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Monaco Grand Prix 2021

Verstappen tops the final practice session for the 2021 F1 Monaco Grand Prix

Max Verstappen found form at just the right time finishing first in the final practice session for the 2021 Monaco Grand Prix. His F1 title rival Lewis Hamilton finished a distant seventh.

Verstappen Monaco
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To news overview © Getty Images/Red Bull Contentpool

Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped the final practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix with his title rival Lewis Hamilton struggling for pace and ultimately finishing seventh.

A gloomy day greeted the drivers with much cooler track temperatures and the possibility of rain adding a few more variables for both drivers and teams to consider. The session got off to a slow start with Alfa Romeo pair Kimi Raikkonen and Antonio Giovinazzi getting the ball rolling.

FP2 pacesetter Charles Leclerc made his way out onto the circuit at approximately the 10-minute mark, though with the cooler conditions the drivers elected to bring their tyres up to temperature gradually taking several laps to find their rhythm. Leclerc though went to the top of the timesheets setting a time of 1.12.633 almost a full second off his FP2 time.

The Ferrari pair traded best times with Carlos Sainz briefly heading the timesheets before being displaced by Leclerc once again. Red Bull's Max Verstappen, who to some degree has been struggling with traffic the entire weekend went third, though he was over eight tenths slower than the Monegasque driver.

Mexican driver Sergio Perez who topped the first practice session went quicker than his teammate running the medium compound tyre one of only four other drivers to do so. The surprise of the session so far was Giovinazzi who found himself running sixth at the 20 minute mark.

Verstappen finally managed to get a clean lap, lighting up the timesheets for a few seconds before Leclerc once again asserted his dominance before the Dutchman set the fastest lap time of the weekend so far, a 1.11.485. The Mercedes pair of Valtteri Bottas and Lewis Hamilton took a lackadaisical approach to the session, though their progression wouldn't be as rapid as one might expect. Sainz would then pip Verstappen by a tenth setting a time of 1.11.452 on his 15th lap of the session.

The 30-minute mark saw a bit of a lull in the session with Mick Schumacher the only driver out on track. The Haas driver was 19th, though given his equipment the German's performance was understandable.

Williams driver George Russell seemed to be struggling around the Monte Carlos race track setting a lap time two-tenths off his teammate Nicholas Latifi. On the other end of the spectrum, Hamilton complained about oversteer, especially with the rear end, which seemed to account for his poor performance in the session so far.

With about 17 minutes to go Latifi slammed into the wall at the Swimming Pool complex bringing out the red flag. The biggest losers from this development were the Mercedes drivers who were hoping the final part of the session would offer them some insight into the setup changes made to the W12.

The session restarted with 12 minutes left with the cars lining up at the end of the pitlane. with everyone rushing to get their final laps before qualifying in, the drivers faced a significant chance of being blocked by traffic.

Perez was one of the victims, being sandwiched by the Ferrari pair, though the Mexican ultimately went fourth. His teammate Verstappen on the other hand went quickest of all setting a time of 1.11.294, beating Sainz by .047 of a second.

The session was brought to a premature end once again with Schumacher clobbering into the wall for the second time this weekend. The Haas driver faces a monumental race against time to make the qualifying session. This meant the Red Bull driver ended the session in first with Ferrari's Sainz and Leclerc continuing the team's good form.

The final running order read, Verstappen, Sainz, Leclerc, Bottas, Perez, Lando Norris, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Pierre Gasly and Sebastian Vettel making up the top 10.

Result Free practice 3 - Monaco

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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