2011 Monaco Grand Prix (Rd 6, Free Practice 3, May 28th)

Monte Carlo. © Creative Commons / Will Pittenger

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

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