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.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:12.776||19|
|2||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:12.849||+0.073s||24|
|3||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:12.942||+0.166s||20|
|5||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:13.396||+0.620s||21|
|6||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||1:13.453||+0.677s||24|
|9||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:13.496||+0.720s||18|
|10||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:13.521||+0.745s||20|
|12||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:13.624||+0.848s||13|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||1:13.650||+0.874s||16|
|14||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:13.697||+0.921s||18|
|15||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:13.738||+0.962s||21|
|16||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:13.772||+0.996s||20|
|17||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||1:13.851||+1.075s||19|
|18||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||1:13.930||+1.154s||23|
|19||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||1:13.998||+1.222s||18|
|20||Nyck De Vries||DEV||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:14.187||+1.411s||24|