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Monaco GP 2019

MAY 25, 2019

Practice 3 Report - One fast, one crashed

Monaco GP 2019
© Cahier Archive

By Dan Knutson in Monaco

Charles Leclerc posted the fastest lap time in Free Practice 3 for the Monaco Grand Prix. Thing did not go as well for his teammate Sebastian Vettel who crunched his Ferrari into the barriers early in the session.

The line-up for the weekend was: Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Ferrari – Vettel and Leclerc; Red Bull TAG Heuer –Max Verstappen and Pierre Gasly; Renault – Daniel Ricciardo and Nico Hulkenberg; Haas Ferrari – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; McLaren Renault – Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris; Racing Point Mercedes – Sergio Perez and Lance Stroll; Alfa Romeo Ferrari – Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi; Toro Rosso Honda – Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon; Williams Mercedes – George Russell and Robert Kubica.

Hamilton was fastest in Thursday’s FP2 with a time of 1:11.118.

“It's the dream for every driver to come to Monaco and have a car that you can exploit and utilize your abilities with,” he said Thursday. “We've made some small tweaks over the two sessions and during the sessions as well, but I've been quite happy with the set-up. Every year we come back here, it gets faster and you really notice it when you're going past the barriers. Coming into Turn 12, you carry so much speed into that corner, and then there's just the wall in front of you; going up the hill to Casino it's the same thing. It's incredibly intense out there and you have to be so focused.”

After a day off, the F1 action resumed in Saturday. Norris and Raikkonen were the first out in FP3.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 60-minute session was 68 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 90 degrees Fahrenheit (32 degrees Centigrade).

In the Mercedes garage there was some last-minute rushed work being done on the front brakes of Hamilton’s car. His teammate Bottas set the early pace with a lap in 1:12.764 followed by a 1:12.238.

Vettel went into the barriers at St. Devote 16 minutes into the session, and the VSC was deployed while the car was craned away. That meant that he would not be able to do a qualifying simulation later in the session.

Once the other cars got back up to speed, Hamilton clocked a 1:12.034. Next, Verstappen moved into second, 0.142 of a second slower than Hamilton while Vettel walked back to the pits to be consoled by team boss Mattia Binotto.

Thirty-three minutes remained in FP3 when Bottas retook the lead with a lap in 1:11.835.

Just past the midpoint of the session the order was: Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Leclerc, Gasly, Vettel, Raikkonen and Albon.

Leclerc posted a 1:11.265 with twenty minutes remaining in the session. Bottas’ attempt was 0.073 of a second slower, and Hamilton’s 0.213 of a second slower.

Bottas improved but was still 0.053 slower than Leclerc.

With eight minutes left in FP3 the top eight were: Leclerc, Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Gasly, Hulkenberg, Ricciardo and Grosjean.

But it would not remain that way as other drivers were putting in their fast laps.

Hamilton went out in the final two minutes as did Leclerc, Bottas a number of other drivers. But Leclerc and Hamilton returned to the pits after just on lap.

The top 10 at the end of FP3 were: Leclerc, Bottas, Hamilton, Verstappen, Gasly, Giovinazzi, Kvyat, Magnussen, Raikkonen and Albon.