Rosberg fastest in final Monaco practice
26 May 2012 – Nico Rosberg has set the fastest time heading into qualifying at Monaco. In ideal conditions for Saturday morning practice, the Mercedes led Felipe Massa and Sebastian Vettel as both Paul di Resta and Pastor Maldonado crashed in the closing stages. The Williams impact at Casino Square halted the session three minutes early.
Already tipped as a contender by many on the run-up to the weekend, Romain Grosjean continually delivered fastest sector times and is certainly well-placed for Lotus, although team-mate Kimi Räikkönen is suffering from less rear end grip after missing almost the entire opening practice two days ago. They finished fifth and 12th, but are expected to be significantly higher up later on today.
Due to the trouble in the final minutes, Lewis Hamilton and both Red Bull drivers were deprived of a proper clean lap. Also yet to show their full hand are Williams, as Maldonado and Bruno Senna were almost certainly carrying high fuel loads for this final practice.
Just moments after Sergio Pérez narrowly avoided the back of Nico Hülkenberg at final corner Anthony Noghes, the other Force India of Paul di Resta crashed at the Nouvelle Chicane; out of shape in the braking zone, the Scot’s car speared left and hit the end of the Armco nose first. Thankfully, a photographer standing nearby escaped injury and di Resta was able to creep back to the pit lane with a damaged car.
Just four thousandths of a second quicker, Narain Karthikeyan moved ahead of HRT team-mate Pedro de la Rosa for 23rd place and the field is separated by just under four seconds.
Monaco Grand Prix qualifying begins at 2pm local time (BST +1) and can also be followed through the interactive GPUpdate.net Live Report