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2016 Monaco GP: Ferrari's Vettel fastest in 3rd practice

2016-05-28 12:38

VETTEL GOES FASTEST: Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel blindsided both Red Bull's cars and set the fastest lap for third practice of the 2016 Monaco GP. Image: AP / Mark Baker

Monaco — Sebastian Vettel gave Ferrari a welcome boost by setting the fastest time in the third and final practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix ahead of qualifying later Saturday.

The four-times Formula 1 champion twice clipped the barriers in Thursday's practice, but this time the German driver made the most of clear traffic to clock 1min14.65 seconds in sunny conditions.

Only fifteen hundredths separated the top four, with F1 champion Lewis Hamilton second quickest ahead of Mercedes  Nico Rosberg and Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Teen driver Max Verstappen damaged the front wing of his Red Bull late in the session as he clattered against a barrier and finished fifth quickest.

Teen driver Max Verstappen damaged the front wing of his Red Bull late in the session as he clattered against a barrier and finished fifth quickest.

The 18-year-old Verstappen became the youngest F1 race winner when he won in Spain two weeks ago.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz was seventh in the second Toro Rosso, just behind his new team mate who once again showed a dogged determination to shine after his demotion.

Mexican Sergio Perez was eighth for Force India ahead of Finn Kimi Raikkonen in the second Ferrari and German Nico Hulkenberg in the second Force India.

The session was run in warm and dry conditions under a blue sky, but continued to produce incidents with a succession of drivers sliding down escape roads before Dutchman Verstappen hit the barriers at Massenet after locking up.

His right front section of the Red Bull car was damaged, but he managed to return to the pits and re-appeared after repairs in the closing seconds.

Vettel also experienced a big 'moment' when he lost control of his car at the chicane, but without damage. "I lost the car massively under braking," he told the Ferrari team. "Didn't touch anything, but can you have a look?"

His speed on his best lap did not match Ricciardo's lap on Thursday, but augured well for qualifying later on Saturday when the top teams will fight for pole position in what promises to be a very closely-fought battle.

In this session, the top seven cars - including four from the Red Bull stable - were separated by less than seven-tenths of a second and the top four by less than two-tenths. - AFP 


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