FP3: Verstappen ends Ferrari's P1 practice run

Max Verstappen pipped Carlos Sainz by 0.04s to top final practice in Monaco, a session in which Nicholas Latifi and Mick Schumacher both crashed.

After Thursday’s sunshine, the drivers were faced with very different conditions in Monaco on Saturday with heavy clouds and the track temperature some 20′ cooler than it was in FP2.

Balancing going out when the track would be at its worst versus the threat of rain, Kimi Raikkonen broke the silence after three minutes.

The Alfa Romeo driver made a mistake at the chicane and backed out, a 1:24.9 getting the timesheet rolling. His next lap was a 1:14.3 and then a 1:13.4.

Kimi kisses the barrier at Nouvelle Chicane 😳#MonacoGP 🇲🇨 #F1 pic.twitter.com/ThVxba7cF0

— Formula 1 (@F1) May 22, 2021

Daniel Ricciardo confirmed to McLaren that the track was “good” having dried out after overnight.

Charles Leclerc took over at the front with a 1:12.6, his team-mate Carlos Sainz lining up second before they went on to trade purple sectors at the front.

Leclerc lowered the benchmark to a 1:11.6 when Max Verstappen joined the party, shaving 0.17s off the Monégasque driver’s best. Lewis Hamilton’s opening gambit put him P4, the top four all on the soft tyres to fifth placed Sergio Perez’s mediums. He was 0.65s off his team-mate’s pace.

Ferrari, showing good tyre life, returned to P1 with Sainz putting in a 1:11.4 on his 15th lap on the same set of soft tyres. A near miss followed up with a kiss with the barrier meant Leclerc was not able to improve on his P3, 0.2s down.

Lando Norris had a near miss with his former team-mate and good friend Sainz, hitting the brake to avoid contact as the duo played in the Monaco traffic.

Close one!
Close one!
Close one!

*chat disabled for three seconds*#MonacoGP🇲🇨 #F1 pic.twitter.com/ZRGfPOs2gG

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Heading out for a final run, 14 of the 20 drivers all taking to the circuit one after the other, Leclerc went up the chicane’s escape road, Valtteri Bottas had a spin at Turn 1 and Latifi binned it at the Swimming Pool to bring out the red flags.

The Williams driver took too much of the red and white kerb at the entry, touched that Armco barrier, lost control of his car and bounced into the next barrier with the right side of the car.

🚩 RED FLAG 🚩

Nicholas Latifi finds the wall near the swimming pool and the session is red-flagged whilst car recovery begins#MonacoGP 🇲🇨 #F1 pic.twitter.com/UB0QZfDELu

— Formula 1 (@F1) May 22, 2021

The session resumed with 12 minutes on the clock and a queue at the end of the pit lane. As the drivers put in their final laps, Verstappen put in a late 1:11.294 to beat Sainz by 0.047s. Leclerc was third ahead of Bottas, Perez and Norris.

Mick Schumacher’s session, and perhaps his day too, ended in the barrier, the Haas driver having a big crash that saw the red flag came out again with two minutes on the clock. Coming out of Casino Square, he lost the back end with his Haas suffering major damage.

The session was not restarted.

Times

1Max VerstappenRed Bull1:11.29419 laps
2Carlos SainzFerrari0.047s28 laps
3Charles LeclercFerrari0.258s27 laps
4Valtteri BottasMercedes0.471s20 laps
5Sergio PerezRed Bull0.523s18 laps
6Lando NorrisMcLaren0.694s20 laps
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes0.726s20 laps
8Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo Racing1.004s25 laps
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri1.063s28 laps
10Sebastian VettelAston Martin1.243s24 laps
11Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing1.245s21 laps
12Lance StrollAston Martin1.406s22 laps
13Daniel RicciardoMcLaren1.665s25 laps
14Mick SchumacherHaas1.845s21 laps
15Fernando AlonsoAlpine2.035s19 laps
16Nikita MazepinHaas2.096s20 laps
17George RussellWilliams2.153s29 laps
18Nicholas LatifiWilliams2.181s22 laps
19Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri2.228s30 laps
20Esteban OconAlpine2.320s18 laps

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