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Rosberg quickest again in Monaco GP final practice

Mercedes ace Nico Rosberg remains favourite for pole position after an action-packed third and final practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix
Nico Rosberg posted the fastest time in Saturday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix and now goes into qualifying on the crest of a wave, unlike Felipe Massa, Romain Grosjean and Adrian Sutil who all suffered quite sizable offs.

Rosberg, who was quickest in both practice sessions on Thursday, posted the best lap of the weekend so far near the end of the 60-minute session. Like on Thursday, he was the only man below the 1 minute 15 second bracket, his quickest a 1m 14.378s, which left him over half a second up on Grosjean. It wasn't all plain sailing however, for the German, and he tagged the barriers quite hard at one point on the way into the tunnel...

The session was littered with moments, not least for Grosjean. The Frenchman, who binned it in FP2 on Thursday at Ste Devote, again had a turbulent time. Early on he hit the barriers with his left rear tyre going into the chicane after exiting the tunnel, but was able to limp back to the pits for repairs. Shortly towards the end of the 60 minutes though, he went off again at Ste Devote, possibly distracted after passing Lewis Hamilton. The Lotus sustained damage to the front and rear, leaving his mechanics with a race against time to be ready for qualifying.

Felipe Massa's mechanics will also have a similar challenge after he too went off at Ste Devote. The Brazilian locked up on the way into Turn 1 hitting the barriers on the left, before then going straight on and into the Ste Devote tyre wall. That incident occurred 35 minutes into the session and brought out the red flags. The Brazilian walked away unharmed.

Adrian Sutil was the other notable victim at the Principality, losing it in Massenet. His Force India suffered some damage, but it didn't appear to be as bad as that sustained by Massa's Ferrari or Grosjean's Lotus.

Meanwhile, after struggling on Thursday, Sebastian Vettel appeared to be happier and was third on a 1m 15.261s, albeit 0.883 seconds off Rosberg, and just 0.025 seconds up on Fernando Alonso in fourth. Hamilton rounded out the top five, one of a number of runners caught up in traffic, followed by Kimi Raikkonen, Mark Webber and Paul di Resta.

Behind, Pastor Maldonado put his Williams ninth, one spot ahead of Sauber's Nico Hulkenberg, while McLaren duo Sergio Perez and Jenson Button could do no better than P11 and P12, the latter setting exactly the same time as Jean-Eric Vergne.

Daniel Ricciardo was 14th, missing the early part of the session due to an oil leak, while Sutil and Massa were 15th and 16th, thanks to the times posted prior to their offs. Esteban Gutierrez, who was the first to post a timed lap, took 17th, with Valtteri Bottas 18th and Charles Pic 19th for Caterham. Pic's team-mate, Giedo van der Garde was 20th, while the Marussia's of Jules Bianchi and Max Chilton propped up the times.

To see the full times from final practice - CLICK HERE.




Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
23.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
23.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04
23.05.2013- Free Practice 2, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W04

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