Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes AMG Petronas were yet again the pace setters in a Formula One (F1) practice session as the field got their practice sessions underway at Monaco.
Setting a time of 1:18.271 Hamilton more than made up for the fact that he arrived late – indeed he was caught on the FOM feed running through the paddock in order to get to the garage on time.
Team mate Nico Rosberg was three hundredths of a second further back in a sign that there are no tracks that phase the German machine and it surely puts them in a good position come qualifying and the race this weekend.
The best of the rest went to Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, a time of 1:18.506 saw him finish two tenths of a second off top spot but it could be argued that a traffic free lap would have had the amiable Australian up at the top challenging the Mercedes pair.
Behind the Australian, and a sign that he definitely doesn’t have the upper hand on this team mate, was Sebastian Vettel. He finished fifth, seven tenths of a second back from Hamilton and was running fourth for much of the final 15 minutes of the session until the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso split the Bulls.
There were few incidents of note, Kimi Raikkonen had a substantial lock up coming into both Mirabeau and the Nouvelle Chicane – on separate laps – in a sign that he may not be entirely happy with the brake by wire system on 2014 F1 cars.
Mirabeau caught out a number of drivers starting with Max Chilton in the Marussia. He had completed just seven laps before he span and then stalled at the corner, thanks to the car jamming in reverse he couldn’t get the engine restarted and it meant that his session was over before it had properly begun.
Chilton managed to miss the barriers but one man who couldn’t was Sauber’s Adrian Sutil, going into the corner at a relative sedate pace the rear end snapped out on him and he hit the barriers. The car wasn’t too badly damaged, but the marshals did have to crane it off the track – putting an end to the German’s session with about 10 minutes left.