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Max fastest in Monaco FP3

Published on 27 May 2023 by Misha van der Kroon

Max Verstappen was quickest in the final free practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix. The Dutchman was seven hundredths faster than his teammate, Sergio Pérez. Lance Stroll set the third best time in the streets of Monaco. Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris completed the top five of FP3, which ended early due to a crash of Lewis Hamilton.

The session starts slowly, only a few cars leave their garages when the lights go green. Max’ teammate, Sergio Pérez, is on a fast lap when suddenly a car stops in the tunnel. It is the Alpine of Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman manages to get his car running again and drives back to the pits.

About twenty minutes in, Max joins on track. With three purple sectors and a lap time of 1:13:794 he immediately puts his RB19 at the top of the timesheets. Pérez is in P2, almost six tenths behind the reigning champion. Then, both Sergio Pérez and Fernando Alonso put down a faster lap, pushing Max back to third position. But the Dutchman quickly returned to head the order with a 1:13:583, only four thousandths faster than his teammate. The Oracle Red Bull Racing drivers keep challenging each other. Pérez goes three tenths faster than Verstappen, who then raises the bar once more by going four tenths faster than the Mexican driver.

Halfway through the session the top five is as follows: Verstappen, Pérez, Sainz, Leclerc and Hamilton. It is quiet again on the streets of Monaco with most cars in the pits. However, the Red Bull drivers decide to take advantage of the space on track and go for another fast lap. Sergio Pérez goes P1, but is soon being pushed back to second when Max goes seven hundredths quicker. With 25 minutes on the clock, both drivers of Red Bulls return to their garages.

In the final stages of FP3, the cars go out again on soft tyres. With fifteen minutes left on the clock, Max also rejoins the track. His timed effort falls just short of his fastest time set earlier. Kevin Magnussen brings out a yellow flag when he goes straight down the escape road at the first corner. He can initially continue, but moments later, his Haas stalls in the second sector, which produces a virtual safety car.

With six minutes left on the clock, the track is cleared and the session resumes at full speed. This unfortunately does not last long, as Lewis Hamilton puts his Mercedes into the barrier. This crash brings out a red flag. With less than five minutes left on the clock, the session will not be resumed, bringing an end to the third and final practice session in Monaco.

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Results third free practice Monaco:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:12.776 19
2Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:12.849+0.073s24
3Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:12.942+0.166s20
4Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:13.261+0.485s20
5Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:13.396+0.620s21
6Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:13.453+0.677s24
7Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:13.475+0.699s19
8Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:13.486+0.710s17
9Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:13.496+0.720s18
10Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:13.521+0.745s20
11George RussellRUSMercedes1:13.590+0.814s18
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:13.624+0.848s13
13Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:13.650+0.874s16
14Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:13.697+0.921s18
15Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:13.738+0.962s21
16Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:13.772+0.996s20
17Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:13.851+1.075s19
18Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:13.930+1.154s23
19Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:13.998+1.222s18
20Nyck De VriesDEVAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:14.187+1.411s24