Monaco – Saturday – An overview

FP3:

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel pipped Mercdes’ Lewis Hamilton to the post this morning in the final practice session, beating him my a mere 0.018s.

Hamilton’s teammate Nico Rosberg and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo completed the top four, whilst teammate Max Verstappen finished fifth after a small incident. He ran too wide into Massenet, and scraped the side of his car against barriers, causing damage to his front wing and maybe even his suspension; luckily he was able to make it back to the pits.

The two Toro Rosso’s of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz came in at sixth and seventh; behind them were the two Force India’s of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenburg, split by the Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen.

Renault’s Jolyon Palmer also lost control of his car at the swimming pool, spinning 180 degrees and the rear of his car collided with the barriers. Luckily he managed to get back to the pits and later re-joined the session.

Both Williams and Haas struggled during the practice session, and it is known that this is not Williams’ favourite circuit, however their cars understeered less than they did during FP1 and FP2 on Thursday.

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Qualifying:

Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo will start tomorrow’s Monaco Grand Prix from pole position, after fending off both Mercedes with a blazing lap time.

The Australian showed an impressive pace in practice, and was able to keep this up until Q3, to produce a lap time of 1:13.622, which both Mercedes’ and Ferrari’s were unable to catch, sending him into pole position for tomorrow’s race.

Ricciardo was under pressure from both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg, the latter finishing less than two-tenths of a second behind the Red Bull, putting him in P2.

The bad luck that has haunted Hamilton since the beginning of the season was carried on to today’s qualifying session, where he was unable to leave the pits at the start of Q3, due to a ‘loss of power’. Luckily, Mercedes were quickly able to rectify the issue, and sent him out with five minutes left, but the 2015 World Champion chose to bide his time before making a final push with mere seconds remaining in the session, which was not enough, as he finished in P3.

As Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished in P4, Force India’s Nico Hulkenburg managed to qualify a fantastic fifth ahead of Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen, who is set to drop 5 places to eleventh after a grid penalty for a gearbox change. Hulkenburg’s teammate Sergio Perez finished in P8, sandwiched between the two Toro Rosso’s of Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat. McLaren’s Fernando Alonso managed to make it to Q3, ending the session at tenth, whereas his teammate Jenson Button was unable to match his pace, ending down in P13.

Williams’ poor form in Monaco continued into qualifying as both Valterri Bottas and Felipe Massa finished in P11 and P14 in Q2. The team has not made it to Q3 at Monaco since 2010.

Haas’ Esteban Gutierrez out-qualified teammate Romain Grosjean for the first time in the 2016 season, finishing in P12, whilst the Frenchman finished in P15.

Renault withstood another challenging session of qualifying this afternoon and Jolyon Palmer was eliminated in Q1, in P18. Teammate Kevin Magnussen just made it through into Q2, but was only able to finish in P16 ahead of tomorrow’s race. Magnussen is also under investigation by the stewards after leaving the pit lane under a red light during Q1.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen suffered a dramatic collision when he crashed in Q1 before being able to post a lap time. The Dutchman clipped the wall on the inside of the swimming pool chicane, breaking his front-right wishbone and sending him into the wall, bringing out the red flag.

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Sauber’s Felipe Nasr also brought out the red flag earlier in the session, after smoke was pouring out of his car after exiting the Tunnel, leaving him at the bottom of the timesheets also.

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