Monaco GP: Nico Rosberg blitzes messy final practice

Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg completed his clean sweep of Monaco Grand Prix practice session top spots by leading a crash-strewn hour on Saturday morning

Monaco GP: Nico Rosberg blitzes messy final practice

The German's 1m14.378s lap was nearly seven tenths of a second clear of the rest of the field, although the latter part of the session was interrupted by crashes for Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean and Adrian Sutil, causing two red flags.

Massa's accident was the first and the biggest.

He locked up his Ferrari's front wheels at the start of the Sainte Devote braking area, slamming into the barriers on the left-hand side approaching the corner before going into the wall on the outside of the turn. The Brazilian got out unhurt.

NEWS UPDATE: Massa gets gearbox penalty after crash

Shortly after the restart, Sutil lost control of his Force India through Massenet, sliding sideways into the wall.

That did not require a stoppage to clear up, and in the gap between incidents that followed, Grosjean was one of the few to get a quick time in, jumping to second.

But on his final run the Lotus driver braked too late into Sainte Devote after possibly being distracted by Lewis Hamilton's Mercedes rejoining from the pits.

Grosjean slid sideways into the barriers in a repeat of his Thursday crash.

With only a minute of the session remaining, the red flag brought the morning to a close.

Rosberg managed to get a sublime lap in between the shunts, moving comfortably clear of the field despite clouting the barrier at Portier as he got his Mercedes sideways out of the corner.

Grosjean retained second, ahead of Sebastian Vettel - who had been quickest before the field switched to super-softs, but encountered traffic on a potentially quick late run.

Fernando Alonso's Ferrari and Hamilton completed the top five.

Kimi Raikkonen had a harmless trip down the Mirabeau escape road before taking sixth, followed by Mark Webber, Paul di Resta, Pastor Maldonado and Nico Hulkenberg.

 Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m14.378s 22 2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m15.039s + 0.661s 13 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m15.261s + 0.883s 17 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m15.286s + 0.908s 17 5. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m15.311s + 0.933s 20 6. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m15.380s + 1.002s 19 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m15.550s + 1.172s 20 8. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m15.594s + 1.216s 17 9. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m15.861s + 1.483s 15 10. Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1m15.926s + 1.548s 25 11. Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.958s + 1.580s 23 12. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.976s + 1.598s 19 13. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m15.976s + 1.598s 21 14. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.060s + 1.682s 16 15. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m16.068s + 1.690s 12 16. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m16.105s + 1.727s 8 17. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m16.427s + 2.049s 26 18. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1m16.933s + 2.555s 17 19. Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1m17.902s + 3.524s 20 20. Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1m18.102s + 3.724s 20 21. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1m18.706s + 4.328s 22 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.228s + 4.850s 22 
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