FP3: Verstappen leads Sainz and Leclerc at Monaco as Schumacher crash ends session early
Red Bull's Max Verstappen set the fastest time in FP3 to finish ahead of the Ferrari pair of second-place Carlos Sainz and third-place Charles Leclerc – with Lewis Hamilton down in P7 as Mercedes struggled through a difficult session.
FP3 was truncated by two red flags, the first for Nicholas Latifi's crash at Swimming Pool with 15 minutes remaining, and the second for Mick Schumacher's heavy crash three minutes before the end of the hour as he exited Casino Square - which saw the session end early.
Before that, Ferrari had resumed service from Thursday, when they took a shock one-two in FP2, Sainz top at the half-way mark. But Verstappen beat that after the first red flag period ended, his benchmark 0.047s ahead of the Spaniard's time. Leclerc was 0.258s off top spot by the end of the session in third.
Fourth-place Valtteri Bottas was nearly half a second off the pace, his Mercedes team mate Hamilton having missed out on meaningful soft-tyred running thanks to the cautions, with the reigning champion seven-tenths off the pace in seventh. Between them were Red Bull's Sergio Perez, fifth, and Lando Norris of McLaren in P6.
FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2021
Practice 3 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||1:11.294|
|2 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.047s|
|3 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||+0.258s|
|4 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes||+0.471s|
|5 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.523s|
Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi were P8 and P11, AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly ninth and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel 10th to fill an Alfa sandwich.
Vettel's team mate Lance Stroll lined up 12th ahead of a struggling Daniel Ricciardo in the McLaren, while the stricken Haas of Schumacher was 14th fastest thanks to a late soft-tyre run.
Alpine had Fernando Alonso 15th and Esteban Ocon rounding out the standings.
Williams' George Russell finished 17th ahead of his team mate Latifi, while AlphaTauri rookie Yuki Tsunoda could only manage P19.
Looming clouds may be a worry for some in Monaco but the threat of Ferrari is much more menacing to Red Bull and Mercedes. Will the Scuderia prove to be a thorn in the side of the front-runners when qualifying begins at 1500 local time? Join us then for live coverage.