Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Monaco, 2023

Verstappen heads Red Bull one-two as Hamilton crash ends final practice

2023 Monaco Grand Prix third practice

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Max Verstappen led Red Bull team mate Sergio Perez in final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton crashed his Mercedes in the final minutes.

The world champion was just under a tenth of a second quicker than Perez with Lance Stroll third for Aston Martin. Hamilton crashed into the barriers at Mirabeau in the final minutes, striking the barrier with his W14’s front-left wheel.

With just a single hour of practice before the most crucial qualifying session of the season, the third and final practice session was teams’ final chase to tune their cars. Despite that, there was not a particular rush of cars out onto the circuit – save for the Aston Martin drivers of Stroll and Fernando Alonso heading out to scrub sets of medium tyres.

Eventually the Red Bull of Perez and the Alpine pair of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly took to the track on soft tyres, with Perez completing the first timed lap of the day – a 1’15.641. Ocon briefly came to a halt in the middle of the tunnel, complaining of a loss of power on his car. He managed to get the car going again and recover to the pits without any need to stop the session.

More cars began to trickle out onto the circuit, including the two Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jnr on soft tyres. Sainz was the quicker of the pair on their first flying laps, with Stroll and Valtteri Bottas splitting the two Ferraris. Perez improved to go under the 1’15 mark for the first time, before Lando Norris moved to the top of the times with a 1’14.905.

Perez shaved six tenths off his personal best time to retake the top spot, but that was easily beaten by Verstappen who posted a 1’13.794 on his first flying lap of the day to go instantly to the top of the times. That was until Alonso replaced him with a lap almost a tenth of a second quicker than the Red Bull driver, but still comfortably slower than the ultimate pace from Friday.

The two Red Bulls retook the top two positions with Verstappen lowering his time to a 1’13.583 – just four-thousandths of a second quicker than his team mate. Sainz moved to third with team mate Leclerc improving to fourth, despite the hometown driver complaining of having “no control” over his car.

Around half an hour into the session, teams began to bring their cars back into the garages to prepare for their qualifying simulation runs towards the end of the hour. Eventually the track became busy once more with around 15 minutes remaining. Despite heading out on fresh soft tyres, most of those at the top of the times struggled to find any time improvement.

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Further flying laps were ruined when Kevin Magnussen went off into the run off at Sainte Devote, bringing out the yellow flags. Despite recovering out of the run off, Magnussen eventually stopped his Haas on track on the approach to Portier, bringing out a Virtual Safety Car as the marshals removed his stricken car.

The green flags flew once the car was cleared, but with only five minutes remaining Hamilton locked up on the way into Mirabeau while passing Alexander Albon’s Williams, and crashed into the outside barrier. The session was red-flagged with Hamilton’s Mercedes stranded on the circuit and with only a handful of minutes remaining, the session was not resumed.

That ensured Verstappen would end practice fastest for the second consecutive session with team mate Perez less than a tenth behind. Stroll was third for Aston Martin ahead of Sainz, Norris and Gasly. Leclerc was seventh in the second Ferrari with Hamilton eighth despite crashing. Ocon and Bottas completed the top ten.

2023 Monaco Grand Prix third practice result

Position Number Driver Team Model Time Gap Laps
1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB19 1’12.776 19
2 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB19 1’12.849 0.073 24
3 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR23 1’12.942 0.166 20
4 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-23 1’13.261 0.485 20
5 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL60 1’13.396 0.620 21
6 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A523 1’13.453 0.677 24
7 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-23 1’13.475 0.699 19
8 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W14 1’13.486 0.710 17
9 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A523 1’13.496 0.720 18
10 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C43 1’13.521 0.745 20
11 63 George Russell Mercedes W14 1’13.590 0.814 18
12 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-23 1’13.624 0.848 13
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari VF-23 1’13.650 0.874 16
14 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR23 1’13.697 0.921 18
15 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT AT04 1’13.738 0.962 21
16 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo-Ferrari C43 1’13.772 0.996 20
17 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW45 1’13.851 1.075 19
18 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW45 1’13.930 1.154 23
19 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL60 1’13.998 1.222 18
20 21 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT AT04 1’14.187 1.411 24

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2023 Monaco Grand Prix

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Author information

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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11 comments on “Verstappen heads Red Bull one-two as Hamilton crash ends final practice”

  1. Oh Lewis fined for speeding in pit lane then binning it🙄

  2. Didn’t see a single full lap onboard all through FP1,FP2 and FP3. Are the broadcasters now deliberately trying to get people to subscribe to Sky’s onboard services?

    1. Monaco tv directing is no longer in the hands of Monaco so it might be a bit different this year. We might see more of the action if there is any.

      Sky has no control over the on track feed, they just love to plug their services as if it’s unique. 😆

    2. @Evans A world feed thing, but nothing extraordinary.

  3. What a mess towards the end. K-Mag should’ve/could’ve simply turned around the car with full-lock, given the space available to make rejoining easier, while Hamilton’s error was weird.
    The car recovery with a high crane was slightly sketchy, but at least that gave meme opportunities.

    1. After all the money Mercedes spent re-doing the car, Ham has a minor off, and exposes what millions of Mercedes dollars has developed. And this didnt cost the other teams a dime! Nice going Ham, sharing the secrets for free!

  4. 2014 Nico is laughing at that crash.

    1. Still laughing that he got away with cheating

  5. Sir has always been in love with cranes

  6. Factor in for Alonso’s age (42 in July) and he’s on pole by two and a half tenths.

  7. Max cant be human, thatt last sector pull was insane.

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