Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2024

Leclerc quickest again in final Monaco practice, Verstappen under investigation

Formula 1

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Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in the final practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen under investigation by the stewards.

The Ferrari driver was a tenth of a second quicker than Verstappen in the session, with Lewis Hamiltonthird for Mercedes.

However Verstappen is being investigated by the stewards for allegedly driving unnecessarily slowly in the closing seconds of the session as he attempted to ensure he would reach the chequered flag.

Conditions could not have been more perfect in which for drivers to prepare their cars for the most critical qualifying session of the season. Temperatures sat in the low 20s Celsius with bright, clear skies and no risk of rain for the final hour of practice.

There was no great rush onto the circuit with just a handful of drivers opting to make early runs. Just 12 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas made an error through the exit of the Swimming Pool and hit the outside barrier. With broken right-front suspension, Bottas came to a stop at Rascasse, triggering a red flag.

When the session resumed, the bulk of the field took to the track to begin their runs in earnest. All but the Aston Martin duo Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso focused on the medium compound.

Once again, many drivers had to make use of the many escape roads around the circuit as they found the limits of their cars. Oscar Piastri ran off at Sainte Devote and had to perform a four-point turn to right the car, while Kevin Magnussen had an excursion at Mirabeau. Hamilton almost emulated Bottas by crashing at the exit of the Swimming Pool, but managed to avoid hitting the barrier.

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After setting the best time of Friday, Leclerc was again top of the times before posting a 1’11.369 to go six tenths quicker than team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr. Max Verstappen managed to improve to within two tenths of the Ferrari driver, but he warned his team he would be at risk of “being in the fence” if he continued to push at that level.

At the end of the session, Leclerc’s time was good enough to keep him fastest of all for the second consecutive session. Verstappen was second fastest in a sign of improvement for Red Bull, with Hamilton third for Mercedes. However, Verstappen was announced to be under investigation by the stewards for driving unnecessarily slowly in the closing seconds as he reduced his speed to a crawl on the grid to ensure he took the chequered flag.

Piastri was fourth-fastest ahead of Sergio Perez and George Russell, with Sainz six tenths slower than his pace-setting team mate in seventh. Lando Norris was eighth, but he and Russell will also visit the stewards regarding an impeding incident. Yuki Tsunoda and Fernando Alonso completed the top ten runners.

2024 Monaco Grand Prix third practice result

P. # Driver Team Model Time Gap
1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF-24 1’11.369
2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’11.566 0.197
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W15 1’11.710 0.341
4 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’11.901 0.532
5 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda RBPT RB20 1’11.923 0.554
6 63 George Russell Mercedes W15 1’11.968 0.599
7 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari SF-24 1’11.979 0.610
8 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes MCL38 1’11.988 0.619
9 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’11.991 0.622
10 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’12.087 0.718
11 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault A524 1’12.144 0.775
12 23 Alexander Albon Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’12.180 0.811
13 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’12.192 0.823
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari VF-24 1’12.216 0.847
15 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes AMR24 1’12.331 0.962
16 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault A524 1’12.472 1.103
17 2 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes FW46 1’12.703 1.334
18 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB-Honda RBPT 01 1’12.829 1.460
19 24 Zhou Guanyu Sauber-Ferrari C44 1’13.830 2.461
20 77 Valtteri Bottas Sauber-Ferrari C44 No time

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2024 Monaco Grand Prix

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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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9 comments on “Leclerc quickest again in final Monaco practice, Verstappen under investigation”

  1. Can someone explain why Verstappen wanted/needed to take the chequered flag?

    1. Same question here .
      If he gets a penalty its the first this year for driving slowly after dozens of infractions before by other drivers.

    2. I guess he & the team just wanted to avoid circling around an extra lap before getting to do practice start.

  2. Would really like to see this weekend turn out well for Leclerc. He is overdue a win, and what better place for him to do it!

    Sauber again adding a lot of value to F1…

    Unless Audi has decided to basically scrap that whole operation and slot in their own factory and personell, this adventure could turn into quite the slog for them.

  3. Anyone else not able to log in?

    1. Never mind.

      Even though it says i’m not logged in it seems I am?

      1. Same issue for me seems to be a site glitch

    2. It’s affecting everyone and if I hadn’t read on the forum that we can still post our comments by filling in name and email I wouldn’t even know I could post with the registered account, as I can never login until a comment is posted.

  4. It looked like Verstappen possibly slowed in the final corner to block the cars who had impeded him a couple of corners earlier as a bit of retribution. But the camera cut away just as it was happening so can’t be sure. Hope not, there have been a few instances of drivers acting as judge, jury and executioner in a few series now.

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