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Monaco, FP1: Hamilton leads Verstappen in first practice

Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas covered by a tenth


By Olivier Ferret

23 May 2019 - 12:36
Monaco, FP1: Hamilton leads Verstappen

Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton took top spot in the opening practice session for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, edging Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by just under six hundredths of a second.

Hamilton and team-mate Valtteri Bottas kept a hold on the top two places on the timesheet for a significant part of the session, with the pair trading times as the ‘green’ track began to gain some grip and drivers began to get a feel for the conditions.

Hamilton eventually took a slender 0.072s lead over Bottas with a final run on soft tyres before moving to longer runs for the rest of the session but the Finnish driver was later bumped to third when Verstappen bolted on oft tyres and set a time of 1:12.165 to finish just 0.059s off Hamilton’s benchmark.

However, the Dutchman’s P2 flyer was logged after and initial attempt resulted in a trip up the escape road at Mirabeau.

Charles Leclerc finished as the best-placed Ferrari, in fourth place, but the local hero was still 0.361s off the pace. Team-mate Sebastian Vettel finished in fifth place, though the four-time champion ended the session 0.356 behind Leclerc as he made a steady start to the weekend.

Sixth place went to Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull, though the French driver was a full second behind team-mate Verstappen. There was also a nervous moment for Gasly when he lost grip in the Swimming Pool section and slid wide before just managing to regain control and stay clear of the barriers.

Nico Hulkenberg gave Renault hope of a decent weekend with seventh place, a little under six hundredths of a second behind Gasly. Kevin Magnussen of Haas took eighth place ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Räikkönen, and the top ten was rounded out by Romain Grosjean in the second Haas.

It wasn’t a trouble-free session for Haas, however, as telemetry and radio issues led to the team request that black flags be shown to their drivers early in the session. They made it out in the final half hour and quickly rose up the order to take good finishing positions. McLaren’s Carlos Sainz also remained in the garage with a technical problem.

Aside from Gasly’s spin it was a relatively incident-free session, though Robert Kubica also suffered a spin at Casino in the final half hour and brushed the barrier with the front wing of his Williams.

01 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes W10 1:12.106 47
02 Max Verstappen Red Bull Honda RB15 1:12.165 35
03 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes W10 1:12.178 43
04 Charles Leclerc Ferrari SF90 1:12.467 25
05 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari SF90 1:12.823 36
06 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Honda RB15 1:13.170 41
07 Nico Hülkenberg Renault RS19 1:13.227 45
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:13.232 24
09 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:13.363 39
10 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari VF-19 1:13.379 23
11 Daniel Ricciardo Renault RS19 1:13.413 41
12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38 1:13.437 39
13 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:13.731 40
14 Alex Albon Toro Rosso Honda STR14 1:13.827 45
15 Lando Norris McLaren Renault MCL34 1:14.278 39
16 Sergio Pérez Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:14.566 40
17 George Russell Williams Mercedes FW42 1:15.115 40
18 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes FW42 1:15.514 24
19 Lance Stroll Racing Point Mercedes RP19 1:16.135 37
20 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault MCL34 2:00.670 4

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