The star of the Monaco Formula One’s practice 3 session was Sergio Perez who finished fastest in the sessions qualifying simulations. Not only did he beat Ferrari favourite Charles Leclerc by 0.041s but he improved run on run gradually, the perfect way to ease into qualifying in qualifying. Yet for two of the drivers a Red Bull engine penalty looms in Monaco
After being asked to move over to let Max Verstappen through last time in Spain, Perez answered the team in strong fashion
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was third 0.37s behind the Mexican but Max Verstappen struggled to make ground throughout the session, though he was impeded on his final flying lap. The Dutch driver finished 0.4s behind Perez.
One of the best performances of the session was from Alpha Tauri’s Pierre Gasley who finished ‘best of the rest’ and ahead of the Mercedes duo. Each run Gasley climbed into the top but ended up P5 0.734s off the top time.
The only worry for Gasly is the Red Bull engine. Both he and team mate Tsunoda have changed 3 significant components already this season. Any failure
Any failure of the combustion engine, turbo charge, MGU-K or MGU-H will see both Alpha Tauri drivers take a penalty for the race in Monaco. Front running Red Bull power unit drivers, Perez and Verstappen, have one in the bag having used only two of each of the 7 components that comprise the power unit.
Gasly for the first time this season finished a session ahead of the McLaren of Lando Norris. Across all sessions, Gasly and Norris have looked the quickest of midfield driver’s.
Lewis Hamilton finally finished as session ahead of team mate Geroge Russell, though Russell was impeded on his final run by session leader Sergio Perez – who had to take a trip to the stewards.
Almost halfway through the session Hamilton concluded his quickest run but bemoaned over the radio, “Where’s that 1.2 seconds? I just don’t know where that is.”
Hamilton’s car kept grounding at the rear on the entrance to the swimming pool complex and was visibly cautious leaving about a metre from the barrier. By comparison the Ferrari’s were millimetres from the Armco.
Sky’s Martin Brundle observed, “the Mercedes just look a real handful. The changes have left it as a bit of a beast to drive around here.”
The ‘new upgrades’ Mercedes brought in Spain that brought such joy to their drivers appear to have melted away in the Principality of Monaco.