Lance Stroll, Aston Martin, Monaco, 2021

Verstappen leads Ferrari pair as Schumacher shunt rules him out of qualifying

2021 Monaco Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen narrowly beat Carlos Sainz Jnr to the fastest time in final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Ferrari drivers were quick to set the fastest times, with Charles Leclerc initially ahead of Sainz. Verstappen was able to split their times, once Sainz gained the upper hand but did not manage to set a faster time than his former Toro Rosso team mate until the final minutes of the session.

Traffic was a significant problem during the session, as always in Monaco. Lando Norris came very close to colliding with Sainz at one point. Sainz was having difficulty hearing his team and did not realise Norris was coming up behind him. He apologised to his former team mate on his radio.

Having used more soft tyres on Thursday, Sergio Perez set a time on medium tyres during the first half of the session, which seemed to indicate just how fast Red Bull could be later. Encouragingly for the team, it put him ahead of a time set by Valtteri Bottas on soft tyres. Perez eventually set his quickest lap of the session on softs.

Mercedes seemed to struggle all session, unable to match the times set by Red Bull or Ferrari. Bottas was able to set fourth fastest time in the final moments of the session but Lewis Hamilton remained in seventh, behind Norris.

Verstappen ended the session on top
The world champion remarked on the team’s surprising lack of pace after his first run. “Half a second’s a lot of time,” Hamilton commented when informed of his deficit. “It looks like tyre surfaces are much cooler than we had on Thursday,” race engineer Pete Bonnington replied.

Nicholas Latifi had the first significant crash of the session, bringing out a red flag with 15 minutes remaining. He clipped the barrier going into swimming pool, then flew over a kerb to crash heavily on the exit.

Alpine did not look to have regained any of the pace they were lacking on Thursday, with Esteban Ocon slowest of all, behind both Haas and Williams cars and Fernando Alonso only able to set the fifteenth-fastest time.

The session was stopped with two minutes left to run after Mick Schumacher suffered a major crash at Casino. The Haas driver was unhurt, but the left-hand side of his car was extensive damaged.

“I don’t know what to say, I’m very sorry about that,” he said as the team began to reassure him. “I’m very, very, very, very, very sorry. Jesus.”

Haas confirmed following the session the extend of the damage was too severe for it to be repaired in time for the start of qualifying. It will therefore be up to the stewards to decide whether he takes part in the race. Williams also have a significant amount of work to complete for Latifi to participate in this afternoon’s session.

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2021 Monaco Grand Prix third practice result

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
133Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’11.29419
255Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’11.3410.04728
316Charles LeclercFerrari1’11.5520.25827
477Valtteri BottasMercedes1’11.7650.47121
511Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’11.8170.52318
64Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’11.9880.69420
744Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.0200.72620
87Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’12.2981.00425
910Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’12.3571.06328
105Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’12.5371.24324
1199Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’12.5391.24521
1218Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’12.7001.40622
133Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’12.9591.66525
1447Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’13.1391.84521
1514Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’13.3292.03519
169Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’13.3902.09620
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’13.4472.15329
186Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’13.4752.18122
1922Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’13.5222.22830
2031Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’13.6142.32018

Third practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’11.294

+0.047 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’11.341

+0.258 Charles Leclerc – 1’11.552

+0.471 Valtteri Bottas – 1’11.765

+0.523 Sergio Perez – 1’11.817

+0.694 Lando Norris – 1’11.988

+0.726 Lewis Hamilton – 1’12.020

+1.004 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’12.298

+1.063 Pierre Gasly – 1’12.357

+1.243 Sebastian Vettel – 1’12.537

+1.245 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’12.539

+1.406 Lance Stroll – 1’12.700

+1.665 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’12.959

+1.845 Mick Schumacher – 1’13.139

+2.035 Fernando Alonso – 1’13.329

+2.096 Nikita Mazepin – 1’13.390

+2.153 George Russell – 1’13.447

+2.181 Nicholas Latifi – 1’13.475

+2.228 Yuki Tsunoda – 1’13.522

+2.320 Esteban Ocon – 1’13.614

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

PosDriverCarFP1FP2FP3Fri/Sat diffTotal laps
1Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’12.6481’12.0811’11.294-0.78778
2Carlos Sainz JnrFerrari1’12.6061’11.7961’11.341-0.45584
3Charles LeclercFerrari1’19.6181’11.6841’11.552-0.13258
4Valtteri BottasMercedes1’13.1311’12.1071’11.765-0.34281
5Sergio PerezRed Bull-Honda1’12.4871’12.7081’11.817-0.6773
6Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1’13.2361’12.3791’11.988-0.39169
7Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.9951’12.0741’12.020-0.05475
8Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’14.0811’13.0651’12.298-0.76779
9Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri-Honda1’12.9291’12.4981’12.357-0.14186
10Sebastian VettelAston Martin-Mercedes1’13.7321’12.9821’12.537-0.44576
11Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’14.1061’12.7461’12.539-0.20770
12Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1’14.0901’13.1951’12.700-0.49574
13Daniel RicciardoMcLaren-Mercedes1’14.2811’13.2571’12.959-0.29883
14Mick SchumacherHaas-Ferrari1’14.8011’14.4161’13.139-1.27775
15Fernando AlonsoAlpine-Renault1’14.2051’13.1751’13.329+0.15475
16Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1’14.3201’13.1991’13.614+0.41577
17Nikita MazepinHaas-Ferrari1’14.6161’14.4071’13.390-1.01772
18George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’14.8401’13.5091’13.447-0.06289
19Nicholas LatifiWilliams-Mercedes1’14.2681’13.5931’13.475-0.11886
20Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda1’13.7461’14.8291’13.522-0.22479

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2021 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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20 comments on “Verstappen leads Ferrari pair as Schumacher shunt rules him out of qualifying”

  1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
    22nd May 2021, 12:04

    For once, I don’t see it happen that Mercedes manages to leakfrog their way to pole.
    So I guess if you say enough times that other teams are faster, it’s bound to be true at some point!

    Wouldn’t mind Leclerc snag pole during his home GP, altough looking at the calender it’ll probably be the only time this year they can have something to smile for.

    1. Maybe they won’t leapfrog P1, but they will be much closer to P1 than what was shown in FP3, they weren’t really pushing today, and most of the time have been driving behind some slower cars.

    2. Have you not watched past Monaco races? Mercedes is often not the fastest car here in hybrid era.

      1. Barry Bens (@barryfromdownunder)
        22nd May 2021, 13:20

        *2019 entered the chat*

        And no, the Red Bull wasn’t fastest then either.

      2. True, now I think about it, mercedes in qualifying wasn’t the fastest in 2016 (red bull), 2017 (ferrari), 2018 (red bull, then ferrari), and even in 2019 they basically won the race by having enough qualifying margin so that verstappen couldn’t qualify on the front row, verstappen had the fastest car in the race.

  2. I think this is the 9th consecutive FP3 that Verstappen finishes P1 right?

  3. How ironic that the Haas driver who’s hit walls this event isn’t the one everyone expected.

  4. Looks like Ferrari’s Friday-pace was indeed real and they seem to have a chance at a front-row start.
    I expect Verstappen to grab pole in the afternoon, but not by more than 0.2 ahead of the Ferraris.
    Mercedes really do seem to struggle around here. Regardless of laptime, the rear of the Mercs looked very lively and pretty difficult to control. They will be closer in qualifying, but it would surprise me, if they managed to get ahead of the Ferraris.

    1. *Thursday-pace of course =)

    2. Well, because of Latifi’s crash in the ‘Verstappen-corner’ (and then Mick), Mercedes didn’t really get a proper chance to run their final adjustments. I still don’t count them out for the front row. But yeah this looks like a Verstappen walk in the park so far.

      1. If he doesn’t crash and if he beats Ferrari. Monaco is said to be a pure drivers track, but Verstappen has never gone too well here over a whole weekend.

        1. No, he hasn’t but he can’t afford to make his usual mistakes around here. Max needs to win here.

      2. How is 0.05 a walk in the park?

        Ferrari looks really quick and usually Leclerc is quicker than Sainz so it will be a very interesting qualy.

        If Max can put it on pole he might be able to score good against Lewis this weekend

  5. #Thursday fp1 and fp2 commentators saying ‘its just practise’ in response to Ferraris pace, hope you learnt your lesson. In monaco all practise sessions are constant qualifying push laps by the drivers, qualifying position is the most important part of the weekend. Danny Ric, what is going on? He switches teams often so should be on-top of this car by now.

    1. We’ll see who’s learning what lesson when qualifying is actually over and not one session before. Hamilton’s best sectors aren’t much behind Leclerc’s. I’m betting Mercedes still don’t have everything dialed up.

    2. Well, they weren’t totally (most didn’t even pretend that), but VER is already ahead of Ferrari, so…..?!

    3. Let’s see how they line up on the grid first…

  6. I can’t remember anyone crashing at the corner where Schumacher went into the wall before, does somebody else?

  7. There he goes again. It’s only 14th place in third practice but he’s even managed to stay ahead of Alonso this time… Poor Mick can’t help it, something in his genes makes him crash near the end of sessions at Monaco.

    Someone close to a Ferrari says an RNA vaccine is in development, but until then Haas should take his wheels off with 10 mins to go…

  8. The “Fri/Sat diff” column, should be “Thur/Sat diff” for this weekend. :)

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