Leclerc Dominates FP3 Hamilton Close Behind

Leclerc Leads Monaco FP3, Verstappen Trails


Leclerc dominated FP3 in Monaco, maintaining his strong form ahead of qualifying, with Verstappen and Hamilton close behind, setting up an intense battle for pole position.

Formula 1 drivers took to the track one last time before qualifying in Monaco, preparing for the high-wire act of setting the grid for tomorrow’s race in the Principality.

George Russell immediately noted that the steering of his Mercedes W15 felt “very different compared to yesterday. The vibrations are gone, which is obviously very good. It’s slightly lighter turning left and a bit heavier turning right.”

After an initial run without setting times, the drivers returned to the pits. The first to re-emerge did so on soft tyres, with FP3 serving as a qualifying simulation for this afternoon’s session.

Kevin Magnussen set the first time of the morning at 1:14.683, far off the previous day’s pace. The Mercedes drivers then returned to the track, with Lewis Hamilton clocking a 1:14.104.

Valtteri Bottas hit the barrier exiting the Swimming Pool section, breaking his right front wheel. The Stake F1 driver went straight on at La Rascasse with a damaged front end, forcing him to stop as he couldn’t turn.

The red flag was shown to clear the stricken Sauber C44 from the track. The session resumed with just over 40 minutes remaining, a significant loss of running time for Bottas.

Bottas’ engineer had informed him shortly before his crash that the track was “half a second slower than in FP2.” Indeed, Russell improved but only managed a 1:13.988, well off the previous day’s 1:11 times.

Fernando Alonso was the only driver to venture out on medium tyres, placing eighth behind Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon. Nico Hülkenberg set the fastest time with a 1:13.652. Max Verstappen clocked the fifth-fastest time, half a second behind the German.

Russell Improves as Hamilton Goes Straight at Sainte Devote

Russell improved his time just as Hamilton went straight on at Sainte Devote, ruining a set of soft tyres. Oscar Piastri took the lead with a 1:12.875. Charles Leclerc moved to provisional fourth, with the Alpine drivers and Logan Sargeant also improving.

Verstappen’s lap was hindered by traffic, while Leclerc secured the second-fastest time, just a tenth behind Piastri. Lando Norris recorded his first fast lap to take fifth, and Carlos Sainz claimed third. Hülkenberg then improved to fifth.

Verstappen bettered his time to climb to second, while Leclerc went faster with a 1:12.521. Norris progressed to set the sixth-fastest time, and Sainz moved up to fourth. Piastri went straight on at Sainte Devote.

Alex Albon advanced to fifth, and Verstappen improved but remained third. Magnussen moved up to fifth, and Norris recorded the fourth-fastest time. Piastri did not improve.

Yuki Tsunoda placed within five thousandths of Leclerc, who further improved to 1:12.242. Verstappen set the best first sector time but couldn’t improve in the remaining sectors, placing second, two-tenths behind Leclerc. Albon reclaimed fifth.

Leclerc Improves Again with 1:12.092, Verstappen Trails by 0.299s

Leclerc continued to improve with a 1:12.092, and Verstappen closed in to 0.299 seconds behind. His engineer noted it was a solid lap, and the Dutchman hinted at the limits of his performance: “I know where I can gain time and where it’s not possible. We know why.” Red Bull had mentioned that the RB20’s design was more to blame for the handling issues in Monaco than the car’s setup.

Sainz set the second-fastest time, securing the third-best sector overall. Leclerc kept improving, achieving a 1:11.977. Tsunoda moved up to fourth, just ahead of the McLarens of Piastri and Norris.

Russell claimed the fastest first sector and secured second place. Albon advanced to seventh, and Alonso finally switched to soft tyres. The Spaniard set the fastest second sector and placed second, just 0.110 seconds behind Leclerc.

Despite strong laps, Albon was concerned about tyre wear: “We don’t know what we’re doing with the front tyres, they’re dead very early in the lap.” Sainz improved, coming within two-thousandths of a second of Leclerc.

Pérez only managed tenth, beaten by Sargeant. Magnussen climbed to fifth. Leclerc put in a blistering lap, improving by more than half a second to 1:11.369! Verstappen improved but could only manage fourth, seven-tenths behind Leclerc.

Tsunoda also improved but missed out in the final sector, staying tenth. Piastri moved up to fifth with just over ten minutes remaining. Times continued to improve, with Hamilton moving up to third.

Sainz couldn’t improve, but Norris climbed to fifth. The Brit was impeded by Russell exiting the tunnel, and the incident was noted by the stewards. Norris then moved up to third.

Tsunoda secured fourth. Among the French drivers, Gasly was eighth, while Esteban Ocon couldn’t improve on his provisional 16th time. Verstappen climbed to second, 0.589 seconds behind Leclerc.

Piastri was slightly hindered in the first sector but lost only two-tenths in the second, where Verstappen lost four. The Australian took second place. Russell also improved, setting the fourth-fastest time.

Verstappen set the fastest first sector but again lost time in the second and third sectors. The Dutchman still managed to secure second, 0.197 seconds behind Leclerc.

Hamilton Improves to Third, 0.341s Behind Leclerc

Hamilton improved to third place, 0.341 seconds off Leclerc. Verstappen set a quicker first sector on his final timed lap but lost time again in the second sector and was hindered in the third.

Hamilton couldn’t improve further, while Pérez moved up to fifth. The stewards noted an incident involving Verstappen, who drove too slowly, potentially when he was hindered and then blocked the drivers who had impeded him.

Leclerc finished the session on top, ahead of Verstappen and Hamilton. Piastri and Pérez followed, with the latter not satisfied: “We’ve got a lot of work to do; the car is nowhere.” Russell was next, ahead of Sainz, Norris, Tsunoda, and Alonso.

Gasly just missed the top 10, followed by Albon and the Haas drivers, then Stroll and Ocon. Sargeant, Ricciardo, and the Stake F1 drivers rounded out the standings, experiencing a challenging weekend in Monaco.

01Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:11.36926
02Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:11.56627
03Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:11.71025
04Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:11.90125
05Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:11.92324
06George RussellMercedes W151:11.96833
07Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:11.97926
08Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:11.98824
09Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:11.99127
10Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:12.08725
11Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:12.14426
12Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:12.18024
13Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:12.19224
14Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:12.21631
15Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:12.33125
16Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:12.47225
17Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:12.70321
18Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:12.82928
19Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:13.83028
20Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C44– :—.—2

Leclerc Dominates FP3 Hamilton Close Behind. Leclerc Dominates FP3 Hamilton Close Behind f1 2024 Leclerc Dominates FP3 Hamilton Close Behind

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