Ferrari look supreme in FP3, as Ocon finds the barrier

Sebastian Vettel - Scuderia Ferrari - Monaco GP 2017 FP3. Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Scuderia Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel topped the times in the final practice session of the weekend ahead of the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, three tenths of a second clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, as Ferrari continued their domination on the streets of Monaco.

The German set a time of 1:12.395 to take the top spot on a set of the ultra-soft tyres, to make it a Ferrari one-two at the top of the board, as Vettel looking noticeably confident in the SF70-H as he navigated the circuit.

A late crash for Esteban Ocon during the final ten minutes of the session made it difficult for the rest of the drivers to challenge the German’s time however, as the virtual safety car came out, leaving just two minutes remaining when the track was cleared to go racing again.

Team-mate Raikkonen was three tenths off the pace of Vettel in second place, but was lucky not to find himself in the barriers during the early stages of FP3 however, when he lost the rear of the Ferrari and went too deep into the final corner, forcing him to almost stop the SF70-H to take avoiding action.

Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team driver Valtteri Bottas was third, a further tenth down on his fellow countryman, as the Silver Arrows drivers once again struggled to get comfortable with the tyres.

Red Bull Racing driver Max Verstappen was fourth fastest, proving the Milton Keynes based squads promise from Thursday practice was not a one-off, as the RB13 looks to be working much better here in Monaco.

Lewis Hamilton was down in sixth place, as he struggled to get the tyres into the correct operating window, with the Mercedes once again proving to be much harder on the rubber than the Ferrari’s. Although Mercedes were able to up their pace this morning, from their lack of it on Thursday, they still have more to do if they are to challenge the red team in qualifying later today.

Daniel Ricciardo was sixth, but a late BBW (brake by wire) failure forced the Australian to pull off down the escape road at Ste. Devote, meaning he was unable to push hard in those final moments.

Scuderia Toro Rosso driver Carlos Sainz Jr was seventh, with team-mate Daniil Kvyat in eighth. The Faenza based squad have looked good all weekend around the streets of Monte Carlo, and will be hoping for a strong performance on Sunday off the back of that.

Haas F1 Team driver Kevin Magnussen was an excellent ninth, with McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team driver Stoffel Vandoorne, just making it into the top ten. The Woking based squad have brought some big updates to Monaco and are hoping they can grab a good result here this weekend.

The Belgian does however have a three place grid penalty to carry over from the Spanish Grand Prix, following his coming together with Felipe Massa.

Sergio Perez lined up in eleventh for the Sahara Force India F1 Team, just four hundredths of a seconds ahead of Jenson Button, who is standing in this weekend for Fernando Alonso whilst the double world champion aims to become the first Spaniard to win the Indy 500.

However, the Brit will receive a fifteen place grid penalty which will see him start from the back of the grid, after Honda detected an issue with the MGU-H following FP2, prompting them to change the MGU-H/TC, the fifth one used this season, hence the penalty.

Esteban Ocon finished the session in thirteenth place, but ended FP3 in the barrier at the exit to the swimming pool section. The Frenchman clipped the inside wall on the earlier part of the swimming pool complex, instantly braking the suspension as he crashed across the kerb and into the barrier at the left-hander.

Williams Martini Racing driving Felipe Massa was fourteenth, as the British team continue their yearly struggle around the Monte Carlo track, with Renault Sport Formula 1 Team driver Nico Hulkenberg in fifteenth. The French squad have struggled to find the pace here in Monaco after enjoying some strong running at the last two rounds, and the RS17 looked like it did not want to do anything the German asked of it today.

Romain Grosjean was next up in sixteenth, ahead of rookie Lance Stroll, who was the first driver to crash in Monaco on Thursday, whilst Jolyon Palmer was eighteenth, ahead of Sauber F1 Team drivers Pascal Wehrlein and Marcus Ericsson, who continue to prop up the bottom end of the grid.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix – FP3 Results

15Sebastian VettelGERFerrari 1:12.395 23
27Kimi Räikkönen FINFerrari1:12.7400.345s26
377Valtteri BottasFINMercedes1:12.8300.435s29
433Max Verstappen NEDRed Bull Racing1:12.9400.545s27
544Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes1:13.2300.835s27
63Daniel RicciardoAUSRed Bull Racing1:13.3920.997s24
755Carlos Sainz JrESPToro Rosso1:13.4001.005s27
826Daniil KvyatRUSToro Rosso1:13.5631.168s23
920Kevin MagnussenDENHaas1:13.5961.201s21
102Stoffel VandoorneBELMcLaren1:13.8051.410s21
1111Sergio PerezMEXForce India1:13.9361.541s23
1222Jenson ButtonGBRMcLaren1:13.9761.581s26
1331Esteban OconFRAForce India1:14.0721.677s21
1419Felipe MassaBRAWilliams1:14.072 1.677s28
1527Nico HulkenbergGERRenault1:14.2831.888s24
168Romain Grosjean FRAHaas1:14.5472.152s23
1718Lance StrollCANWilliams1:14.6752.280s35
1830Jolyon PalmerGBRRenault1:15.1642.769s25
1994Pascal WehrleinGERSauber1:15.2912.896s29
209Marcus Ericsson SWESauber1:15.8633.468s26