Red Bull driver Max Verstappen topped a tight second practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix on Friday afternoon, only slightly faster than Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz – losing the latter in the closing stages.
With qualifying – and track position – so important in the narrow, winding streets of Monte Carlo, FP2 brought plenty of action into one lap, initially on medium and hard tires before moving to soft compound for the first time this weekend.
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After leading the way in the early stages of the session with a strong middle lap, Verstappen kept his P1 place on the slugs by pumping out a time of 1m 12.462secs, putting him 0.065secs clear of Leclerc, with Sainz a few hundredths down. behind.
However, a promising session for Scuderia ended on a sour note when Sainz hit the right-hand wall at Turn 15, jumped over the barriers and slid into the barriers at the exit of Turn 16, damaging his car and bringing out red flags.
Fernando Alonso finished fourth in his Aston Martin, but the two-time world champion – keen to turn a series podium into a win this weekend – was left to lament traffic on his soft-tire tracks, radioing his team that the rivals in Auto mode. leaving him “speechless”.
After losing the first quarter of the session to make setup changes, Lando Norris put his McLaren an impressive fifth in the timesheets, ahead of the Mercedes-developed Lewis Hamilton and Red Bull’s Sergio Perez, who also swore on the radio after a slower encounter. cars.
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Valtteri Bottas was the leading Alfa Romeo driver with a solid lead to eighth, while Alpine duo Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon beat Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll and Mercedes’ George Russell into the final two in the top ten.
Zhu Guanyu finished three-tenths slower than teammate Bottas on the way to 13th, followed by the Haas pair of Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg (the latter bouncing back from the FP1 accident) and the Alpha Torres of Yuki Tsunoda (who picked up a puncture when he clipped the wall at Turn 10) and Nick de Vries.
Oscar Piastri had a quiet session in his McLaren, posting a time nearly eight-tenths slower than Norris, while Williams drivers Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant brought up the rear – Albon only came to the track in the final ten minutes after an FP1 crash forced the mechanics. To fit the new gearbox, front spoiler, rear spoiler, floor and left front suspension.
Formula 1 drivers and teams will analyze the data they gathered on the evening of Monaco before returning to the track on Saturday, with final practice scheduled to start at 1230hrs local time and the all-important qualifying session at 1600hrs.
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