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Max on P2 after third free practice in Monaco

Published on 25 May 2024 by Florence Cobben

Max Verstappen finished the third free practice for the Monaco Grand Prix in second. The reigning worldchampion was almost two-tenths behind Charles Leclerc, the fastest man of the session. Lewis Hamilton claimed thrid place, while Oscar Piastri and Sergio Pérez completed the top five.

At the start of the last free practice in Monaco the temperature has climbed to a happy 21 degrees, and the track temperature is 45 degrees. The session starts calmly, with little action on the streets of the small city. Kevin Magnussen is the first to set a time: 1:14.683 on softs. About ten minutes after the start of a session, Valterri Bottas causes a red flag. The Finn hits the guard rails - lightly - but  hard enough to break off the suspension of the right front wheel. The Sauber-driver blocks the drive way, prompting a call for a red flag. Once the session resumes after a couple of minutes, Max surfaces from the pits for the first time. His first time on softs makes good for fifth place. In his next flying lap he is impeded by traffic - viewers at home could hear him voicing his frustration via the team radio. 

A new attempts boosts him to second place, three-tenths behind Oscar Piastri. Hometown hero Charles Leclerc improves on both their times, driving an impressive 1:12.521, almost two-tenths faster than the Australian. 

Halfway through FP3 the top five are as follows: Leclerc, Piastri, Verstappen, Norris and Sainz. Max shuffles the order by improving on his time and claiming second place, but he is still two-and-a-half tenths slower than childhood rival Leclerc. The Dutchman reports via team radio that he knows where he can improve, but also knows it's not possible as is. 

Leclerc improves on his time and clocks a 1:11.369 lap, making him seven-tenths faster than Max. Max ups the ante and drives harder, but still comes out six-tenths slower than the Monagasque. Another lap brings him even closer: this time he's two-tenths behind Leclerc. Max reports that if he continues to push, he'll end up in the wall. He drives a strong first sector, but is slower in the second. That marks the end of this session with Charles Leclerc as the fastest man, followed by Verstappen and Hamilton. Piastri and Pérez complete the top five.

Contest GP Monaco: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results third free practice Monaco:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:11.369 26
2Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:11.566+0.197s27
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:11.710+0.341s25
4Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:11.901+0.532s25
5Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:11.923+0.554s24
6George RussellRUSMercedes1:11.968+0.599s33
7Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:11.979+0.610s26
8Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:11.988+0.619s24
9Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:11.991+0.622s27
10Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:12.087+0.718s25
11Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:12.144+0.775s26
12Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:12.180+0.811s24
13Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:12.192+0.823s24
14Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:12.216+0.847s31
15Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:12.331+0.962s25
16Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:12.472+1.103s25
17Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:12.703+1.334s21
18Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:12.829+1.460s28
19Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.830+2.461s28
20Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari---2