Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Monte-Carlo, 2016

Vettel tops close final Monaco practice

2016 Monaco Grand Prix third practice

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Sebastian Vettel was quickest in final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, less than two tenths faster than Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo.

The Ferrari driver set a 1’14.650, only 0.018s quicker than Hamilton’s Mercedes. Max Verstappen was fourth quickest, despite a significant clash with the barriers at Casino Square late in the session.

Warm, sunny conditions greeted the drivers as the Monaco track action finally resumed. Ferrari, Mercedes, Renault and Force India wasted no time in getting out on track to put more laps on the new Ultra Soft tyres.

After missing over an hour of practice time on Thursday, Jolyon Palmer lost control of his Renault in the entrance to the Swimming Pool, spinning 180 degrees and tagging the barrier with the rear of his car – halting his early run.

Following the initial runs, Rosberg, Ricciardo and Vettel sat atop the timing screens separated by less than half a tenth of a second.

There were a number of offs at Ste Devote, with Romain Grosjean, Kevin Magnussen, Pascal Wehrlein and Esteban Gutierrez all taking to the escape route after making mistakes under braking.

Max Verstappen was lucky to get away with his Red Bull being relatively undamaged after he locked his brakes on approach to Casino Square and making significant contact with the barriers. After pitting so that the team could assess the damage, F1’s youngest ever winner later resumed for a final run at the close of the session.

Vettel used a new set of Ultra Soft tyres to set the fastest time of the day – a 1’14.650. Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg and Daniel Ricciardo were all less than two tenths within the Ferrari’s time, each having done so on Ultra Soft tyres also.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’14.65025
244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’14.6680.01824
36Nico RosbergMercedes1’14.7720.12229
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’14.8070.15721
533Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’15.0810.43117
626Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’15.2590.60923
755Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’15.3240.67426
811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’15.3680.71821
97Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’15.5550.90522
1027Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’15.6661.01620
1119Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’16.0681.41829
1214Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’16.2571.60724
1322Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’16.2981.64823
1477Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’16.3471.69721
1521Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’16.4061.75623
1620Kevin MagnussenRenault1’16.4121.76213
178Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’16.5271.87727
1812Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’16.8672.21723
199Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’17.0382.38832
2030Jolyon PalmerRenault1’17.4822.83217
2194Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’17.5952.94532
2288Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’18.1803.53034

Third practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’14.650

+0.018 Lewis Hamilton – 1’14.668

+0.122 Nico Rosberg – 1’14.772

+0.157 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’14.807

+0.431 Max Verstappen – 1’15.081

+0.609 Daniil Kvyat – 1’15.259

+0.674 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’15.324

+0.718 Sergio Perez – 1’15.368

+0.905 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’15.555

+1.016 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’15.666

+1.418 Felipe Massa – 1’16.068

+1.607 Fernando Alonso – 1’16.257

+1.648 Jenson Button – 1’16.298

+1.697 Valtteri Bottas – 1’16.347

+1.756 Esteban Gutierrez – 1’16.406

+1.762 Kevin Magnussen – 1’16.412

+1.877 Romain Grosjean – 1’16.527

+2.217 Felipe Nasr – 1’16.867

+2.388 Marcus Ericsson – 1’17.038

+2.832 Jolyon Palmer – 1’17.482

+2.945 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’17.595

+3.530 Rio Haryanto – 1’18.180

Combined practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’16.3081’14.6071’14.807+0.290
2Sebastian VettelFerrari1’15.9561’16.2691’14.650-1.30691
3Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’15.5371’15.2131’14.668-0.54591
4Nico RosbergMercedes1’15.6381’15.5061’14.772-0.734116
5Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’16.3711’15.5711’15.081-0.4989
6Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Ferrari1’16.4261’15.8151’15.259-0.556113
7Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Ferrari1’17.1301’15.9811’15.324-0.657119
8Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’16.6971’16.1201’15.368-0.75297
9Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’16.9121’16.0401’15.555-0.48584
10Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’16.5601’16.4871’15.666-0.821103
11Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’18.7461’17.2861’16.068-1.21881
12Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’17.8381’16.7231’16.257-0.46694
13Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’17.9201’16.3251’16.298-0.02795
14Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’17.5621’16.8491’16.347-0.502112
15Esteban GutierrezHaas-Ferrari1’17.9091’16.7821’16.406-0.37688
16Kevin MagnussenRenault1’18.2741’17.5301’16.412-1.11876
17Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’17.5991’16.8741’16.527-0.34783
18Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’18.1871’17.9991’16.867-1.132101
19Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’18.3011’17.5621’17.038-0.524104
20Jolyon PalmerRenault1’18.8711’17.7611’17.482-0.27963
21Pascal WehrleinManor-Mercedes1’20.8681’18.8141’17.595-1.219103
22Rio HaryantoManor-Mercedes1’20.5281’18.6471’18.180-0.46772

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Will Wood
Will has been a RaceFans contributor since 2012 during which time he has covered F1 test sessions, launch events and interviewed drivers. He mainly...

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24 comments on “Vettel tops close final Monaco practice”

  1. Two things:

    1. Ricciardo didn’t get a clean lap in at the end, Hamilton got traffic in S3 on his fastest attempt, and Rosberg made mistakes on his fastest lap. Pole fight will be between Mercedes and Red Bull, but Ferrari (in Vettel’s hands) looked much better today than on Thursday.

    2. I officially propose a gravel trap at Sainte Devote.

    1. Maybe. However all the cars did many laps after their fastest so plenty of fuel but Vettel maybe right up the front or 5th or worse I wouldn’t put money on either.

    2. 1. and Kimi has to be replaced.
      2. but then they’ll be stuck there, waiting for a crane and wasting even more green flag time.

      1. Kimi is 2nd in the drivers title, has had good races and qualifying on the whole this season but must be replaced due to a poor FP3 time in 1 race weekend.

        Harsh.

        1. He may be second but very few think he outperforms Vettel. Eventually his luck will run out, he will not always be given better machinery or better strategy. When it comes to outracing others, or qualifying well he falls short.

          1. He’s 2-3 down to Vettel in quali this year, ahead of him in the championship despite being whacked off the road by him in China and suffering a retirement in Australia – he’s not being blown away in quali and more than matching him on race day – your point doesn’t really stack up.

          2. As a Ferrari fan I have moaned about Kimi since he came back but this season I think he has been very good which makes me happy as it is a sign the car is good. By mid season we hopefully will see 3 teams and 6 cars very close.

      2. It’s been revealed he had mechanical problems in FP3 and is having to change gearbox with a 5 place penalty so not all on him

    3. @kingshark Either way this is going to be the tightest qualifying in a while, and not only for the top spot but every single position down the grid.

      1. I think top 10 is pretty clean cut. Top 15 will probably also include Mclaren and Williams, not much battle there.
        As far as exact positions in top10, it should be interesting, especially top 3.

  2. Qually:
    1. Hamiltion
    2. Ricciardo
    3. Rosberg
    4. Vettel
    5. Verstappen
    6. Kvyat
    7. Raikkonen
    8. Sainz
    9. Perez
    10. Hulkenberg

    1. PĂ©rez.-
      FP1: 8, FP2: 8, FP3: 8
      Why 9? I think either Kvyat, Raikkonen or Sainz will be under. Not that all of this matters anyway

      1. I don’t know… spicing things up a bit. I think Sainz will try to be closer to Kvyat. As you said, it doesn’t matter :)

        1. Haha it’s going to be a closed one, midfield is getting more interesting these days. It is in my opinion were the right combination of a good car and a good driver makes the difference, much more than in the front.

          1. True. I actually even think that the guys in the midfield a lot hungrier. They want to get in the teams at the front, so they have to prove they are worthy every second they are out there on the track.

  3. I hope Vettel win this race, it looks like this is his last change because Redbull can only get better this year. Renault use only 3 token for Monaco. Ferrari is doomed.
    Autosport: TOKEN SPEND
    Ferrari 26 (6 remaining)
    Mercedes 21 (11 remaining)
    Honda 18 (14 remaining)
    Renault 11 (21 remaining)

    1. Well, Reanult spent only 3 tokens and gained 0.2 – 0.5s a lap. So 6 tokens could be plenty :)

      1. The same can be said about everyone else, Ferrari is chasing moving targets, it’s not helping now that they have the least amount of tokens left.

        1. Yeah, you are correct. I’m just trying to stay positive :)

  4. “Max Verstappen was fourth ” should be fifth.

  5. MG421982 (@)
    28th May 2016, 12:07

    Wanted to say this yesterday after FP1, but decided to wait and see what happens in the other sessions, not to jump into the wrong conclusions. Now that FP3 is over, I think we can conclude that Alonso is talking lots of trash… just to keep the moral high, to keep the hope alive, to leave Kimi the guy that says the fewest words etc etc. In case there was some doubt left, it’s gone completely now: 2016 McLaren chassis is worse than 2016 Ferrari chassis. The engine too. End of the story.

    1. McLaren, the sixth best chassis on the grid.

      1. No it’s one of the very best Ron said so.

  6. Omar R (@omarr-pepper)
    28th May 2016, 12:50

    I really hope this year starts to resemble 2009. It started with Brawn / Mercedes looking invulnerable but then RB made them be worried about losing the titles. Now we just need RB and Ferrari to spice things up. And Mercedes boys keeping each other nervous.

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