May 25th, 2013 (F1Plus / Chris Cameron-Dow) - Nico Rosberg's dominance of the 2013 Monaco Grand Prix weekend continued as he finished two-thirds of a second clear of the field in third practice. Rosberg's session-topping time of 1:14.378 is faster than the lap record set by Michael Schumacher in 2004, and provides a strong indication that Mercedes are looking at a likely pole position this afternoon.
Behind Rosberg, there was carnage. Quite early in the session, Romain Grosjean hit the inside barrier on the way into the Nouvelle Chicane with his left rear tyre, puncturing the tyre and damaging the rim. He was fortunate to escape without suspension damage and made it back to the pits.
Later on, Felipe Massa had a heavy accident into St Devote. He locked up both front tyres under braking and hit the barrier on the left in the braking zone before going straight on into the barrier in the run-off area of turn 1. It looked like Massa's throttle was stuck open, as his rear tyres did not lock up and there was significant engine noise even after the first impact. Massa was a bit slow in getting out of the car, but walked back to the medical centre and was declared fit before returning to the Ferrari garage.
Adrian Sutil was next in the wall, almost as soon as the session resumed. Sutil lost the rear under braking for Massenet at the top of Beau Rivage. There is no run-off at that part of the track and Sutil simply ran out of space. He hit the outside barrier with the right rear before the right front and front wing came round to take most of the impact. He was out of the car quickly, and the Monaco marshals cleared his Force India immediately.
The final accident of the session saw Romain Grosjean crash in St Devote for the second time this weekend. He wiped the left side of the car off on the barrier on Thursday and crashed in almost exactly the same place today. This time, however, he lost the back end on the way into the corner, and hit the barrier with the left rear tyre, before clouting the front against the wall and then bouncing across to the inside of the track and coming to rest against the barrier. Lewise Hamilton was coming out of the pits and had to stop to avoid the Lotus.
Grosjean has been very quick throughout the weekend, but might now struggle to participate in qualifying at all. Lotus have just under two hours to repair his car, and if they cannot do so in time for Q1 he will have to start at the back of the field.
Full results from FP3:
|3||1||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:15.261||0.883||17|
|7||2||Mark Webber||Red Bull Racing-Renault||1:15.550||1.172||20|
|8||14||Paul di Resta||Force India-Mercedes||1:15.594||1.216||17|
|15||15||Adrian Sutil||Force India-Mercedes||1:16.068||1.690||12|
|20||21||Giedo van der Garde||Caterham-Renault||1:18.102||3.724||20|