Monaco: Nico Rosberg posted the fastest time under blue skies in the third practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix, boosting his pole position hopes ahead of qualifying later on Saturday.
Nico Rosberg posted the fastest time under blue skies in the third practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix, boosting his pole position hopes ahead of qualifying later on Saturday.
The German driver, who won the Chinese Grand Prix this season, took advantage of dry conditions and supersoft tires to power his Mercedes to a time of 1 minute, 15.159 seconds " 0.38 seconds faster than Ferrari's Felipe Massa, and 0.50 ahead of reigning champion Sebastian Vettel. Pastor Maldonado and Paul di Resta both crashed, although neither was hurt.
Di Resta ploughed the nose of his Force India into a barrier after spinning out of the tunnel, while Maldonado hit a barrier and his left wheel flew off, bringing the session to an end with only a few minutes left. The lap before his crash, Maldonado appeared to cut across Sergio Perez's Sauber, although stewards had yet to rule on whether the move was intentional.
With five different race winners already this season, for five different manufacturers, the fight for pole position is much more wide open than last year, when Vettel took it.
Two-time former champion Fernando Alonso, who was quickest in the first session, was a fraction slower than Vettel on Saturday morning, setting the fourth best time. With Massa finally showing form " he was third quickest in the second Thursday's second run " Ferrari will be confident of upstaging Vettel's Red Bull in the afternoon.
French rookie Romain Grosjean, second fastest in both of the previous sessions, was fifth best this time ahead of McLaren pair Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton.