FP3: Leclerc quickest in final practice, but Verstappen regains his form

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc continued where he left off yesterday, setting the benchmark in the third and final practice with a time of 1m11.369s. F1Technical's senior writer Balazs Szabo reports on Free Practice 3.

Although track time is usually crucial on the narrow streets of Monte Carlo, drivers did not appear to be in a rush in the opening stages of the final practice.

The session hardly got going when Kick Sauber Valtteri Bottas touched the wall at the exit of the swimming pool chicane with the incident causing damage to the front suspension of his car. With the Finn unable to turn the wheels of his green car after the incident, he was forced to park down at the Rascasse with the incident bringing out the red flag.

In the end, Charles Leclerc ended up quickest once again with the Monegasque clocking in a 1m11.369s on Pirelli's soft tyres. His team-mate Carlos Sainz continued to struggle for pace, and finished down in P7, over six tenths of a second adrift of Leclerc's benchmark.

Having struggled over the bumps yesterday, Max Verstappen has regained his form for the final stages of the third practice. The Dutchman recorded a 1m11.566s which was only fractionally slower than what Leclerc managed on his quickest lap. His team-mate Sergio Perez languished down in the lower positions, but he also found big gains in the dying minutes of the session, taking 5th for Red Bull.

Lewis Hamilton continued to impress despite having suffered a big lock-up into the Sainte Devot corner on his first set of softs. The Briton took 3th for Mercedes while his team-mate George Russell enjoyed a much more encouraging session. The one-time F1 race winner was hindered by vibration issues, but his team managed to find a remedy for the technical issues.

McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris endured contrasting fortunes. The Australian looked extremely quick all through the session, finishing 4th overall while his team-mate took 8th as he appeared to lack confidence behind the wheel of the MCL38.

Fernando Alonso put his Aston Martin into P10, ahead of the Alpine of Pierre Gasly with the Frenchman having displayed a more impressive form following his power unit woes in the opening practice.

Having complained about his front tyres, Alex Albon took 12th for Williams ahead of the Haas cars of Nico Hulkenberg and Magnussen.

Lance Stroll, Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant and Daniel Ricciardo followed in the remaining Aston Martin, Alpine, Williams and RB cars, as Kick Sauber brought up the rear – Zhou Guanyu 19th and Bottas 20th.


116Charles LeclercFerrari1:11.36926
21Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:11.566+0.197s27
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:11.710+0.341s25
481Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:11.901+0.532s25
511Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:11.923+0.554s24
663George RussellMercedes1:11.968+0.599s33
755Carlos SainzFerrari1:11.979+0.610s26
84Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:11.988+0.619s24
922Yuki TsunodaRb Honda Rbpt1:11.991+0.622s27
1014Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.087+0.718s25
1110Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:12.144+0.775s26
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:12.180+0.811s24
1327Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:12.192+0.823s24
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:12.216+0.847s31
1518Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.331+0.962s25
1631Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:12.472+1.103s25
172Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:12.703+1.334s21
183Daniel RicciardoRb Honda Rbpt1:12.829+1.460s28
1924Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.830+2.461s28
2077Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari2