The first practice session took place on Thursday morning for the 2017 Monaco Grand Prix, and it was the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team’s Lewis Hamilton who took the top spot on the leaderboard.
It was McLaren-Honda Formula 1 Team’s driver, Jenson Button’s, first outing in the car since the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix at the end of last year as he stood in for Fernando Alonso, who will be contesting the Indy500 this weekend. It was also the first time around the circuit for Sahara Force India’s Esteban Ocon and Williams Martini Racing’s Lance Stroll.
Hamilton set a time of 1:13.425, which was two seconds faster than the fastest lap last year, and also 0.196 seconds ahead of second fastest Sebastian Vettel. Max Verstappen took a surprise third fastest in the Red Bull Racing car, even after he missed several laps due to a floor change.
Although he set the original pace of the session, Valterri Bottas was never really within touching distance of Hamilton, and in the end finished 0.366 seconds behind him in fourth place, closely followed by the other Red Bull driver, Daniel Ricciardo in fifth.
The two Scuderia Toro Rosso drivers of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz had a promising start to their Monaco campaign, as they enveloped Kimi Raikkonen and Sergio Perez in sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth fastest respectively.
Finishing off the top ten was Ocon, who has finished every race in the points thus far this season and will surely be hoping that this trend continues. The highest placed Williams’ driver was Felipe Massa in eleventh, well ahead of rookie team-mate Stroll. Monaco has been a weaker circuit for the team in recent years, with their average qualifying position being fourteenth.
The McLaren drivers had a relatively strong first practice, with Stoffel Vandoorne running a respectable twelfth fastest and super-sub Button fourteenth, separated only by Haas F1 Team’s Kevin Magnussen.
Romain Grosjean had an issue with Turn One, with a lock up that caused him to go straight off, meaning that he could only manage fifteenth fastest. Renault Sport Formula 1 Team’s Jolyon Palmer and Sauber F1 Team’s Pascal Wehrlein took seventeenth and eighteenth spot.
Marcus Ericsson had an early end to his session due to a gearbox failure after failing to put a time on the board, along with Nico Hulkenberg in the Renault.
The battle at the front of the grid again looks close, only this time, there are three teams in the mix. It will also be interesting to see whether Button is able to bring the McLaren anywhere near scoring their first points of the season.
2017 Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix – Monte Carlo - Free Practice 1
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:13.425||40|
|2||5||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||1:13.621||+0.196s||34|
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:13.771||+0.346s||32|
|4||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team||1:13.791||+0.366s||40|
|5||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||1:13.854||+0.429s||45|
|6||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1:14.111||+0.686s||42|
|7||7||Kimi Raikkonnen||Scuderia Ferrari||1:14.164||+0.739s||37|
|8||11||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||1:14.201||+0.776s||32|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz Jr||Scuderia Toro Rosso||1:14.333||+0.908s||39|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||1:14.425||+1.000s||39|
|11||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||1:14.617||+1.192s||37|
|12||2||Stoffel Vandorne||McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team||1:14.813||+1.388s||38|
|13||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas-F1 Team||1:14.870||+1.445s||34|
|14||22||Jenson Button||McLaren Honda Formula 1 Team||1:14.954||+1.529s||35|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas-F1 Team||1:15.321||+1.896s||33|
|16||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||1:15.595||+2.17s||44|
|17||30||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport Formula One Team||1:15.949||+2.524s||42|
|18||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||1:16.258||+2.833s||33|
|19||27||Nicolas Hulkenberg||Renault Sport Formula One Team||No Time||-||3|
|20||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||No Time||-||3|