FP3: Verstappen narrowly leads Perez as Hamilton crashes out in final practice session in Monaco
Max Verstappen picked up from where he left off in FP2 to lead the way in a curtailed third practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, with the Dutch driver narrowly ahead of team mate Sergio Perez in preparation for qualifying later today.
After an action-packed first day of running in Monte Carlo, the track was less busy at the start of Saturday’s proceedings, with most drivers opting to stay in the garage to begin the session.
However, one by one the drivers began to come out on track, focusing on qualifying simulation runs, with Verstappen setting the benchmark pace with a time of 1m 12.776s to lead his Red Bull team mate Perez by just 0.073s.
The drivers then made the switch to another set of soft tyres, but before the lap times could begin to tumble, Kevin Magnussen stopped at Portier complaining of having “no power” and bringing out the Virtual Safety Car.
FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2023
Practice 3 results
|1 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing
|2 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing
|3 Lance Stroll STR Aston Martin
|4 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari
|5 Lando Norris NOR McLaren
Upon the resumption of the session, Hamilton set the fastest first sector before crashing into the barrier at the exit of Turn 5, bringing out the red flags and calling an early end to final practice.
Lance Stroll, one of the few drivers able to set a lap on a new tyre, was third fastest for Aston Martin, ahead of the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz and the McLaren of Lando Norris, who continued to impress, in fifth.
Pierre Gasly was sixth for Alpine, ahead of home favourite Charles Leclerc in seventh, with Hamilton ending the session down in eighth.
Esteban Ocon, who had earlier stopped on track with a mechanical issue, was able to come back out to set the ninth-fastest time of the session, with Valtteri Bottas rounding out the top 10 for Alfa Romeo.
George Russell was the 11th quickest in the session, ahead of the Haas pair of Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg in 13th, with Fernando Alonso down in 14th in the other Aston Martin.
Yuki Tsunoda was 15th for AlphaTauri, ahead of Zhou Guanyu in 16th, followed by the Williams pair of Logan Sargeant and Alex Albon – who looked to recover from his crash in FP1 and lack of running in FP2 – in 18th.
Oscar Piastri, who admitted to struggling on the first day of running in Monaco, was down in 19th for McLaren, with his fellow rookie Nyck de Vries down in 20th.
Join us again today at 1600 local time for what is set to be a dramatic qualifying session ahead of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.