Hamilton tops final Monte-Carlo practice

Hamilton tops final Monte-Carlo practice

24 May 2014 – Lewis Hamilton returned to the top of the timesheets during final practice for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday morning. The Mercedes driver set a 1:16.758 on the Super Soft tyre to lead Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo by five hundredths of a second. Nico Rosberg and Sebastian Vettel backed up their team-mates.

After Thursday's mixed conditions, the drivers were greeted with clear blue skies when they arrived at the circuit to resume their qualifying and race preparations.

In the early stages of the session, as usual dedicated to longer runs on the softer rubber, it was Rosberg who led the way, with Hamilton getting held up in traffic.

But when the switch to Super Softs arrived, Hamilton was able to deliver a clean lap and vault to the front.

The Briton complained of an ill-handling car, however, after narrowly avoiding an accident at Tabac.

Ricciardo took second with another strong showing, with Rosberg and Vettel having to settle for third and fourth.

The Ferraris of Fernando Alonso and Kimi Räikkönen were somewhat lonely in fifth and sixth places, two tenths of a second back on Vettel but a similar margin clear of Force India duo Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg.

Jean-Éric Vergne finished ninth fastest, edging out Toro Rosso team-mate and F1 rookie Daniil Kvyat.

The McLaren and Williams drivers failed to make it into the top ten, occupying positions 11-14.

In the battle at the back, Jules Bianchi impressed to place his Marussia machine ahead of Lotus's Pastor Maldonado and Sauber's Gutiérrez, and comfortably clear of the Caterhams, split by team-mate Max Chilton.

There was little drama throughout the session, with all 22 drivers keeping their cars out of the barriers.

Saturday's qualifying session in Monaco gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2)

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