Monaco, FP3: Vettel quickest in final practice as Ferrari move ahead

Vettel sends out an ominous warning shot to his rivals

By Franck Drui

27 May 2017 - 12:10
Monaco, FP3: Vettel quickest in (…)

Sebastian Vettel continued to set the pace in the build up to the Monaco Grand Prix, finishing three tenths of a second clear of Ferrari team-mate Kimi Räikkönen and almost half a second clear of third placed Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes.

In yesterday’s FP2 session, Mercedes went in the wrong direction on set-up and with ground to make up Ferrari again proved the class of the field. After an opening spell in which Bottas was quickest, Räikkönen swiftly took over at the top of the timesheet, with a lap of 1:13.568. He then lowered the benchmark further, slicing almost two tenths of his own P1 time.

With Vettel having set the quickest ever lap of Moanco on Friday afternoon in a time of 1:12.720, there was plenty more to come from the session and Vettel quickly began to chip away at his lap time, first dropping beneath the 1:13s bracket by just over a tenth and eventually carving a further three tenths of a second to post a session-best time of 1:12.395

Räikkönen finished the morning 0.345 behind his team-mate, with the highest placed Mercedes driver, Bottas, 0.435 off the pace.

The Mercedes cars were split by the Red Bull of Max Verstappen, whose best time of 1:12.940 was a tenth off Bottas but almost three clear of Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen’s best time was also more than four tenths agead of sixth-placed team-mate Daniel Ricciardo, who was the last driver inside a second of Vettel’s P1 time. Ricciardo also had a disconcerting moment late in the session. As the chequered flag was waved the Australian was forced to pull off the circuit at high speed, using the escape road at Sainte Devote after suffering a brake problem. “BBW failed. Pedal went to the floor,” he told his engineer over the radio.

Behind Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz was seventh quickest for Toro Rosso, 0.163s ahead of team-mate Daniil Kvyat in eighth. Kevin Magnussen too P9 for Haas, while Stoffel Vandoorne gave McLaren hope of a good qualifying session with P10. Team-mate Jenson Button finished the session in P12.

The session was largely trouble-free, though the Virtial Safety Car was called into action when Force India’s Esteban Ocon crashed out at the Swimming Pool section.

The Frenchman clipped the guardrail on his right on entry into the section, damaging his suspension, and the impact then sent him bouncing across the following kerb and into the barriers on the exit.

01 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:12.395 23
02 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:12.740 26
03 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:12.830 29
04 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:12.940 27
05 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:13.230 27
06 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:13.392 24
07 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso Renault 1:13.400 27
08 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Renault 1:13.563 23
09 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:13.596 21
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda 1:13.805 21
11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:13.936 23
12 Jenson Button McLaren Honda 1:13.976 26
13 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:14.072 21
14 Felipe Massa Williams Mercedes 1:14.072 28
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:14.283 24
16 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:14.547 23
17 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:14.675 35
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault F1 1:15.164 25
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber Ferrari 1:15.291 29
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:15.863 26


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