Date: 28th May 2011 at 11:12am
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After the two practice sessions on Thursday and this mornings final practice session it would appear we could be set for a mighty battle for pole position this afternoon.

It would seem there is very little between Red Bull, McLaren, Ferrari and Mercedes this weekend in Monaco.

In Friday’s first practice, Sebastian Vettel was top of the timing sheets with a lap time of 1minute 16.619seconds with Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso just 0.113 seconds behind.

In Friday’s second practice session Fernando Alonso was fastest with a 1minute 15.123second lap.

McLaren’s Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Nico Rosberg, McLaren’s Jenson Button and Sebastian Vettel’s Red Bull were all just half a second behind.

In Saturday’s third and final practice, Fernando Alonso was once again on top with a 1minute 14.433second lap, Jenson Button was 0.563 behind, while Alonso’s Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa was third fastest, with Vettel, Schumacher and Hamilton all within a second of Alonso.

A gearbox issue for Mark Webber meant his weekend didn’t start as he would like and he appears to have been playing catch-up ever since. While everyone else completed around 20 laps in FP1, Webber completed just 3. He did make up for that in FP2 completing 42 laps despite KERS troubles, but a combination of that and concentrating on long runs meant he was 1.519 seconds off the pace.

In third practice on Saturday morning his best time was only good enough for seventh and was a second off the pace.

Considering this is the streets of Monaco, there was very few incidents in the first practice sessions on Thursday, Tonio Liuzzi, Michael Schumacher, Vitaly Petrov and Jaime Alguersuari all had small meetings with the barriers, but Practice 3 was bookended by two heavy shunts.

Mercedes Nico Rosberg had a scary moment coming out of the tunnel, under breaking going into the chicane his car snapped right hit the barriers, slid over kerbing and very nearly hit the barriers on the exit of the chicane side on. The session was stopped and Rosberg took no further part in the session.

At the end of FP3 the Red Flag was out again when Hispania’s Tonio Liuzzi got the first corner wrong, hit the barrier’s at a strange angle and the back end of his car disintegrated on impact.

It would seem unlikely that Liuzzi will take part in qualifying this afternoon, while Rosberg may also be at risk of not being ready in time.