Alonso fastest in final Monaco practice
As Rosberg and Liuzzi crash
After a day-off on Friday it was time for the Formula One field to get back in the groove this morning.
They contested the third and final practice session of the weekend, gearing up their preparations towards the crucial qualifying session and, obviously, the race.
Fernando Alonso set the fastest time, 0.5s clear of Jenson Button and Felipe Massa. Reigning World Champion Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest, 0.8 behind Alonso but didn’t have the opportunity to complete a flying lap on the super soft tyre. Schumacher and Hamilton rounded off the top six.
The session was red-flagged twice, following crashes from Rosberg and Liuzzi.
How the session unfolded :
Installation laps animated the first part of the session, as always, but were more important than usual as there was no F1 action yesterday. It was essential for teams and drivers to sample the track conditions before tackling their working programs.
Michael Schumacher didn’t waste any time and posted a time on the board with merely five minutes gone. He was soon joined on track by his teammate Nico Rosberg. The younger German was on his first timed lap when he lost his Mercedes under braking for the chicane. He hit the wall and torpedoed through the chicane. His car then crossed the track to brush the railguards on the run to the Tabac corner before coming to a halt.
Rosberg was unhurt but his Mercedes was severely battered, meaning the team would face a race against time to fix it in time for qualifying.
The session was interrupted for fourteen minutes as marshals cleared and cleaned the track.
Cars were piling up at the end of the pitlane when the light turned green. More than half of the field came out for a first proper run.
Schumacher resumed his work and set the early pace. Alonso’s first effort saw him jump at the top of the standings. His teammate Massa moved up into 3rd as Jenson Button started his first flying lap of the session. The British driver set the fastest time… only for Alonso to lower his benchmark and reclaim top spot.
Shortly after the halfway point, Sebastian Vettel joined the fun and went third quickest. Schumacher then bounced up in 2nd, with a run on the super soft tyres. As drivers came back in the pits, Vettel made the most of a clear track to move on top. Hamilton went 2nd and Webber third.
With twenty minutes remaining, Vettel from leading from Hamilton, Webber, Alonso and Schumacher. The top seven was covered by 0.9s.
Vettel found more improvement on his long first run and further lowered his own benchmark. As he pitted, Alonso and Button came out with the super soft tyre. The McLaren driver moved up to 2nd while the Spaniard had to back off as he came across his countryman Alguersuari.
The second attempt was the good one for Alonso who topped the standings with a 1’14’’’433. Button also managed to jump Vettel, so did Massa. Hamilton looked en route to beating Vettel as well but dived in the pitlane.
The session was red-flagged with six minutes remaining as Tonio Liuzzi smashed his HRT into the barriers at the exit of Ste Devote. There were two minutes left on the clock when the track was reopened.
The Saubers were first on the line and were followed by most of the field. In fact, Alguersuari and Karthikeyan were the only ones remaining in the pits. Given the traffic, few drivers managed to improve.
Alonso held on to top spot in front of Button. Massa was third with Vettel fourth, Schumacher fifth and Hamilton sixth.
|02||Jenson Button||McLaren Mercedes||1.14.996||+0.563||17|
|04||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Renault||1.15.245||+0.812||19|
|05||Michael Schumacher||Mercedes GP||1.15.310||+0.877||21|
|06||Lewis Hamilton||McLaren Mercedes||1.15.386||+1.059||14|
|07||Mark Webber||Red Bull Renault||1.15.529||+1.096||19|
|08||Jaime Alguersuari||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1.16.617||+2.184||13|
|09||Sébastien Buemi||Toro Rosso Ferrari||1.16.736||+2.303||15|
|10||Sergio Perez||Sauber Ferrari||1.16.821||+2.388||19|
|11||Paul di Resta||Force India Mercedes||1.16.990||+2.557||20|
|12||Rubens Barrichello||Williams Cosworth||1.17.196||+2.763||13|
|13||Pastor Maldonado||Williams Cosworth||1.17.333||+2.900||17|
|14||Kamui Kobayashi||Sauber Ferrari||1.17.403||+2.970||18|
|15||Vitaly Petrov||Lotus Renault GP||1.17.779||+3.346||17|
|16||Nick Heidfeld||Lotus Renault GP||1.17.880||+3.447||17|
|17||Adrian Sutil||Force India Mercedes||1.18.069||+3.636||17|
|18||Heikki Kovalainen||Team Lotus Renault||1.18.115||+3.682||20|
|19||Timo Glock||Marussia Virgin Racing Cosworth||1.18.580||+4.147||21|
|20||Jérôme d’Ambrosio||Marussia Virgin Racing Cosworth||1.18.808||+4.375||21|
|21||Jarno Trulli||Team Lotus Renault||1.19.259||+4.826||19|
|22||Vitantonio Liuzzi||HRT F1 Cosworth||1.20.115||+5.682||15|
|23||Narain Karthikeyan||HRT F1 Cosworth||1.20.278||+5.845||16|
|24||Nico Rosberg||Mercedes GP||-.—.---||+-.---||3|