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Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix 2024

Leclerc lays down qualifying marker in red-flagged Monaco FP3

The Ferrari driver is favourite for pole position after a blistering third practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Leclerc Monaco FP2
Article
To news overview © XPBimages

Charles Leclerc will enter qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix as favourite for pole position after a blistering display in a red-flagged third practice. 

Following on from topping FP2 on Friday, Leclerc immediately set the pace with a 1:12.521 effort on the soft tyres, but eventually whittled that down to a 1:11.369 to make him the leading contender to qualify on pole at his home race. 

His nearest challengers were Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton in second and third, although Leclerc held a comfortable two-tenths advantage over the Red Bull and nearly three-and-a-half over the Mercedes.

The session was briefly red-flagged in the early stages after Valtteri Bottas clipped the barrier on the exit of the Swimming Pool, coming to a stop at Rascasse.

Result Free practice 3 - Monaco

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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The first true lap of the session was set by Haas' Kevin Magnussen nine minutes in, with Mercedes' George Russell top at the time Bottas clipped the wall with his right front, leaving him unable to make it around Rascasse and back into the pits.

After a brief four-minute delay, the session resumed with Leclerc firmly on the hunt.

He posted a 1:12.521 to start, and gradually whittled that to a 1:12.242, 1:12.092, 1:11.977 before the final 1:11.369 that would see him top the session, being nearly 0.7s up on team-mate Carlos Sainz at the time he set the ultimate fastest lap.

After bouncing like a kangaroo on Friday, Verstappen had a better day but was affected by traffic on multiple laps, forcing him to abandon them. He is also facing a stewards' investigation for driving unnecessarily slowly.

Hamilton, fresh off an encouraging day for Mercedes, was forced to miss some running after a massive lock-up at Sainte Devote, finishing that set of tyres. A late flyer, though, put him into third, ahead of Oscar Piastri, Sergio Perez, Russell, Sainz and Lando Norris.

Yuki Tsunoda was best of the rest with FP2 P2 finisher Fernando Alonso rounding out the top 10 for Aston Martin.

			© XPBimages
	© XPBimages

As for the rest of the field, Pierre Gasly was 11th for Alpine, with Alex Albon a strong 12th for a Williams team who struggled with tyre wear on Friday.

Haas duo Nico Hulkenberg and Magnussen were 13th and 14th, ahead of Lance Stroll and Esteban Ocon - who suffered a big lock-up of his own at Turn 1.

Logan Sargeant bested 2018 Monaco winner Daniel Ricciardo for 17th as the Stake drivers again finished in the final two places - Zhou Guanyu ahead this time of Bottas who did not set a lap time.

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