Vettel and Ferrari pounce to top third practice

by Paul Hensby

Sebastian Vettel put in a great late lap to end the third and final free practice session of the weekend in Monaco on top, getting ahead of both Mercedes AMG PETRONAS drivers.

The four-time World Champion set 1m16.143s in his Scuderia Ferrari to beat Nico Rosberg by 0.218s, while Lewis Hamilton could only finish third, 0.562s off the pace.

It was not all plain sailing for the Ferrari team however, with Kimi Raikkonen hitting the wall at Saint Devote midway through the session, with the Finn stopping on track almost immediately, bringing out the red flags. Despite this setback, he was still able to end the session sixth fastest.

Daniel Ricciardo was fourth quickest in the leading Infiniti Red Bull Racing entry, ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr in the sister Scuderia Toro Rosso team. Their respective team-mates Daniil Kvyat and Max Verstappen were seventh and ninth respectively, sandwiching the McLaren-Honda of Jenson Button, while Romain Grosjean completed the top ten for the Lotus F1 Team.  Verstappen had a moment coming through the final corner, spinning his Toro Rosso into the barrier, damaging his rear wing but being able to bring the car back to the pits.

Sergio Perez was eleventh for Sahara Force India ahead of the second Lotus of Pastor Maldonado, while the second Force India of Nico Hulkenberg was thirteenth ahead of the McLaren of Fernando Alonso.

The Williams Martini Racing pairing of Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa continued to struggle, with the duo finishing down in fifteenth and sixteenth positions respectively, still over two seconds down on the outright pace.

This was still better however than the Sauber F1 Team, who seem to be struggling as much in Monaco as they did in Spain two weeks ago. Felipe Nasr was only seventeenth, although more than half a second clear of team-mate Marcus Ericsson.

Once again it was the Manor F1 Team boys who brought up the rear, with Will Stevens once again proving his domination over Roberto Merhi, with the Briton ending more than a second faster than his Spanish team-mate.

Monaco Free Practice 3 Times

15Sebastian VettelGERFerrari1m16.143s
26Nico RosbergGERMercedes1m16.361s
344Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1m16.705s
43Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull-Renault1m17.120s
555Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso-Renault1m17.256s
67Kimi RaikkonenFINFerrari1m17.401s
726Daniil KvyatRUSRed Bull-Renault1m17.471s
822Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren-Honda1m17.767s
933Max VerstappenNEDToro Rosso-Renault1m17.788s
108Romain GrosjeanFRALotus-Mercedes1m17.806s
1111Sergio PerezMEXForce India-Mercedes1m17.832s
1213Pastor MaldonadoVENLotus-Mercedes1m17.956s
1327Nico HulkenbergGERForce India-Mercedes1m18.102s
1414Fernando AlonsoESPMcLaren-Honda1m18.197s
1577Valtteri BottasFINWilliams-Mercedes1m18.212s
1619Felipe MassaBRZWilliams-Mercedes1m18.242s
1712Felipe NasrBRZSauber-Ferrari1m18.767s
189Marcus EricssonSWESauber-Ferrari1m19.269s
1928Will StevensGBRManor-Ferrari1m21.093s
2098Roberto MerhiESPManor-Ferrari1m22.225s

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