Monaco Grand Prix: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice

Ferrari Formula 1 driver Sebastian Vettel was quickest again in the Saturday morning practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend

Monaco Grand Prix: Vettel leads Ferrari one-two in final practice

The four-time F1 champion ended the hour-long session 0.345 seconds clear of team-mate Kimi Raikkonen in a Ferrari one-two.

Just like both of Thursday's practice sessions, the ultra-soft-dominated practice three provided another fastest-ever lap of the Monte Carlo track, Vettel's 1m12.395s a three-tenth improvement on his own previous record.

After an initial flood of installation laps in the opening minutes, Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was first of the frontrunners to kick off a proper run, the Finn quickly establishing himself at the top of the timesheets.

But compatriot Raikkonen's first effort dethroned Bottas immediately, the Ferrari man posting a 1m13.568s as Bottas himself then came up 0.053s short.

Despite causing a brief yellow flag as he stopped just short of the barriers at Antony Noghes, Raikkonen lowered the session benchmark further with his next proper effort - a 1m13.379s.

Lewis Hamilton briefly returned Mercedes to the top spot, but was relegated behind the two Ferraris in no time, Vettel now edging ahead of Raikkonen via a 1m12.890s lap.

The other Mercedes of Bottas was shuffled down even further at the conclusion of his first run, with the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and the Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat splitting the two Silver Arrows.

As the session passed its halfway point, Verstappen broke up Ferrari's one-two at the top of the timing screens, lapping 0.050s off Vettel 12 laps into his ultra-soft stint.

But Ferrari was soon back in formation at the front, Vettel finally beating Thursday's best lap with a 1m12.558s effort a few seconds after Raikkonen had overtaken him and Verstappen.

Vettel then went even quicker, stringing together three purple sectors for a 1m12.395s - and going just 0.003s slower with his next flying lap.

By that point, Mercedes now had its first sub-1m13s lap of Monaco courtesy of Bottas, who emerged as best of the rest behind the Ferraris heading into the final few minutes.

But the running in what had been a largely incident-free session was then disrupted when Esteban Ocon hit the guardrail on the entry to the Swimming Pool section, damaging his Force India's right-front suspension and going nose-first into the barriers.

This triggered a virtual safety car as the Force India was removed from the track, leaving less than four minutes for those seeking to do a last-gasp qualifying run.

Improvements were few and far between in the hectic final minutes, leaving Ferrari with a comfortable one-two out front.

Bottas took third ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton, with Daniel Ricciardo in sixth after a suspected brake failure at the chequered flag left him stranded at the escape road at Sainte Devote.

Toro Rosso maintained its strong form from Thursday, Carlos Sainz Jr leading team-mate Kvyat in seventh.

Haas driver Kevin Magnussen, who had drawn the ire of Ocon for holding him up in the final sector, was ninth, while McLaren's Stoffel Vandoorne made up the top 10.

PRACTICE THREE RESULTS:

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m12.395s - 23
2 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m12.740s 0.345s 26
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m12.830s 0.435s 29
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m12.940s 0.545s 27
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m13.230s 0.835s 27
6 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m13.392s 0.997s 24
7 Carlos Sainz Jr. Toro Rosso/Renault 1m13.400s 1.005s 27
8 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m13.563s 1.168s 23
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m13.596s 1.201s 21
10 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m13.805s 1.410s 21
11 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m13.936s 1.541s 23
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m13.976s 1.581s 26
13 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m14.072s 1.677s 21
14 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m14.072s 1.677s 28
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m14.283s 1.888s 24
16 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m14.547s 2.152s 23
17 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m14.675s 2.280s 35
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m15.164s 2.769s 25
19 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m15.291s 2.896s 29
20 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m15.863s 3.468s 26


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