After a day of rest yesterday, the Formula One grid returned to the tight streets of Monaco for the final practice of the Monaco Grand Prix. Sebastian Vettel picked up where he left off on Thursday and set the fastest lap of practice, leading Ferrari to a comfortable one-two finish.
The ultra-soft was the tyre to be on and dominated the final hour of practice as the teams got the cars set up for qualifying. Vettel went fastest with a 1:12.395, three-tenths faster than his teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
From the beginning of the session, Ferrari was on top. Valtteri Bottas set the initial pace but it took Raikkonen one lap to demote his compatriot to second by 0.053 seconds. He improved on this lap time on his second attempt.
By the time the chequered flag came out, Bottas had managed to get back to third behind the Ferraris, 0.435 seconds off the pace of Vettel. Only the top four set times that were in the 1m12s, with Max Verstappen beating Lewis Hamilton by three-tenths of a second. Hamilton had to settle for rounding off the top five with a 1:13.230, 0.835 seconds off the pace setter’s lap time.
The session had run with very little incident until Esteban Ocon brought out the virtual safety car. Coming into the Swimming Pool section, Ocon clipped his front right on the Armco and broke his front steering rod. With the car unable to turn, the Frenchman went straight on into the tyre barrier.
Ocon’s crash came in the final stages of the hour-long session, which left only four minutes of the session when the track returned green. A few teams took to the track, but there were no real improvements, leaving Ferrari comfortably on top with a one-two.
Daniel Ricciardo finished the session sixth after a brake-by-wire failure on his car saw him unable to stop going into Sainte Devote. Red Bull will work to fix the problem before qualifying.
Toro Rosso continued their strong weekend with Carlos Sainz Jr finishing seventh, ahead of his teammate Daniil Kvyat in eighth. Kevin Magnussen completed the session ninth fastest, with Stoffel Vandoorne claiming the final spot of the top ten.