Ferrari driver and hometown star Charles Leclerc set the pace during the first practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix as Mercedes battled with their porpoising issues.
As he pushed up the pace at his local Grand Prix, the Monegasque set a fastest lap time of 1:14.531 on the Medium tyre. His Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz finished third just 0.07 off the benchmark time with Sergio Perez separating the two Ferraris, while his teammate Max Verstappen finished fourth.
During the opening few minutes of the session, Charles Leclerc slid off the course. It was nothing major, and he was able to return to the track and complete the practice session before the red flag was raised.
Both Ferraris were on medium compound tyres, while Red Bull’s drivers were on hard compound tyres. Both drivers were doing well on track, according to Christian Horner, and the team was obtaining the data they needed.
Verstappen skidded off the track in the same spot as Leclerc, at Turn One, with 16 minutes remaining on the clock. He appeared to have a lock-up and a run-off on his front left. The Dutchman’s tyre may have been slightly burnt, but he kept going.
Sainz was on a rampage after setting overall records in both opening sectors, but traffic derailed his run, forcing him to veer off track to avoid crashing. On the other side, Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz described how Ferrari stated that they will not be chasing the timings in this opening session. They were relieved to see both drivers out on the road and doing well.
Regardless, the drivers pushed their Ferraris to the limit, topping the times with 11 minutes remaining. Sainz finished second, seven hundredths of a second slower than his colleague. With seven minutes to go, even Perez experienced a lock-up in the same spot; it appears that teams need to pay attention to how their vehicles react at Turn 1.
Mercedes struggled for pace in the Principality, with both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton appearing to have porpoising issues, while McLaren, who were expecting a difficult weekend, showed excellent pace with Lando Norris in fifth.
Pierre Gasly did well in the AlphaTauri, placing sixth overall in the first practice session, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo. After using the soft tyres, Sebastian Vettel broke into the top 10 after recording the eighth fastest time as George Russell was the leading Mercedes driver in ninth.
In the second Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top ten as he expressed his disappointment with porpoising during the session.
“The bouncing is crazy mate,” Hamilton said during FP1 as he complained multiple times over team radio.
Meanwhile, Mick Schumacher raised a red flag after informing his mechanics that the gearbox might have a problem. He came to a halt near the pitlane entrance and temporarily obstructed the track. The automobile refused to cooperate and required assistance from the marshalls.
The stewards were prompted to red flag the session as a result of this. Because of the efficiency of the marshalls in Monaco, Ted Kravitz reported that they probably didn’t have to adopt that strategy. They were also raising the car and effectively guiding it into the pitlane at the time.
He also highlighted how they most likely decided to red flag it due to the pitlane’s restricted capacity. Despite the fact that Kevin Magnussen was able to find his way through the pitlane, Formula One prioritises safety.
Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo had a terrible session. After a gearbox issue, the Finn only managed to complete two laps during the session. Bottas did not record any time, and the team spent the practice focusing on their issues.
Bottas was devastated, as he had high aspirations for the weekend and even hoped he could finish on the podium. They do, however, have time to heal.
Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll sent a message to his engineer complaining about his lack of front grip. He was advised to box right away, and it appears that they found a solution. A few minutes later, the Canadian was back on track.
2022 Monaco Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 results
|2||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1:14.570s||+ 0.039s||30|
|3||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari||1:14.601s||+ 0.070s||28|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:14.712s||+ 0.181s||26|
|5||Lando Norris||McLaren||1:15.056s||+ 0.525s||31|
|6||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri||1:15.083s||+ 0.552s||33|
|7||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren||1:15.157s||+ 0.626s||33|
|8||George Russell||Mercedes||1:15.211s||+ 0.680s||34|
|9||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||1:15.387s||+ 0.856s||33|
|10||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes||1:15.499s||+ 0.968s||29|
|11||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri||1:15.536s||+ 1.005s||36|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||1:15.539s||+ 1.008s||26|
|13||Fernando Alonso||Alpine||1:15.749s||+ 1.218s||28|
|14||Kevin Magnussen||Haas||1:15.806s||+ 1.275s||30|
|15||Alexander Albon||Williams||1:16.110s||+ 1.579s||39|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Alpine||1:16.315s||+ 1.784s||24|
|17||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:16.417s||+ 1.886s||27|
|18||Nicholas Latifi||Williams||1:17.714s||+ 3.183s||30|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Haas||1:18.636s||+ 4.105s||12|
|20||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||2|