Verstappen tops final Monaco practice as Hamilton crashes

Verstappen beat out his teammate to the top spot in the final practice session ahead of the 2023 Monaco GP.

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Max Verstappen was the fastest driver on track for the final qualifying session of the Monaco GP, edging out teammate Sergio Perez to the top spot as a red flag cut running short after a crash by Lewis Hamilton

Verstappen was a tenth faster than the other Red Bull around the iconic circuit, with Lance Stroll squeezing out a competitive chasing pack into third for Aston Martin.

A number of drivers, including Verstappen, made contact with the barriers during the session, with the Mercedes of George Russell forced to come back into the pits after a brush with the wall.

But the session came to a hectic close after first a virtual safety car was brought out due to a crash by the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, before Hamilton went into the wall at Mirabeau, bringing out the red flags with insufficient time left to resume.

The Mercedes driver appeared to lose the rear end of the car, bringing a disappointing end to the session for the team after upgrades brought for the race appeared to be showing some promise.

Tight midfield

Elsewhere, the chasing pack in the midfield were close together, with Carlos Sainz demonstrating Ferrari’s competitiveness around the circuit in fourth, and Lando Norris an impressive fifth for McLaren.

Pierre Gasly edged out hometown hero Charles Leclerc into sixth, while Hamilton ended the session in eighth following his crash.

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