Sebastian Vettel tops FP2 in Monaco for Ferrari

After being second fastest in the first practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix which was topped by Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel went one place better in second practice, topping the session for Ferrari.

Sebastian Vettel tops FP2 in Monaco for Ferrari

Sebastian Vettel showed off his pace around the Circuit de Monaco in second practice, setting the fastest time of the race weekend so far. Vettel set a best lap time of a 1:12.720 on the ultrasoft tyre, going 0.901 seconds faster than he did in the morning session. Vettel’s lap time was 0.487 quicker than Daniel Ricciardo, who ended the session as the second fastest driver for Red Bull Racing.

Kimi Raikkonen improved in second practice to set the third quickest time of the session after only being seventh fastest in FP1. Despite being third fastest, Raikkonen still struggled out on track, suffering from multiple tyre lockups throughout the 90 minute session. The Ferrari driver ended the session 0.563 seconds slower than Vettel – a considerable amount of time for two drivers in the same car.

The impressive speed of Toro Rosso from first practice continued into FP2, with Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz Jr ending the session in fourth and fifth fastest. In the early stages of the session, Kvyat held the fastest time, but fell down the field once Red Bull and Ferrari headed out on track. In the long distance running that was carried out FP2, Toro Rosso were lapping at the same speed as Mercedes in the 1:16.000 range, making them the third or fourth fastest team this weekend.

Max Verstappen set the sixth fastest time of the session for Red Bull Racing, 0.766 seconds off Vettel’s time. In the session, Verstappen wasn’t pushing, making sure that he set a consistent number of laps and keeping the car out of the barriers. Because of this, there still should be some time to come from the youngster.

Sergio Perez once again put his Force India inside the top ten, and ended the session in seventh fastest, 1.079 seconds off the pace – a larger margin that in FP1.

Mercedes had a puzzling second practice session, with their drivers Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas ending the session with the eighth and tenth fastest laps, being split by Haas F1 driver, Kevin Magnussen. Mercedes’ lack of pace has been pinned to a change in setup for the session which proved to be unsuccessful. In the long distance running, there was a 0.5 second difference in lap time between Mercedes and Ferrari, and if Mercedes are to challenge on Sunday, this will have to be a gap that the reigning champions will have to close up.

The McLaren drivers of Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button were next fastest in 11th and 12th place, 0.1 seconds outside of the top ten in terms of pace. This weekend, McLaren are looking stronger than in previous races, and a points finish may be possible in the event of a good qualifying session and reliability issues not creeping in.

Felipe Massa ended the session in 13th place for Williams, 1.283 seconds slower than Vettel’s fastest time. This weekend, Williams are not looking as competitive as they have in previous races, however, Monaco is not a track that typically suits the team’s chassis, with Williams often opting for a car with a low drag package each season.

Romain Grosjean was 14th fastest for Haas, and was again slower than Magnussen in the second practice session this weekend. So far this race weekend, Grosjean has seemed to struggle, and has not been on the pace.

Esteban Ocon ended the session in 15th fastest for Force India after making contact with the wall on the exit of turn 7, catching the barrier with his rear left wheel and slapping the wall with his front left. After inspecting the car, there was little damage, which allowed Ocon continue running in the session, completing 47 laps.

Lance Stroll became the first casualty of Monaco Grand Prix, bringing out the red flags for the first time this weekend after losing the rear end of his Williams on the entry to turn 3, dragging his car along the armco barrier. He ended the session down in 16th place.

The two Renault drivers of Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer were next fastest in 17th and 18th place. In second practice, Hulkenberg got his first running of the session after being unable to get any track time in first practice because of an ERS issue. Palmer meanwhile had a difficult session after the engine in the back of his Renault RS17 failed, ending his session after only eight laps. Due to the limited running that both Hulkenberg and Palmer have had so far, this weekend is shaping up to be a difficult one for Renault.

The two Sauber drivers of Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein rounded out the session in 19th and 20th place. Ericsson got his running of the day in FP2 after having a gearbox failure in first practice. Early in the session however, Ericsson made contact with the outside wall of turn 4 after taking too much kerb on the entry, causing his running to be disrupted.

Results from Practice 2 of the Monaco Grand Prix:

  1. Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 1:12.720
  2. Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing, 1:13.207
  3. Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1:13.283
  4. Daniil Kvyat, Toro Rosso, 1:13.331
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr, Toro Rosso, 1:13.400
  6. Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, 1:13.486
  7. Sergio Perez, Force India, 1:13.799
  8. Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 1:13.873
  9. Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1, 1:13.890
  10. Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 1:13.902
  11. Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren, 1:13.946
  12. Jenson Button, McLaren, 1:13.981
  13. Felipe Massa, Williams, 1:14.003
  14. Romain Grosjean, Haas F1, 1:14.022
  15. Esteban Ocon, Force India, 1:14.093
  16. Lance Stroll, Williams, 1:14.474
  17. Nico Hulkenberg, Renault, 1:14.870
  18. Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 1:15.616
  19. Marcus Ericsson, Sauber, 1:15.691
  20. Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber, 1:15.695

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