Lewis Hamilton was fastest again in a processional FP3 ahead of qualifying for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver was handed fastest lap by default after mechanical issues hampered team-mate Nico Rosberg’s run on the super-soft Pirelli compound at the close of the session. The German had been top of the timesheets by almost half a second ahead of the Englishman during the running on the harder, yellow-banded compound.
Running down the order it was clear that car performance has become even more of a factor this weekend than at previous races, with Ferrari, Force India, Toro Rosso, McLaren and Williams all running line-astern behind the Mercedes and Red Bull battle at the top; Daniel Ricciardo was 2nd fastest while Sebastian Vettel was 4th behind Rosberg.
Jules Bianchi turned in an impressive performance for Marussia on the super-soft tyres, finishing the session in 17th ahead of both Pastor Maldonado and Esteban Gutierrez in – theoretically – faster cars, as well as team-mate Max Chilton and both Caterham drivers.
Jean Eric Vergne caused a couple of late yellow flags when he ran off at St Devote before coming to a halt at Mirabeau, though by then the chequered flag was out and he was able to get restarted and continue.
Qualifying is at 13:00 GMT.
CLASSIFICATION – FP3 – Monaco Grand Prix 24th May 2014