In a session where he replicating his pace from Thursday, Fernando Alonso once again claimed the top of time sheets this morning.
A quickest lap of 1:14.433 was enough to give the Ferrari runner a half-second advantage over next up Jenson Button (2nd, McLaren) and fellow Scuderia pilot, Felipe Massa (3rd).
Sebastian Vettel represented the Red Bull team in the top four; however the nature of the session seemed to indicated Vettel (and teammate Mark Webber, 7th) were concentrating on race pace, as opposed to qualifying runs.
It was something of a stuttered practice. Mercedes’ Michael Schumacher had been leading the way in the early minutes, when his teammate Nico Rosberg suffered a massive accident approaching the Nouvelle Chicane.
The 25-year-old lost control of his Mercedes under braking, throwing the MGP-W02 violently into the barrier’s, shredding elements of the car as it continued at speed beyond the chicane itself.
With debris strewn across the circuit, the red flag was instantly thrown, leaving the session locked down for nearly twelve minutes.
Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari would later pick up a right rear puncture from the left-over shards of carbon fibre.
The Spaniard took no further part in the session, parking after 13 laps, with a best of 1:16.617, giving him 8th, only two-tenths ahead of teammate Sebastien Buemi; however Alguersuari can certainly argue a better Saturday than Vitantonio Liuzzi.
The Italian brought out a second red flag at the tail end of the session, thanks to a huge accident at St Devote.
Whereas numerous others took to the escape road at the corner in moments of peril, Liuzzi lost his Hispania on the exit of the quick turn, pitching him left rear first into the barrier.
A secondary collision less than a moment later only compounded the problem, leaving the small squad with a big problem.
During the three sessions, both Hispania’s sat outside the 107% cut-off following their respective chequered flags and for the second time this season are facing the very real possibility of not making the Grand Prix.
Should Liuzzi be not repaired in time for qualifying, the Italian is likely to not race at all and with fellow Hispania inmate Narain Karthikeyan slower than Liuzzi, the 2011 Monaco Grand Prix may well be starting with only twenty-two cars.
Pos Driver Team/Car Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m14.433s 18 2. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m14.996s + 0.563s 17 3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m15.024s + 0.591s 19 4. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m15.245s + 0.812s 19 5. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m15.310s + 0.877s 21 6. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.386s + 0.953s 14 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m15.529s + 1.096s 19 8. Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.617s + 2.184s 13 9. Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m16.736s + 2.303s 15 10. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m16.821s + 2.388s 19 11. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m16.990s + 2.557s 20 12. Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1m17.196s + 2.763s 13 13. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Cosworth 1m17.333s + 2.900s 17 14. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.403s + 2.970s 18 15. Vitaly Petrov Renault 1m17.779s + 3.346s 17 16. Nick Heidfeld Renault 1m17.880s + 3.447s 17 17. Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1m18.069s + 3.636s 17 18. Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Renault 1m18.115s + 3.682s 20 19. Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1m18.580s + 4.147s 21 20. Jerome D'Ambrosio Virgin-Cosworth 1m18.808s + 4.375s 21 21. Jarno Trulli Lotus-Renault 1m19.259s + 4.826s 19 22. Tonio Liuzzi HRT-Cosworth 1m20.115s + 5.682s 15 23. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m20.278s + 5.845s 16 24. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 3