Daniel Ricciardo quickest as Max Verstappen crashes out of final practice
Monaco Grand Prix - FP3

Daniel Ricciardo quickest as Max Verstappen crashes out of final practice

Red Bull face a race against time to repair Max Verstappen's car for qualifying at the Monaco Grand prix after he hit the barriers at the Swimming Pool chicane while attempting to set a new lap record in final practice.

Verstappen walked away from the accident unharmed, but teammate Daniel Ricciardo further dented the Dutchman's pride by beating him to the fastest time of the session by just 0.001s. Verstappen had held the quickest time for much of the session, after setting a new lap record early on, but as he tried to extend his lead further on a fresh set of hyper-soft tyres he committed one of the cardinal sins of Monaco by damaging his car just two hours before the all-important qualifying session.

Verstappen made the mistake in the second part of the Swimming Pool chicane, but appeared to be put off his stride in the first part when he closed in on Carlos Sainz's Renault at an alarming rate. The Renault just got out of Verstappen's way in time but moments later the Red Bull driver had to pick his braking and turn in point for the second part of the chicane and clipped the barrier on the inside. That broke his front right suspension and launched the car over the large kerb on the second part of the chicane before burying the front end in the barriers.

The front wing and front right suspension were decimated but the more crucial area of importance will be the rear after the right rear suspension, which connects to the gearbox, slapped against the barrier. The crash adds extra pressure to Verstappen, who has been involved in an incident or damaged his car at some point in all of the first six race weekends this season. The crash also happened at exactly the same point of the track where he crashed in the first session of qualifying two years ago.

If the car can be repaired in time, Verstappen looks set to be in a straight fight for pole with teammate Ricciardo. The Red Bulls were the only two cars to break into the 1:11s, with Ricciardo setting a new lap record of 1:11.786. Ferrari will unlock a bit more power for qualifying, but it's unlikely to make up the 0.237s deficit to the Red Bull's, which is mainly down to the prowess of the RB14 chassis around this tight street circuit.

Kimi Raikkonen was a further tenth of a second adrift in the second Ferrari but ahead of Mercedes drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, who look set to be forced to settle for the third row of the grid with a 0.5s deficit to Ricciardo's best time. The Toro Rossos finished sixth and seventh with Brendon Hartley leading teammate Pierre Gasly in an impressive turn of form from the Honda-powered car. Sainz was ninth fastest for Renault ahead of another impressive lap from Williams driver Sergey Sirotkin in tenth.

Stoffel Vandoorne was 11th fastest in the McLaren but only a little over a tenth of a second off Hartley, underlining how close the battle in the midfield will be. The Force Indias were a further tenth off the pace but ahead of Nico Hulkenberg and Fernando Alonso, who will both be looking to vault into the top ten in qualifying given the pace of their teammates further up the order.

Lance Stroll was 16th fastest in the second Williams ahead of the Haas and Sauber drivers, which made up the bottom four places in the standings.

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