Daniel Ricciardo continued Red Bull’s superb form in Saturday’s final free practice, snatching the best time from team mate Max Verstappen after the latter crashed late in the session.
The Red Bull duo edged out the Ferrari combo of Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen, and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.
Monaco Grand Prix – Free Practice 3
Teams put their Friday changes through their paces in Formula 1’s final dress rehearsal before this afternoon’s all-important qualifying session.
It was a Ferrari 1-2 early on with Kimi Raikkonen leading Sebastian Vettel, with Mercedes’ duo snapping at the Scuderia heels while Red Bull’s chargers only completing installation laps in the first ten minutes of the 60-minute session.
Bottas had a moment early on, running down the escape road at Ste Devote but nudging the barrier with his rear wing as he spun around.
Raikkonen lowered the benchmark to 1m12.9 before Hamilton deposed the Finn at the top with a stint on the hypersoft rubber and a tour in 1m12.6s.
Vettel however took immediate revenge, putting Ferrari ahead once again by 0.2s.
After a cautious warm-up period, the Red Bulls got down to business with Ricciardo first lap putting him fast by 0.033s, a time that Verstappen quickly bettered.
The two drivers, outright favourites for this afternoon’s qualy, continued to swap best times, the Dutchman eventually dipping into the 1m11s.
As the two drivers enjoyed their own private party at the head of the field, Ferrari regrouped behind, with Vettel and Raikkonen edging out Hamilton and Bottas.
With just eight minutes remaining, drama ensued however when Verstappen hit the barrier at the right-hander Swimming Pool complex, putting himself out of the session and forcing a massive and hasty repair job on his Red Bull crew!
The incident brought out the red flags, but the session resumed with just three minutes of track time remaining.
That 180 seconds was all Ricciardo needed however to add a bit of salt on his tea mate’s wound as he beat Verstappen’s time by 0.001s!
A quartet of unexpected runners rounded off the top ten, with Brendon Hartley leading fellow Toro Rosso charger Pierre Gasly in P7 and P8, and Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin putting in a good effort to place his Williams tenth, just 0.004 s behind Renault’s Carlos Sainz.
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