulthard talks final F1 2022 predictions, Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes struggles and Las Vegas racing .
F1 legend David Coulthard spoke about Max Verstappen's world championship chances, Charles Leclerc's Ferrari issues and the continued growth of the sport's popularity.The annual month-long summer break in the Formula One season gives drivers a chance to recharge the batteries, reflect on what's gone well and, more importantly, what needs to change before they return to action for another gruelling nine races that concludes with the Abu Dhabi showpiece on November 20.

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