Ricciardo Paces FP3 in Monaco as Verstappen Crashes


Red Bull Racing Daniel Ricciardo went quickest in FP3 to complete a clean sweep of practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix, but team-mate Max Verstappen left the team a race against time to ready is car for qualifying after he crashed out late in the session.

After early installation laps on supersoft tyres, Ricciardo and Verstappen stayed in the garage for the first part of the session, leaving the field clear for Ferrari to control the top two spots. Sebastian Vettel traded times with team-mate Kimi Räikkönen before the Finn eventually edged clear with a lap of 1:12.978.

With around 17 minutes on the clock Räikkönen was usurped by Lewis Hamilton with a time of 1:12.69 but as the Mercedes driver crossed the line, Ricciardo was already on his first run of the morning and setting purple sector times.

He crossed the line in a time of 1:12.449 to take P1. Verstappen then knocked a little over a tenth off that time and thereafter the top two spots were all about the Red Bulls chipping away at their best times.

Ahead of the qualifying runs Verstappen sat in P1 with a time of 1:11.787, with Daniel just 0.133s behind. Third place was occupied by Vettel, who had improved to a time of 1:12.023, with Räikkönen fourth in front of Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton.

With ten minutes left in the session, Verstappen bolted on a new set of hypersoft tyres but on his first flying laps he crashed exiting the Swimming Pool section.

The Dutchman appeared to be unsettled as he came across the slow Renault of Carlos Sainz and he hit the barrier on the right-hand side of the exit, breaking a steering arm. Having lost control he bounced across the kerbs and went hard into the barriers.

The right side of his car suffered substantial damage and leaves his team with a mountain to climb to repair his RB14 before the start of qualifying.

The session was red-flagged and when the green light was shown again, three minutes from time, Ricciardo exploited the opportunity to post a time of 1:11.786. That earned top spot, just one-thousandth of a second ahead of his team-mate.

Behind the Red Bulls Sebastian Vettel finished in third place with his earlier time of 1:12.0123, with Räikkönen in fourth. Hamilton edged ahead of Bottas by eight hundredths of a second. Bottas was forced into a rear wing change early in the session when, after an off at Ste Devote, he struck the barriers when trying to U-turn his car.

Toro Rosso enjoyed an encouraging session with Brendon Hartley taking seventh one hundredth of a second ahead of team-mate Pierre Gasly. Renault’s Carlos Sainz finished ninth ahead of Williams rookie Sergey Sirotkin.

2018 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
1 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing 23 1:11.786
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 14 1:11.787 0.001
3 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 23 1:12.023 0.237
4 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 26 1:12.142 0.356
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 26 1:12.273 0.487
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 27 1:12.356 0.570
7 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 25 1:12.752 0.966
8 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 23 1:12.761 0.975
9 Carlos Sainz Renault 24 1:12.850 1.064
10 Sergey Sirotkin Williams 23 1:12.854 1.068
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 25 1:12.874 1.088
12 Esteban Ocon Force India 23 1:12.940 1.154
13 Sergio Perez Force India 22 1:13.025 1.239
14 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 26 1:13.112 1.326
15 Fernando Alonso McLaren 25 1:13.279 1.493
16 Lance Stroll Williams 26 1:13.595 1.809
17 Charles Leclerc Sauber 25 1:13.644 1.858
18 Romain Grosjean Haas 21 1:13.881 2.095
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas 20 1:14.192 2.406
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 28 1:14.221 2.435

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