Sebastian Vettel: “It’s fun to drive these cars around Monaco”

Sebastian Vettel was fastest on Thursday in Monaco - Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd

Sebastian Vettel set the fastest lap ever seen around the Monaco Grand Prix circuit to lead the way in practice on Thursday afternoon in the principality.

The Scuderia Ferrari driver was the first driver to dip beneath the 1m13s barrier during the session, with his lap of 1m12.720s enough to deny Daniel Ricciardo and Red Bull Racing the position by 0.487 seconds.

Vettel had finished second fastest to championship rival Lewis Hamilton in the morning session and he was happy to have showed good pace on the opening day in Monaco, although he knows Saturday will be the time he will need to be quick.

“I was pretty happy with the afternoon session,” said Vettel. “We had a small issue at the start of the session which needed some extra time to be looked at, but then we were on our way.

“It’s fun to drive these cars around Monaco because they’re faster than in the past. They’re also wider, and I kissed the barrier a couple of times this morning, but I could carry on with no damage.

“Overall it has been a good day. It’s only Thursday, so we have to wait for Saturday to get a clear picture, but it is nice to have a good feeling with the car already.

“I was very happy with the first run in the morning and since then we didn’t have to change too much, but we improved the car in the afternoon. It feels good on a quick lap, the long runs are a bit harder to judge because of traffic.

“Now it’s about fine-tuning and we have time for that. Yet, we still have to do something more on the car to be more competitive.”