Vandoorne aids Hamilton’s Q2 exit

Michelle Foster

After fashion shows and hanging with the rich, famous and not so famous, it was back to work on Saturday for the Formula 1 teams and drivers.

Jolyon Palmer, having missed the bulk of FP2 with an engine failure, was the first man out in his Renault.

It was, however, Toro Rosso who once again proved to be the best of the rest behind the leading three teams with Carlos Sainz and Daniil Kvyat seventh and eighth in FP3.

This time around, though, it was Sainz who got the better of his team-mate.

Sebastian Vettel was the FP3 pace-setter, topping the timesheets ahead of Kimi Raikkonen.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest in final practice.

Lewis Hamilton once again struggled to get in the perfect lap, pace and traffic both proving a bit difficult for the British racer.

However, the day’s first crash belonged to Esteban Ocon as the Force India driver binned it at the exit to the Swimming Pool. He brushed the barrier, broke his steering and went nose first into the Armco.

There were problems also for Daniel Ricciardo, who ended FP3 up on a crane after a brake-by-wire issue.

Man United boss Jose Mourinho joined the list of stars coming out for the Monaco event.

Princess Charlene of Monaco joined the Williams team for qualifying.

News broke that Jenson Button, returning to F1 just for Monaco, is facing a 15-place grid penalty after Honda changed the car’s MGU-H and turbocharger. Fifth of both so 15 places thank you very much.

Max Verstappen took the fight to Ferrari and Mercedes in qualifying as he hit the front in Q1, topping the session ahead of Vettel and Raikkonen.

Romain Grosjean made a mistake in qualifying as he lost the back end of his Haas. He tried to recover, spinning back around, and almost collected a Toro Rosso in the process. He finished PX.

Williams had a difficult time in qualifying with Felipe Massa failing for the first time this season to get into Q3.

Stoffel Vandoorne crashed in Q2…

But it was Lewis Hamilton’s Q2 demise that caught the attention. He was down in 14th place and with time for only one more lap when Vandoorne crashed his McLaren into the barriers on the exit of the Swimming Pool. Hamilton finished qualy P14.

Kimi Raikkonen broke his 129 pole position-less streak by grabbing P1 in Monte Carlo.

Sebastian Vettel had to settle for second place.