Formula 1

Leclerc Tops Tantalisingly Tight Opening Free Practice

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Credit: Scuderia Ferrari Press Office

Home boy Charles Leclerc topped Friday’s opening session, with Sergio Pérez and Carlos Sainz Jr a whisker behind at the Circuit de Monaco.

Leclerc looked strong around the streets of his home country, on the back of a shocking retirement from the Spanish Grand Prix. The Monegasque set the fastest time of the morning on the yellow-walled Medium tyres, clocking a 1:14.531. The top three were separated by just seven-thousandths of a second, tiny margins around the historic venue.

Last weekend’s winner Max Verstappen was fourth, within two tenths of his title rival. It was then the McLaren F1 Team on the timesheets with Lando Norris, who started the weekend off on a good-note, ending the morning in fifth-place. Pierre Gasly also went strongly, finishing just behind Norris in sixth but one place ahead of the British driver’s team-mate.

Then came the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team with George Russell in eighth and Lewis Hamilton in tenth, the pair sandwiched Sebastian Vettel who impressed.

The swimming pool section appears to be catching a number of drivers out, most notably Kevin Magnussen, It wasn’t a great morning for the Haas F1 Team, as Mick Schumacher brought out the session’s sole red flag. The German stopped at the pit-entry, due to a suspected gearbox issue.

The Alfa Romeo F1 Team ORLEN faced a similarly challenging morning, with Valtteri Bottas failing to set a single lap. The team spent the morning investigating a possible technical issue with the Finn’s C42.

Monaco Grand Prix Free Practice 1 Full Results:

1Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m14.531s
2Sergio PérezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m14.570s
3Carlos Sainz JrESPScuderia Ferrari1m14.601s
4Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m14.712s
5Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m15.056s
6Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri1m15.083s
7Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m15.157s
8George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m15.211s
9Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m15.387s
10Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m15.499s
11Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri1m15.536s
12Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m15.539s
13Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team1m15.749s
14Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1m15.806s
15Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m16.110s
16Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m16.316s
17Guanyu ZhouCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m16.417s
18Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1m17.714s
19Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team1m18.836s
20Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team OrlenNo Time Set
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