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Monaco GP 2016

MAY 28, 2016

Practice 3 Report - Red goes purple

Sebastian Vettel, Monaco GP 2016
© The Cahier Archive

 

By Dan Knutson in Monaco

Sebastian Vettel clocked the fastest lap in Free Practice 3 in his red Ferrari fitted with the Pirelli ultra soft compound tires featuring the purple sidewalls.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 60-minute session was 73 degrees Fahrenheit (23 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Centigrade.)

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes - Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg. Ferrari - Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen. Williams Mercedes - Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas. Red Bull TAG Heuer - Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen . Force India Mercedes - Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez. Renault - Kevin Magnussen and Jolyon Palmer. Toro Rosso Ferrari - Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz. Sauber Ferrari - Marcus Ericsson and Felipe Nasr. McLaren Honda - Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button. Manor Mercedes - Pascal Wehrlein and Rio Haryanto. Haas Ferrari - Romain Grosjean and Esteban Gutierrez.

Ricciardo had been fastest on Thursday with a time of 1:14.607.

"The new engine has helped a little bit but obviously we have a good car around here as well," he said after FP2. "I have good confidence with the car which is very important around here. If you're going to pick the races on the calendar to win then Monaco is up there, it's so prestigious, and you can really show personality around this track. Come qualifying and race day Mercedes will turn it up but hopefully I can stay in front. I'll be surprised if we can keep the gap we have today in qualifying but we will see how we go."

Haas teammates Gutierrez and Grosjean were the first out on track for FP3.

Ricciardo and Verstappen set the pace in the first half of the session with times of 1:14.807 and 1:15.081. Ricciardo was using the new spec Renault power unit and Verstappen had the old spec.

Rosberg was third at halftime with a time of 1:15.181 and Vettel fourth with a 1:15.208. Perez, Hamilton, Kvyat, Sainz, Hulkenberg and Raikkonen rounded out the top 10 at this stage. Alonso, Massa, Gutierrez, Bottas, Grosjean and Button rounded out the top 16.

With 20 minutes to go, almost all the drivers were in the pits preparing for their qualifying simulations on Pirelli's ultra soft compound slicks with the purple sidewalls.

Vettel and Raikkonen were the first of the top 10 to go out for their qually runs. Next out was Verstappen. Vettel went to the top of the timing screens with a 1:14.650 as more drivers headed out.

Verstappen locked his front tires and skimmed the outside barriers at Massenet. Then Gutierrez went off at Turn 1 without hitting anything.

Hamilton took over second place with a 1:14.668, and Vettel had to cut the chicane and almost spun. The track was massively busy in the final five minutes, and drivers were making mistakes and causing the yellow flags to come out which spoiled the laps of other drivers.

Rosberg moved into third with a 1:14.772. But Ricciardo was unable to improve and stayed fourth. In the final seconds Verstappen had another run as did Ricciardo. But Ricciardo again did not improve, and neither did his teammate.

So the top 10 ended up as follows: Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg, Ricciardo, Verstappen, Kvyat, Sainz, Perez, Raikkonen and Hulkenberg.