Mercedes’ Nico Rosberg finished top of the timesheet in an incident-strewn final practice session before qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.
Rosberg’s time of 1:15.159, set mid-way through the session on the super-soft Pirelli tyre, left him just 0.038 ahead of Ferrari’s Felipe Massa, though World Champion Sebastian Vettel for Red Bull Racing and Massa’s Ferrari team-mate Fernando Alonso were also in close attendance with less then a tenth of a second separated the top four. Romain Grosjean in fifth was only 0.286 off Massa’s time, ahead of the two McLarens of Hamilton and Button. Michael Schumacher was eighth, Sergio Pérez ninth and Mark Webber rounded out the top ten.
The session was halted prematurely a few minutes before the end as red flags were waved when Pastor Maldonado slammed into the barriers coming through Casino Square. The Spanish Grand Prix winner first banged the barrier on the inside, damaging his front wing and then hit hard on the outside, destroying the left rear corner of his Williams. It was not the only damage during the hour.
Maldonado had collided with Sergio Pérez on the previous lap, as the pair approached Portier, though neither driver was derailed, and Paul Di Resta destroyed a nosecone in the barriers approaching the chicane. Several others, Vettel included, had brushes with the walls.