Rosberg fastest as Maldonado crashes in Monaco

2012 Monaco Grand Prix third practice

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Nico Rosberg set the fastest time in final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

But the session came to a controversial end as the winner of the last race, Pastor Maldonado, appeared to cause a collision with Sergio Perez.

Moments later Maldonado crashed his Williams, bringing the session to an end.

Kimi Raikkonen had done little running on Thursday, so he was one of the first to take to the circuit as the final hour of practice began.

He was joined by Schumacher, the Mercedes driver troubled by a gearbox problem on his car. As was the case on Thursday, his engineer warned him he was overlapping the brake and throttle on his car at the chicane, as well as Sainte Devote.

Raikkonen headed the times to begin with before team mate Romain Grosjean took over in the other Lotus, setting a best of 1’15.811.

Sergio Perez was among the quickest runners on the soft tyres, but lost time after glancing the barriers, damaging his car.

One of the first drivers to switch to super-soft tyres was Nico Rosberg. He set a 1’15.159 with his second effort, saying the rear tyres only came in on the second lap.

The two Ferraris got closest to his effort and unusually it was Massa who led the pair, just 0.038s slower than the Mercedes, Alonso just 0.013s behind his team mate.

Vettel had languished in the middle of the times sheets before putting on the super-softs. He managed to split the two Ferraris, lapping just a thousandth of a second faster than Alonso.

The final moments brought drama. Paul di Resta hit trouble at the same spot as Perez’s crash the year before, spinning and clipping the barrier on the approach to the chicane.

Perez himself was then involved in a bizarre incident with Pastor Maldonado. The Spanish Grand Prix winner turned across the front of the Sauber at Portier, making contact between the two.

“Maldonado is so crazy, guys,” complained Perez on his radio afterwards. “I want to complain about Maldonado.”

Maldonado then crashed at Casino, clipping the barrier at the inside of the corner then sliding into the wall at the exit. That brought out the red flags, ending the session with three minutes to go.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’15.159 25
2 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’15.197 0.038 21
3 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’15.209 0.050 20
4 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’15.210 0.051 20
5 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’15.445 0.286 18
6 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.471 0.312 19
7 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’15.734 0.575 19
8 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’15.893 0.734 23
9 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.110 0.951 14
10 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.219 1.060 19
11 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.226 1.067 20
12 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’16.301 1.142 21
13 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.311 1.152 19
14 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.479 1.320 20
15 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.027 1.868 20
16 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’17.055 1.896 26
17 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’17.276 2.117 25
18 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’17.390 2.231 19
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’17.404 2.245 22
20 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’18.259 3.100 18
21 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’18.488 3.329 22
22 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’19.099 3.940 17
23 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’19.147 3.988 19
24 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’19.151 3.992 19

Combined practice times

Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.261 1’17.021 1’15.159 -1.862 58
2 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.843 1’16.602 1’15.197 -1.405 61
3 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’17.222 1’17.303 1’15.209 -2.013 55
4 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.265 1’16.661 1’15.210 -1.055 65
5 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’16.630 1’16.138 1’15.445 -0.693 54
6 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.190 1’15.746 1’15.471 -0.275 49
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.747 1’17.375 1’15.734 -1.013 50
8 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’17.413 1’17.293 1’15.893 -1.4 48
9 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.711 1’18.251 1’16.110 -0.601 57
10 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’18.106 1’17.148 1’16.219 -0.929 56
11 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.209 1’18.522 1’16.226 -1.983 67
12 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’19.267 1’16.301 -2.966 47
13 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.038 1’17.153 1’16.311 -0.727 62
14 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.252 1’18.808 1’16.479 -1.773 74
15 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’16.760 1’16.820 1’18.488 +1.728 62
16 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.631 1’17.800 1’17.027 -0.604 63
17 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’18.617 1’17.655 1’17.055 -0.6 64
18 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’19.039 1’20.029 1’17.276 -1.763 58
19 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’18.302 1’17.395 1’17.390 -0.005 56
20 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’19.341 1’18.440 1’17.404 -1.036 63
21 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’21.638 1’19.309 1’18.259 -1.05 56
22 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.895 1’20.240 1’19.099 -1.141 56
23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’20.838 1’20.886 1’19.147 -1.691 55
24 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’22.423 1’20.631 1’19.151 -1.48 46

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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88 comments on “Rosberg fastest as Maldonado crashes in Monaco”

  1. Felipe looking awfully strong this weekend. Pretty sure he was the fastest on softs today as well.

    1. not sure if the fastest, but he was really on it top of it today.

    2. Seems to me that Felipe loves the Super-softs, most notably last season, putting in great qualifying laps to match & out-qualify Fernando in tracks such as Canada & Hungary respectively, where the Softer compounds were used. Hopefully this new found confidence will carry through to qualifying later. Going to be absolutely emphatic & i don’t think we’ve seen the true potential of the likes of Webber & the McLarens, who didn’t get clean final runs on the Super-softs

    3. good to see the old Felipe Back.. :)

    4. surely he would get into Q3 easily. perhaps top 5 as well.

    5. Yes would love to see Felipe being successful at Monaco, the guy needs this big confidence boost.
      Fingers crossed for the win, yes, I’m daring

    6. Narain is looking stronger than Pedro so far…But that could change in qualifying.

  2. Romain looked very very impressive. Also hats off to Massa for finally getting up to speed

    1. Massa should maintain this pace on the quali and the race and forthcoming races as well. Still it’s good sign.

  3. ShaneB457 (@shaneb12345678910)
    26th May 2012, 11:10

    Best practice session I have ever seen.. it had absolutely everything..
    Cant wait for quali :)

  4. Button looked like he should still have a little bit in reserve, haven’t seen much of Hamiltons fastest lap though. Will it be enough though?

    Vettel should not be discounted, Lotus looks to be quick again, as does Rosberg. Ferrari will have a shot at pole as well, I would love it if Massa could really pull it off, but I would rather put my money on Alsono to do it!

    1. I’m wondering about what going on with Mclaren and especially Hamilton. He seems to have been rather invisible in all the practice session just rolling around in the middle of the table.
      Is the car really not fit for Monaco?

  5. Maldonado should not be taking part in Quali. Or the race. Or any others this year

    1. @jleigh I’d like to see what might have happened in the lead-up to the incident. But in the light of his driving at Spa last year I think the stewards should take it very seriously.

      1. @keithcollantine Yes it will be interesting to see what led to it. I suspect Maldonado feels he was held up through Mirabeau and Loews, but no matter what happened, there’s no excuse for what he did.

      2. Fully agree with that Keith, I want to see more of that too, but it did look to be quite similar to Spa last year

        1. And this time nothing can be reproach to Perez, he is leaving space on the side and on the front for the turn … Not like if Maldonado was squeezed

    2. Why? Because Sergio Perez thinks he was hard done-by?

      1. Does the Spa incident between Maldonado and Hamilton ring any bells? Looked intentional to me. Should at least get a penalty.

        1. Spa was between Kobayashi and Hamilton. It’s Monaco where Maldonado and Hamilton tangled.

          1. sorry I forgot quali incident between Maldo and Ham.

          2. He’s referring to the incident in Spa qualifying, not the race.

          3. And it is indeed that quali incident that seems to match what happened here: intentionally cutting across a car that you just passed, while not working on a quali lap.

        2. Well, I can’t comment as I haven’t seen the incident – yet – but based on Keith’s description, I’m guessing Perez was in Maldonado’s blind spot. After all, the drivers wear the HANS device to prevent their necks twisting (and snapping) in the event of an accident, so they don’t get a whole lot of movement in their necks. And with safety being paramount, the cars have high, reinforced sides to their cockpits, which further limit a driver’s peripheral vision. It’s entirely conceivable that Maldonado could not see Perez, and had to guess where the Sauber was.

          Furthermore, I cannot think of a single reason why someone would deliberately crash into another driver in FP3. Maldonado would have nothing to gain from it.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys If you haven’t even seen the incident then you’re in no position to question other people’s assessment of it.

          2. @keithcollantine – I have now seen a video of the incident (admittedly a very grainy one; it appears to have been shot with a mobile phone camera aimed at a television screen), and I stand by my above assessment. I think Perez being in Maldonado’s blind spot to be an equally-plausible explanation of the incident, and I can see no reason why Maldonado would have done it deliberately.

          3. I haven’t seen the incident


            I think Maldonado got annoyed by Hulkenberg, then Perez blocked him for a while which Maldonado didn’t take too well, and then lost it at Casino. Plus remember he won the last race – I can see it having bloated his ego.

          4. lol at PM’s ‘Bill Shorten’ing

          5. LOL at random internet monkey embarrasing himself.

        3. Ban and ban him simple

          1. @keithcollantine or any others, can you share a link to some footage? Thanks in advance.

      2. because he deliberately crashed into another driver for the second time in a year! The first time should have led to a ban on its own.

        1. @jleigh – Prove that he did it deliberately first.

          1. @prisoner-monkeys Well MAL is the one holding the steering wheel. He also has eyes, and knew exactly where Perez was, as Perez had moved to the side and slowed down massively to let let him through. Perez had hardly moved from the point MAL passed him to the point he crashed into him. MAL also knows the normal racing line through Portier, and in order to turn in sooo early, intention is definately required. I suggest you have a look at the incident. It may be on youtube somewhere.

          2. PM, watch the footage before posting. Perez was way off line, Maldonado [/b]drove into him[/b]

            This is beyond a joke, he needs banning atleast from this race, at very least.

            He deserved to be punished after Spa but wasnt, the stewards didnt act, and this is the result, he does it again..


          3. @prisoner monkeys I suggest waiting until you see the incident before you make any further comments.

          4. Well, I was willing to give Maldonado the benefit of the doubt when I saw it quickly on the practice show, but looking at @pamphlet ‘s video several times shows Maldonado moving to the right rather early and suddenly, despite having plenty of room on his left.

            A shame to do this one race after boosting his reputation.

          5. He deserved to be punished after Spa but wasnt, the stewards didnt act, and this is the result, he does it again.

            See, I read this, and the first thing I think is “You’re not judging Maldonado crashing into Perez – you’re judging Maldonado crashing into Hamilton”.

          6. @pamphlet Thank you for the link, that looks deliberate, and dangerous. There was a piece of the car flying in front of Perez.

          7. if you pause @pamphlet ‘s video just as they reach the shadow of the bridge, it’s pretty damning for MAL. Then continue playing the video, keeping in mind MAL position and direction when you paused it. When you then see where the apex for Portier is, It’s pretty clear MAL was not just turning in a little early, and that he had the intention of hitting Perez.

          8. also, watch Hamilton behind and the line he is taking compared to MAL

          9. Wow that is totally crazy, I didn’t realise it was that bad at the time. Both are well inside the racing line, Perez is well out of the way and Maldonado seems to take an unusual line to purposely crash into Perez, I just can’t understand why he would do that apart from being hot headed, whatever happen before the is not excuse for that.
            I like to see him at the sharp end of the grid during the race but if that doesn’t deserve bring sent to the back nothing does. Hope no one picked him for pole this week ;-)

      3. I’m not sure what the stewards are going to make of the incident, but looking at a few shots, Maldonado’s turning point doesnt look like anywhere near the normal racing line into Portier.

        1. As it was in spa and as it was in Monaco with Hamilton also despite some not acknowledging it because the stewards made a mess of it. The guy seems to be getting easily ****** and turning early on people.

        2. As it was in spa and as it was in Monaco with Hamilton also despite some not acknowledging it because the stewards made a mess of it. The guy seems to be getting easily pιssed and turning early on people.

    3. The penalty will probably be the same as the Barrichello / Schumacher incident (whit the push against the wall) and result in a 10 places penalty on the grid for Maldonado … It’s what seem the most likely to me and quite deserved.

      1. There was room on the outside.
        he saw Perez pull into the inside, to give him space on the outside, and he turned into the corner making no allowances for the other car. Even if you can’t see where the other car is, you know. it’s learned from karting; you can instinctively know when someone is very close to you, and you can also tell where the other driver is in relation to yourself. Therefore, the blind spot argument cannot hold up

        1. he didn’t even turn into the corner. That has never been the turn in point for Portier. It’s about two car lengths later, from two car widths to the outside.

    4. Eddie (@wackyracer)
      26th May 2012, 11:36

      what happend? can someone explain? or any video maybe?


    5. Armchair judge @jleigh hands out a lifetime race ban for Maldonado

      1. @mustalainen This is a blog with a comments section. I’m pretty sure Keith set up the comments section for people to leave their opinions on all things F1. That’s what I’m doing. If you disagree with my opinion, may I suggest making an argument against it rather than making a pointless comment that adds absolutely nothing?

        1. @jleigh My argument was, you are making swift arguments without knowing too much of the incident beforehand and writing unnecessary comments! (e.g. “Hamiltons fault”)

          1. It irrelevant what happened before as is your comment.

    6. I wonder … If Maldonado is banned, will Botas be allowed to take part to quali and race ?
      I suspect the penalty is applied to the driver and not the team …

    7. I don’t see Maldonado’s actions intentional – no driver would crach into another car during practice intentionaly. Maldonado’s actions were reckles. In tort law people are liable for their actions even without being intention, so I think Maldonado should get penalty, though not too harsh.

  6. I really don’t know who will be the pole. Nico looked good in flying lap but worse in long run than Ferrari and Lotus. Whoever the pole, I think it would be great race for Ferrari and Lotus, or some suprise as well. I voted on Alonso for the pole just because I want it.

  7. Massa was faster than Alonso in the second practice session in a row! Could it be his revival or just one-off? And I have no idea who is going to claim pole. Actually it would be foolish to guess, because there are probably at least 10 contenders for pole.

  8. Only seen the Maldonado/Perez incident from one angle, but it didn’t look malicious to me. Just looked like a stupid mistake which was easily avoidable. Wouldn’t mind seeing it from the T-Cam though.

    1. Maldonado turning in too early was my initial reaction too, I love to see an onboard of the incident from Maldonado’s perspective.

  9. read Schumi have some gearbox problem. SO another miserable weekend for him. Bad luck continues to follow the champ. :(

  10. On another note, HRT is less than 4 seconds off the fastest lap. That must give them some satisfaction.

    1. well monaco has a very short lap so they were still 106%! I confidently predict that if they do qualify the race, they will ruin for someone :-(

  11. I think Grosjean is gonna be the 1st one among the 2 lotus drivers to win…
    Its gonna be tight…

    1. @rahim-rg he has look very well in every of the 2 (non rain) practice sessions and quite consistant with his lap time … I also expect a strong quali and race from him, probably the one most likely to be on the podium to me, will see on which step ^^

    2. I’m not sure on a win @rahim-rg, but he does look on it for first pole for the team to me.

  12. If Felipe is doing so well, the Ferrari must be seriously awesome around the streets.

  13. Maldonado ???? whats the matter with head ? this is the second time doing the same thing, hope they send him at the back of the grid.Now the question is will they be able to repair that car before qali?

  14. Where is the proof that Maldonado deliberately crashed into Perez?

    A lot of people are pointing to Spa last year as a precedent for this kind of unruly behavior, but based on the way the stewards reprimanded Hamilton and only gave Maldonado a grid penalty, it’s pretty obvious that they thought Maldonado was provoked by Hamilton pushing him off the dry line at the Bus Stop. That, to me, says that while Maldonado does have a reputation for attacking other drivers on-track, he’s not cold and calculating about it. Based on that behavior at Spa, he doesn’t attack without a reason. And as near as I can tell, Sergio Perez didn’t do anything to raise his ire.

  15. his engineer warned him he was overlapping the brake and throttle on his car at the chicane, as well as Sainte Devote.

    I don’t understand “overlapping the brake and throttle”, what does that mean?

    1. @caci99 it means he would not be fully off the accelerator before he stamps on the breaks. It’s a simple thing really that a driver in Karts wouldn’t do, never mind someone of Schumi’s caliber.

      1. @jleigh Thank you, I got it now

      2. But wasn’t that part of how MSC always used to be fast from his Benneton days on (I seem to recall a feature comparing him and teammate – Herbert I think?) @jleigh? I do understand that it isn’t currently the best way to drive the car, but I can then see why MSC is finding it hard to not do it :)

        1. i remember the feature, but not exactly what it showed, sorry. You might be right though. @boysber

    2. engaging both at the same time if I’m not mistaken. E.g Not fully off throttle while braking and/or applying throttle while still on brake. Something you get warned about when karting.

  16. Slippery session out there, you forgot to mention that Glock also kissed the barrier and even Vettel gave it lick. Is it a grip issue or is everyone just feeling the pressure in this close championship? it’s anyone’s game at the moment.

  17. Carn Felipe!

  18. Dimitris 1395 (@)
    26th May 2012, 11:34

    I can see an exclusion from both Qualifying and race for Maldonado. Unexplicably bad driver for the Benezuelan driver…

    1. If the stewards banned drivers from races for “inexplicably bad driving”, Lewis Hamilton would probably be out of the sport until 2016.

  19. In the second table, it should say Thursday instead of Friday (due to the unique running of this weekend).

  20. lolz at maldonado.. trying to be someone with no success.. poor guy.. I wasnt expecting nothing more after the win in Spain. So weak :S

  21. Okay, I have now watched the video of the incident between Maldonado and Perez over a dozen times, and I think I have a very reasonable explanation for it being a racing incident. In order to understand how I have come to this conclusion, we need to examine two things: Maldonado’s demeanour, and the physical geography of the Monaco circuit.

    First of all, Maldonado. Yes, he has a track record of deliberately crashing into other drivers. However, in reviewing the incident, the stewards gave Lewis Hamilton a reprimand and Pastor Maldonado a minor grid penalty. I can think of no plausible explanation for this other than the stewards feeling that Maldonado was provoked by Hamilton, and lashed out. High angles of the incident show Hamilton squeezing Maldonado wide out of the Bus Stop and forcing him off the dry racing line. Whether or not Hamilton was within his rights to do this is beside the point – given the rapid improvement of lap times in Q2 at the time, Maldonado evidently felt that he stood a chance at improving his grid position until Hamilton forced him onto the wet circuit. I am not making an attempt to justify Maldonado’s reaction at the time, but simply highlighting that his behavior was triggered by an antecedant: namely, that Hamilton squeezed him wide, and he retaliated. However, in reviewing this incident with Sergio Perez, I can see nothing from Perez that would have set Maldonado off. Perez was visibly slower than Maldonado, and well off the racing line at the time of the collision. He did not, as near as I can tell, block, impede or otherwise obstruct Maldonado. Furthermore, this is free practice; lap times are not important here. Completing a testing programme is. Therefore, Maldonado had no reason to intentionally drive into Perez.

    Secondly, the physical geography of the circuit. Portier has an unusual line with a very late turn-in for the apex. It is also a blind corner, and the racing line carries the drivers out to the far side of the circuit. When he approached Perez, Maldonado visibly accelerates. Significantly, he also appears to be travelling faster than Jenson Button behind him, who was able to take the correct racing line. Therefore, I am prepared to write this off as a racing incident. At the time of the incident, Perez was positioned in such a way that Maldonado would have been unable to properly see the apex of Portier, which is already difficult enough to spot. He accelerates to get around the Sauber, but makes a mistake whilst trying to judge the apex, the position of his car relative to Perez, and compensate for his increased speed at the time. As a result, he turns in too early, probably expecting Perez to slow down further to either let him through or because the Sauber has a problem.

    In the end, I don’t think Pastor Maldonado is guilty of anything more than trying to pass a slower car at a place that doesn’t really allow for it. Between the established pattern of his behavior and the geography of the corner, I simply cannot make any case for this being an intentional act. Maldonado had nothing to gain from crashing into Perez.

  22. This is the second time he’s done that and the stewards and his team need to have a good word with him. He’s just been given 10 place grid penalty but i think thats not enough. His behaviour is not acceptable in any sports

  23. Looked rather foolish from Maldonado. I think you can attribute it to a bit of his aggressive flare from last year, his high regard at Monaco and on the back of a win from Barcelona. I imagine he just got over-confident. Just heard he got a ten place penalty which is appropriate.

  24. Have to say, i agree with Coulthard, Perez wheel didnt seem to turn under load through the fast chicane, it was Perez first hotlap since Maldonado hit his front left…

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