The FP3 at the Monaco GP finished with Max Verstappen topping the leaderboard with the time of 1:11.294s. He was followed by Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc respectively, with the times of 1:11.341s and 1:11.552s. The rest that completed the top 10 were: Bottas, Perez, Norris, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Gasly and Vettel.
Despite the rain over the night, the session on one of the most stunning racing tracks started dry. The first two drivers who went on the track were the Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi, followed by Ricciardo, Tsunoda and Mazepin. Raikkonen was the first one to set the lap time, but was fast replaced by Giovinazzi on top of the leaderboard, only to come back on top with the 1:14.293s time. Ten minutes into the session, it was Carlos Sainz who topped the time sheet with 1:13.300s, continuing the great performance from the day prior. By that time, it was still Ocon, Verstappen and the Mercedes’ drivers who did not yet go on track for their laps. Soon after Sainz was replaced by Leclerc on P1, the local of Monaco, with the lap time of 1:12.633s, with the Spaniard falling 0.667s behind his teammate.
Despite a bad start to the FP1 by Leclerc, Ferrari was able to score 1-2 in the FP2, with Sainz on P1 and Leclerc on P2. The Monegasque and Spaniard have put a stellar performance in order to get their team on top of the leaderboard. Although those were obviously only free practice sessions, they give a good promise for the upcoming qualifying for the team from Maranello. The car seemed overall fast in the beautiful corners of Monaco, which should definitively make the fans hopeful for the most important events of the GP.
Twenty minutes into the session, the top 10 was Leclerc with the time of 1:11.658s, followed by: Verstappen, Sainz, Perez, Bottas, Giovinazzi, Norris, Stroll, Raikkonen and Gasly.
Halfway through the session, the Mercedes drivers were only able to set fourth and fifth time overall. In FP2, Sir Lewis Hamilton was able to only get 3rd, behind the Ferrari’s, which although it does not pose a too big threat for their qualifying performance, it means the team needs a little bit more work to put the cars in the front. The Mercedes seemed to struggle with warming up the tyres to the perfect level to be able to score P1 and P2, due to the cooler temperatures during the session on the track. If they will be able to warm it up enough during the qualifying, that will mean that both Bottas and Hamilton have a real potential to lock the front row.
The McLaren of Lando Norris and a Ferrari almost collided, but they Brit driver was able to avoid a crash. His car was inspected in the pits by the team, but soon after was released back to cruise on the track. The teammate of the young McLaren driver, who just got a new multi-year contract seemed to struggle a little bit in his car, putting only 13th time during the 20 mins left mark of the session. During that time, the top 10 was: Sainz, Verstappen, Leclerc, Hamilton, Bottas, Perez, Norris, Raikkonen, Giovinazzi, and Gasly.
During the session, many times were deleted for exceeding the track limits at turn 10. For a moment, there was a yellow flag, and afterwards the session was double yellowed and then red flagged, after Latifi’s contact with the barriers. The driver was ok after the incident. After the session got restarted, many drivers, including Verstappen, Tsunoda and Hamilton went on track immediately. Verstappen went out on a new set of tyres.
Just 2 minutes before the end of the session, the session was red flagged again, after Mick Schumacher unfortunately put his car into the barriers. The driver was ok, but it might have a potential impact on his qualifying, as it seems like an almost impossible job for the Haas mechanics to repair the car in time. The session was not restarted afterwards. The final classification after the FP3: