Results Third Free Practice 2023 Monaco GP
Weather: dry 27°C
Tarmac: dry 45°C
Wind: 1 km/h E
Pressure: 1017 bar
In a session of highs and lows, the third free practice session for the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix presented a spectacle for the fans and teams alike.
The session began with a quiet pit lane as the teams readied themselves for the crucial hour of qualifying preparation. Mercedes, having undergone significant changes to their car, were under the microscope as they debuted a new front wishbone structure, altered floor, and sidepods that markedly diverged from their previous sleek design. Despite the alterations, Lewis Hamilton appeared comfortable in the new-look vehicle and was optimistic about the data gathered.
Red Bull, on the other hand, had their strengths somewhat neutralized by the Monaco circuit's limited reliance on the Drag Reduction System (DRS). However, both drivers, including last year's winner Sergio Perez, maintained a cautious optimism regarding the track's compatibility with their car.
Early in the session, Alpine's Esteban Ocon faced a setback as his vehicle suffered a suspected mechanical failure, bringing the Frenchman's car to a halt in the tunnel and leaving the team with a potential issue to diagnose. Despite the setback, the session quickly resumed, with Sergio Perez setting the pace on the soft tyres. The Red Bull driver led the timing sheets with a lap of 1m 14.990s.
As the session reached its halfway mark, Ferrari's Charles Leclerc voiced concerns over his car's performance. The Monegasque driver was battling a twitchy vehicle, particularly apparent in the Swimming Pool chicane section. However, Leclerc's teammate, Carlos Sainz, and the Red Bull duo continued to set the pace, leading to a thrilling battle at the top of the timesheets.
Halfway the session all drivers had put in some laps on the soft compound tyres. The top 10 order at that ,moment was:
- Max Verstappen - 1:12.989
- Sergio Pérez +0.391
- Carlos Sainz +0.481
- Charles Leclerc +0.577
- Lewis Hamilton +0.654
- Fernando Alonso +0.799
- Esteban Ocon +1.085
- George Russell +1.107
- Lance Stroll +1.479
- Valtteri Bottas +1.491
The final quarter of the session was characterized by an increased sense of urgency as drivers began setting off for fast laps. Traffic became an issue, with both Fernando Alonso and Max Verstappen aborting their runs due to congestion. Despite this, Lando Norris managed to secure a fifth-place slot, and Lance Stroll improved to third following some suspension adjustments.
The session took a dramatic turn towards the end when Lewis Hamilton crashed his Mercedes at Mirabeau. A snap on corner entry led to a collision with the barriers, resulting in the deployment of the red flags. The incident left Hamilton's car requiring a new front wing at the very least.
Haas' Kevin Magnussen also encountered difficulties, reporting a lack of power before his car came to a halt at Portier. The marshals' swift response ensured the car was quickly moved off the track, allowing the session to continue.
With qualifying on the horizon, the teams will undoubtedly analyze the data collected during this session to fine-tune their cars and strategies. The question of who will take pole position remains open, adding to the excitement of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix weekend
The fastest sector times were:
Sector 1: 18.947 sec. by Hamilton
Sector 2: 34.276 sec. by Stroll
Sector 3: 19.296 sec. by Pérez
Last year's quickest lap time in FP3 was a 1:12,476 min, driven by Sergio Pérez in the Red Bull RB18.
FP3 Times Table 2023 Monaco GP
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:12,776||19||🔴S|
|2||11||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:12,849||+0,073s||24||🔴S|
|3||18||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:12,942||+0,166s||20||🔴S|
|10||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:13,521||+0,745s||20||🔴S|
|14||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||1:13,697||+0,921s||18||🔴S|
|16||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:13,772||+0,996s||20||🔴S|
|20||21||Nyck de Vries||AlphaTauri||1:14,187||+1,411s||24||🔴S|
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