Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso have topped the opening two sessions of the Monaco Grand Prix. The first session was the only real representation of the weekend’s running, with the second session largely held in drying conditions after rain had fallen.
The two Mercedes once again asserted their dominance at the head of the field during the first practice session. Hamilton arrived late for the start of the session and later admitted that he had ‘overslept’. Despite this, he still managed to end the session as the fastest driver.
Nico Rosberg was only 3 hundredths of a second slower than his team-mate at the start of a weekend which many believe is his greatest chance of beating Hamilton after coming so close to doing so at the Bahrain and Spanish rounds. Daniel Ricciardo was only 2 tenths slower than the Mercedes duo and continued to show his pace against team-mate Sebastian, with the German half a second slower in 5th place. Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso split the two Red Bulls in 4th place.
Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas were 6th and 7th, with the Finns just over a second slower than Hamilton’s P1 time. The two Force India drivers were 8th and 10th, with Kevin Magnussen in between them in 9th place as he made his first F1 start in the principality.
Several drivers had incidents during the first 90 minute session. Both Saubers had stopped running before the end of the session, with Sutil spinning into the barriers at Mirabeau and Gutierrez being unable to rejoin the track after taking to the limited run-off area at Sainte Devote. Mirabeau proved to be a tricky corner for some drivers, with Fernando Alonso and Max Chilton joining Sutil in having spun there.
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1’18.506|
|5||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1’19.043|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India||1’19.666|
|10||Nico Hulkenburg||Force India||1’19.856|
|15||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1’20.260|
|18||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1’20.914|
A shower had soaked the circuit in between the first and second sessions, with only two drivers electing to run for the first half of practice 2. Valtteri Bottas and Adrian Sutil were the two brave drivers, but neither of them set a time.
Once the track had dried enough for ‘safe’ running, the drivers all started to pour out onto the track. The Ferrari’s were among the first to emerge, with Kimi Raikkonen soon heading back in after juddering around a lap with a gearbox problem. His eventful afternoon didn’t end there. As the Finn crossed the pit-lane on foot, he was almost run over by Sebastian Vettel who was emerging from a pit-stop. With Kimi seemingly unaware of what was going on, it was a quick thinking Red Bull mechanic who pulled the Ferrari driver out of the way.
With one Ferrari driver last, the other once managed to get first. Fernando Alonso set the fastest time of the session after the track dried just in time for some last minute dry tyre running. Lewis Hamilton was 2nd fastest and may have been able to beat Alonso’s time, but on one of his fast laps he had to slow down due to Marcus Ericsson’s minor impact with the wall at Mirabeau.
Sebastian Vettel was 3rd fastest after avoiding Raikkonen in the pits. He was 3 tenths ahead of Jean-Eric Vergne who was 4th for Toro Rosso. Valtteri Bottas was just behind in 5th, with Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenburg in 6th and 7th in the Smirnoff sponsored Force Indias.
Jenson Button and Kevin Magnussen were 8th and 10th fastest, with Daniel Ricciardo slotting in between them for Red Bull.
|3||Sebastian Vettel||Red Bull||1’19.017|
|4||Jean-Eric Vergne||Toro Rosso||1’19.351|
|6||Sergio Perez||Force India||1’19.668|
|7||Nico Hulkenburg||Force India||1’19.712|
|9||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1’19.779|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso||1’20.622|
By Jordan Groves Formula 1 correspondent for RTR Sports Marketing Follow Jordan on twitter at www.twitter.com/jgroves1996