Formula 1 Racing

Leclerc quickest again in final Monaco practice, Verstappen under investigation · RaceFans

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari, Monaco, 2024

Charles Leclerc set the fastest time in the final practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen under investigation by the stewards.

The Ferrari driver was a tenth of a second quicker than Verstappen in the session, with Lewis Hamiltonthird for Mercedes.

However Verstappen is being investigated by the stewards for allegedly driving unnecessarily slowly in the closing seconds of the session as he attempted to ensure he would reach the chequered flag.

Conditions could not have been more perfect in which for drivers to prepare their cars for the most critical qualifying session of the season. Temperatures sat in the low 20s Celsius with bright, clear skies and no risk of rain for the final hour of practice.

There was no great rush onto the circuit with just a handful of drivers opting to make early runs. Just 12 minutes into the session, Valtteri Bottas made an error through the exit of the Swimming Pool and hit the outside barrier. With broken right-front suspension, Bottas came to a stop at Rascasse, triggering a red flag.

When the session resumed, the bulk of the field took to the track to begin their runs in earnest. All but the Aston Martin duo Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso focused on the medium compound.

Once again, many drivers had to make use of the many escape roads around the circuit as they found the limits of their cars. Oscar Piastri ran off at Sainte Devote and had to perform a four-point turn to right the car, while Kevin Magnussen had an excursion at Mirabeau. Hamilton almost emulated Bottas by crashing at the exit of the Swimming Pool, but managed to avoid hitting the barrier.

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After setting the best time of Friday, Leclerc was again top of the times before posting a 1’11.369 to go six tenths quicker than team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr. Max Verstappen managed to improve to within two tenths of the Ferrari driver, but he warned his team he would be at risk of “being in the fence” if he continued to push at that level.

At the end of the session, Leclerc’s time was good enough to keep him fastest of all for the second consecutive session. Verstappen was second fastest in a sign of improvement for Red Bull, with Hamilton third for Mercedes. However, Verstappen was announced to be under investigation by the stewards for driving unnecessarily slowly in the closing seconds as he reduced his speed to a crawl on the grid to ensure he took the chequered flag.

Piastri was…

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