The seven-time world champion produced the fastest lap of the weekend so far during the qualifying simulation runs with a 1m16.826s, putting him 0.088s clear of Verstappen’s Red Bull in the FP3 timesheets.

With less than a tenth splitting Hamilton and Verstappen at the top, it sets up the prospect of a tantalising battle for pole position between 2021’s title protagonists two weeks on from their controversial collision at Silverstone.

Valtteri Bottas had set the pace in final practice heading into the final soft tyre runs, but a mistake at the chicane on his last flying lap left the Finn third and 0.229s down on his Mercedes teammate.

The 60-minute session was interrupted by a hefty crash for Schumacher, who slammed into the Turn 11 barriers with 20 minutes to go. The German was unharmed in the incident but is likely to miss qualifying with Haas needing to repair his damaged car.

It was an encouraging morning for Ferrari as Carlos Sainz headed teammate Charles Leclerc in fourth, with the duo 0.6s off the pace.

Lando Norris took sixth for McLaren, ahead of Sergio Perez, who ended up a disappointing seventh, a full second slower than his Red Bull teammate.

Daniel Ricciardo, Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll completed the rest of the top-10 order for McLaren, Alpine and Aston Martin.

Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi could find himself in hot water with the stewards after two separate near-misses in final practice.

The Italian tagged Lance Stroll after he was released into the path of the Aston Martin driver as they excited the pitlane when the session restarted following the red flag period.

AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly then had to take evasive action to avoid crashing into Giovinazzi at the final corner as he set himself up to start a fast lap.

Full results from final practice at the 2021 F1 Hungarian Grand Prix.