Vettel steps up pace at Monaco

Vettel steps up pace at Monaco

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel gave Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes something to think about ahead of qualifying after topping the timesheet in the final practice session in Monaco.

The quadruple Formula One world champion impressed on the streets of the principality, producing a best lap of one minute 16.143 seconds.

Vettel’s display looked to bode well for the Scuderia ahead of afternoon qualifying, with his time 0.218 secs better than Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg managed in second.

Lewis Hamilton is attempting to deny team-mate Rosberg a third straight win on the streets of Monte Carlo and looked set to top the timesheet for a third successive practice, only to end the session complaining something was not right with the car.

The reigning world champion was 0.562s behind Vettel and was followed home by Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz Jr, impressing again with Toro Rosso.

Kimi Raikkonen clocked the sixth best time of practice before clipping the wall and having his Ferrari carted off with 32 minutes remaining.

Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat was seventh and, following a disrupted time on Thursday, Jenson Button will take positives after his McLaren managed the eighth best time.

Max Verstappen, so impressive in the first session, was ninth in a run which saw the 17-year-old damage the rear wing of his Toro Rosso, while Lotus’ Romain Grosjean, who is expected to drop five places on the grid for Sunday due to a change in gearbox, closed out the top 10.

The Force India duo of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg finished either side of Lotus’ Pastor Maldonado, while McLaren’s Fernando Alonso was 14th.

Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa of Williams were 16th and 17th, ahead of the Sauber duo of Felipe Nasr and Marcus Ericsson. Manor’s Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi were the bottom two.

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