Max fourth in final free practice in Monaco

Published on 25 May 2019 by Mike Motilall

Max Verstappen came in fourth fastest during the final free practice in the run up to the Monaco Grand Prix. On the 3,340 meter long street circuit of Monte Carlo, Charles Leclerc was the quickest in his Ferrari, followed by Mercedes-drivers Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton, who were second and third respectively. Max’ team mate Pierre Gasly rounded up the session fifth quickest.

There is an overcast and it is some twenty degrees when the third free practice gets underway. There is a 40% chance of rain during the session, which means the teams waste no time in getting out on track. Lando Norris is the first to take charge of matters. Meanwhile at Mercedes they are frantically working on the front of Hamilton’s car. George Russell is the first driver to get a timed lap after well over five minutes. Despite the threat of rain, it remains quite calm in the early stages of the session.

The problems for reigning world champion Hamilton are not quite over when he heads out for his first run. The Briton reports on the radio that there are vibration at the front. After some fifteen minutes, both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing-drivers make it to the track. Bottas is dominating the leaderboard ahead of the Ferraris of Sebastian Vettel and Leclerc. Vettel outbrakes himself moments later turning in at Sainte Devote and ends up in the barriers. He triggers a virtual safety car. This wraps things up for the German.

When the track is cleared again, Max puts his RB15 on P3 behind of both Mercedes. Moments later, that even turns to P2 for the youngster, after two green and one purple sector. Gasly moves up to fourth behind of Bottas. Race Control, mean while, issues an ‘under investigation’ for Leclerc for a possible breach of the rules during the virtual safety car period.

With still twenty minutes to go, Leclerc moves up to P1. Both Red Bulls, dropped to P4 and P5 by now, are still in the garage. With fifteen minutes remaining on the clock, Max heads out on a new set of the softs. Gasly follows suit. The Frenchman also has a new set of the softs strapped on to his RB15. Max is able to better his time but unfortunately there is no gain. After cooling down one lap, he digs in and again manages to better his time and once more fails to gain a position. The deficit to Leclerc is barely three tenths.

In the closing stages we don’t see any changes at the front of the field and with that the session comes to an end.

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Results third free practice Monaco:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:11.265 26
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:11.318+0.053s27
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:11.478+0.213s27
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:11.539+0.274s24
5Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:11.738+0.473s27
6Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:12.170+0.905s23
7Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:12.194+0.929s27
8Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:12.270+1.005s25
9Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:12.308+1.043s27
10Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:12.338+1.073s32
11Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:12.489+1.224s26
12Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:12.519+1.254s26
13Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:12.566+1.301s27
14Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:12.583+1.318s7
15Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:12.862+1.597s29
16Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:12.914+1.649s26
17Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:13.232+1.967s23
18Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:13.622+2.357s21
19Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:14.086+2.821s27
20George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:14.305+3.040s27