Sebastian Vettel leada a Ferrari 1-2 in FP3 as Mercedes struggle

27 May 2017

In the final practice session at the Monaco circuit today, Sebastian Vettel topped the timesheets ahead of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas in a session that saw the drivers perfecting their set ups and seeing where they need to improve before Qualifying.

It was announced during FP3 that Honda has had to change some parts (more specifically engine parts) on Jenson Button’s car. With Button standing in for Fernando Alonso this weekend, he inherits Alonso’s current position and will now as a result have to drop fifteen grid places on the grid alongside his team mate Stoffel Vandoorne who has received a three place grid penalty for his collision with Felipe Massa in Barcelona.

During the session, Haas F1 driver Romain Grosjean locked up going further down Mirabeau corner but was able to continue on during the session. Just before the second half of the session, Haas driver Kevin Magnussen once again held up Sergio Perez into the final chicane as Perez was building up to a flying lap.

This could see Magnussen receiving a penalty as he has done it repeatedly during the weekend. We also saw Daniel Ricciardo locking up massively into Sainte Devote but was able to continue on in the session.

In the second half of the session, the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel was looking extremely impressive with him consistently getting faster and faster on every run of the Monaco circuit; with his team mate Kimi Raikkonen behind him putting in a solid performance.

In the final stages of the session, Esteban Ocon has crashed into the barriers massively into the Swimming Pool chicane after clicking the inside wall and broke the steering on his Force India. Ocon managed to get out the car okay by the marshals. This then brought out the Virtual Safety Car as Ocon’s car was safely recovered from the circuit.

Just after the chequered flag ended the session, Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull was smoking going into Sainte Devote with a brake management issue after his brake pedal felt firm going into corner when Ricciardo via team radio explained what happened to his engineer.

But it was Sebastian Vettel who was fastest with a lap time of 1:12.395 and continues the trend of no Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 driver leading an FP3 session this season. Vettel finished ahead of his team mate Kimi Raikkonen in second place who was 0.345 seconds behind him and ahead of Valtteri Bottas in third place who was 0.435 seconds behind Vettel.

Max Verstappen finished the session in fourth place ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fifth place, Daniel Ricciardo in sixth place, Carlos Sainz Jr in seventh place, Daniil Kvyat in eighth place, Kevin Magnussen in ninth place and Stoffel Vandoorne who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Sergio Perez ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Jenson Button in twelfth place, Esteban Ocon in thirteenth place, Felipe Massa in fourteenth place and Nico Hulkenberg in fifteenth place.

As we head into the latter stages of the grid, Romain Grosjean ended the session in sixteenth place ahead of Lance Stroll in seventeenth place, Jolyon Palmer in eighteenth place, Pascal Wehrlein in nineteenth place and Marcus Ericsson in twentieth place.

The classification of FP3 for the Monaco GP is as follows:-

1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1.12.395
2. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 0.345s
3. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 0.435s
4. Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.545s
5. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 0.835s
6. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.997s
7. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1.005s
8. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1.168s
9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas Ferrari, 1.201s
10. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 1.410s
11. Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 1.541s
12. Jenson Button, McLaren-Honda, 1.581s
13. Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 1.677s
14. Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, 1.677s
15. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1.888s
16. Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 2.152s
17. Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 2.280s
18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 2.769s
19. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 2.896s
20. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber-Ferrari, 3.468s

Driving for Pleasure will be covering the Monaco GP weekend with our qualifying and race reports alongside the latest news.

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa