Lewis Hamilton leads FP1 in Monaco ahead of Sebastian Vettel

After claiming his 55th career win last time out at the Spanish Grand Prix, Lewis Hamilton‘s form continued into the first practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix, topping the session for Mercedes ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Lewis Hamilton leads FP1 in Monaco ahead of Sebastian Vettel

Hamilton topped the session after setting a lap time of a 1:13.425, breaking the outright lap record around the historic circuit and setting the early pace for the weekend which marks Formula 1’s biggest race on the calendar. The gap at the top was only 0.196 seconds, with Sebastian Vettel closely following his championship rival in second place for Ferrari.

Putting his car up into third fastest was Max Verstappen for Red Bull Racing, only 0.346 seconds off Hamilton’s time. Monaco is a circuit that should, in theory, suit the Red Bull RB13, with the track being a series of slow, medium, and high speed corners and there being a low reliance upon engine power alone. In the session, Verstappen also had limited running after a floor change halted his running temporarily, meaning that there may still be some time in the bag for the flying Dutchman.

Valtteri Bottas followed Verstappen in the session with the fourth best time, 0.366 seconds down on Hamilton.

The pole sitter from the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix, Daniel Ricciardo, was next best in fifth fastest for Red Bull after setting a 1:13.854, 0.429 seconds of the best time in the session.

Daniil Kvyat impressively set the sixth best time of the session for Toro Rosso, with him and his team mate, Carlos Sainz Jr, doing their running on the slower supersoft tyre. Because of this, there is much more time to come from both of the Toro Rosso drivers, and with both of the drivers being inside the top ten, the Toro Rosso is looking very competitive for the weekend at the moment.

Kimi Raikkonen ended the session down in seventh place in the second Ferrari, 0.739 seconds slower than Hamilton. When compared to his team mate, Sebastian Vettel, it is clear that he is off the pace, and with overtaking at Monaco being near impossible, it is vital that he finds more speed around the circuit later this weekend.

Sergio Perez was next fastest in eighth, 0.132 seconds ahead of Carlos Sainz Jr who split the Force India drivers, with Esteban Ocon tenth fastest. So far this season, Force India are the only team to have finished inside the points with both drivers in every race, with their best result coming last time out at the Spanish Grand Prix after finishing in fourth and fifth.

Felipe Massa was 0.192 seconds off Ocon’s time and ended FP1 as the fastest Williams driver in 11th. This weekend is a key weekend for Williams, and the team will be looking to finish inside the top ten and secure further points to advance their campaign in the Constructors Championship after a difficult time at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Stoffel Vandoorne set the 12th fastest time of the session for McLaren, with the Woking-based team bringing a new upgrade package to this weekend. Monaco stands as McLaren’s best chance to secure points this season as the circuit is not power reliant, and with Sauber securing points at the Spanish Grand Prix, it is vital that McLaren secure a top ten finish soon.

Kevin Magnussen split the two McLaren drivers by setting the 13th fastest time for Haas F1 while Jenson Button followed his former team mate with the 14th fastest time. Button comes out of retirement this weekend for the Monaco Grand Prix, filling in the role of McLaren’s reserve driver as Fernando Alonso is competing at the Indy 500 this weekend.

Romain Grosjean set the 15th best time for Haas, 1.896 seconds slower than the best time of the session. Grosjean had a difficult session, having multiple offs and being the only driver to cause a yellow flag to be waved in the session after missing his braking point in turn 1 and running down the escape road.

Lance Stroll was 16th fastest in the second Williams while Jolyon Palmer was 17th for Renault. This weekend is very important for both Stroll and Palmer, with both being out qualified by their team mates 5-0 in the first five races of the season as well as being out raced and being behind in the points standings.

Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the session in 18th place, setting the slowest time of the runners, 2.8 seconds off the pace.

Both Nico Hulkenberg and Marcus Ericsson failed to set a lap in FP1 for Renault and Sauber, with Hulkenberg’s running being prevented through an ERS issue and Ericsson’s running being halted through a gearbox failure.

Results from Practice 1 of the Monaco Grand Prix:

  1. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:13.425
  2. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:13.621
  3. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:13.771
  4. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:13.791
  5. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:13.854
  6. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:14.111
  7. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:14.164
  8. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:14.201
  9. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:14.333
  10. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:14.425
  11. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:14.617
  12. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:14.813
  13. Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:14.870
  14. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:14.954
  15. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:15.321
  16. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:15.595
  17. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:15.949
  18. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:16.258
  19. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, No time
  20. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, No time

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