Montoya Fastest in Practice 3 - Monaco

Juan Pablo Montoya continued McLaren's strong form ahead of Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix when he finished fastest in Saturday's first practice as the teams returned to the track after their rest day on Friday

Montoya Fastest in Practice 3 - Monaco

Montoya, who is still fighting back after missing two races with a shoulder injury, traded fastest laps with teammate Kimi Raikkonen through most of the session as their rivals from Renault stayed in the pits.

But Renault came out late in the session to make their mark as Giancarlo Fisichella, who has been upstaged by teammate Fernando Alonso so far this year, hit the top only for Montoya to pip him in the dying seconds.

Montoya's time of 1:16.197 put him 0.206 seconds clear of Fisichella with Toyota driver Ralf Schumacher third, 0.311 seconds behind his old Williams teammate Montoya.

Fernando Alonso finished fourth fastest in the second Renault while Ferrari-driving World Champion Michael Schumacher bumped Raikkonen down to sixth as he secured fifth fastest time 0.606 seconds off the lead pace.

Nick Heidfeld was the fastest Williams driver in seventh with David Coulthard eighth for Red Bull, Rubens Barrichello ninth in the second Ferrari and Mark Webber putting the second Williams into tenth.

Early morning cloud cloaked the tops of the tall mountains around the harbourside circuit and despite the sun breaking through temperatures remained low with a maximum of 21 degrees Celsius.

Vitantonio Liuzzi went top for Red Bull early on but he was soon beaten by Raikkonen, who set a time of 1:19.620 to go fastest then went even quicker with a time of 1:18.958.

He was bumped down by Ralf Schumacher and Montoya as the session headed past the halfway point but he then moved the benchmark further towards the previous practice times before Montoya beat him once again.

Coulthard then went ahead with 15 minutes to go then Alonso, on his first run out the garage, snatched the top spot with a lap of 1:16.951 but the times continued to fall and Fisichella eventually took the top spot.

Heidfeld made a mistake at turn one and went up the escape road, but was able to swing his car round and return to the track, while Felipe Massa, of Sauber, was the only driver who failed to turn a timed lap in the session.

Pos  Driver        Team                  Time                  Laps
 1.  Montoya       McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:16.197               16
 2.  Fisichella    Renault           (M)  1:16.403  +    0.206   12
 3.  R.Schumacher  Toyota            (M)  1:16.508  +    0.311   16
 4.  Alonso        Renault           (M)  1:16.513  +    0.316   12
 5.  M.Schumacher  Ferrari           (B)  1:16.803  +    0.606   14
 6.  Raikkonen     McLaren-Mercedes  (M)  1:16.875  +    0.678   15
 7.  Heidfeld      Williams-BMW      (M)  1:16.935  +    0.738   12
 8.  Coulthard     Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:17.180  +    0.983   13
 9.  Barrichello   Ferrari           (B)  1:17.475  +    1.278   12
10.  Webber        Williams-BMW      (M)  1:18.065  +    1.868    8
11.  Trulli        Toyota            (M)  1:18.215  +    2.018   12
12.  Liuzzi        Red Bull-Cosworth (M)  1:18.259  +    2.062   15
13.  Villeneuve    Sauber-Petronas   (M)  1:18.640  +    2.443    9
14.  Friesacher    Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:19.271  +    3.074   13
15.  Monteiro      Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:20.215  +    4.018   15
16.  Karthikeyan   Jordan-Toyota     (B)  1:20.348  +    4.151   18
17.  Albers        Minardi-Cosworth  (B)  1:21.563  +    5.366   18
18.  Massa         Sauber-Petronas   (M)  No Time                  

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