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Charles Leclerc tops the timesheet in free practice 2 at the Monaco Grand Prix

Monaco Grand Prix: F1 free practice 2 results

At the end of free practice one, Mercedes and McLaren were battling at the top of the timesheet. But who will be quickest in FP2?

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Max Verstappen hits the wall in a messy free practice 2 session for the reigning world champion at the Monaco Grand Prix

The light goes green for free practice 2 at the Monaco Grand Prix
The light goes green for free practice 2 at the Monaco Grand Prix. (Image Credit: @F1 on X)

As we continue to remember the legacy of Ayrton Senna via McLaren’s special livery, another Formula One legend topped the timesheet in free practice one. Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first hour with a 1:12.169, followed by Oscar Piastri, George Russell, Lando Norris, and Charles Leclerc. Meanwhile, reigning world champion Max Verstappen was down in P11, with his teammate in P12.

During the first session, the risk of rain was a constant threat with some of the drivers even reporting spots on the race track. However, the greater risk was always scheduled to be during free practice two. Can we expect a rain impacted second session at the Monaco Grand Prix?

The light goes green for FP2

Hamilton, Kevin Magnussen, and Russell lead the field out as the light goes green in the pitlane. The medium tyre appears to be the tyre of choice, with Daniel Ricciardo, Verstappen, Piastri, and Yuki Tsunoda, the only drivers opting for the hards. Alex Albon was the final driver out of the pitlane, with the entire grid out on the track within the first three minutes of the session.

As the first lap times come in, Magnussen jumps in front of both Mercedes’, but he was quickly replaced at the top by Sergio Perez. The Mexican set a 1:16.631, but Hamilton immediately takes two seconds out of the Red Bull driver, setting a 1:14.080.

However, Verstappen can go even quicker, with the Dutchman setting a 1:13.775. Like at any street circuit, track evolution in the early stages will be extreme, so times are expected to tumble.

Perez brushes the wall

While his teammate sits P1, Perez brushes the barrier yet again. The Mexican isn’t alone in pushing the limits this weekend, as many drivers kissed the wall in FP1, including his teammate. Leclerc is the first driver into the 1:12s in free practice 2 with a 1:12.372.

Just moments after Perez’s incident, Logan Sargeant whacks the wall as he starts a lap in front of the Ferrari. While it was more than a kiss, the car will be fine.

As times seem to stabilise for the moment, Leclerc sits at the top of the timesheet followed by Hamilton, Norris, Verstappen, Carlos Sainz, Russell, Tsunoda, Lance Stroll, Valtteri Bottas, and Piastri making up the top 10. Meanwhile, Perez is down in P15, 1.580 off the pace.

At the minute, it wouldn’t be a Formula One weekend if Magnussen hasn’t been noted by the stewards. This time, in an impeding incident between the Haas driver and Albon, there will be no further action.

Complaints from the drivers

As we watch Russell go over the kerb at turn 10 and 11, the Mercedes driver complained to his team:

“Guys this vibration braking into Turn 11 is insane at the moment, can’t hold onto the steering wheel.”

The British driver wasn’t alone, as moments later Verstappen was also on the team radio, reporting:

“I’m jumping like a kangaroo man, I’m getting headaches – it’s crazy.”

Racing on street circuits isn’t always the most comfortable for the drivers, because of the additional bumps on the tarmac. The Mercedes team are quick to bring Russell back into the pits as the team surrounds his car to try and diagnose his vibration issue.

The field change to the soft tyre

On the soft tyre, Perez couldn’t match Leclerc’s medium tyre lap time. But after putting on his own soft tyres, the home town hero moves the goal posts again and sets a 1:11.573. Even Verstappen can’t match the Ferrari driver, 0.535 adrift. Albon set a very impressive 1:12.327 to go in front of Perez. While Fernando Alonso splits Verstappen and Albon to go P3.

The McLarens and Mercedes are yet to set their flying laps. But Norris was the first of the four to do so and goes P3 with a 1:11.953. Verstappen quickly replaces the McLaren driver, but hits the wall at turn seven and quickly returns to the pits. The dominate weekends from the beginning of the season are starting to look like a distant memory for the reigning world champions.

Verstappen isn’t alone as Piastri kisses the wall yet again. However, both McLaren drivers appear to have found the sweet spot when it comes to getting close to the walls around the streets of Monaco.

While we await Piastri’s soft tyre lap time, Leclerc still leads the way with Hamilton, Alonso, Verstappen, Norris, Sainz, Stroll, Perez, Albon, and Russell making up the top 10. The opposite end of the timesheet is currently made up of the two Alpines and two Saubers with 22 minutes left on the clock. Although both Zhou Guanyu and Bottas are yet to bolt on the soft tyres with just over 10 minutes left.

Verstappen returns to the track

After hitting the wall down at turn seven, Verstappen immediately returned to the pits. He is now back on track with over 20 minutes to go. However, the Dutch driver quickly had a moment with Tsunoda out on track, it has been a rather messy session for the Red Bull driver. The incident was noted by the stewards, with no further action necessary.

That wasn’t the only incident out on track, as Alonso had a rather humorous take on Sainz’s gapping techniques:

While he may be the quickest man out there, Leclerc stops out on track for a brief moment down at Sainte Devote. The Ferrari driver avoids the walls, performs a quick handbrake turn, and is back on his way. The barriers have seen a lot of action during free practice 2, but the home boy knows his way around this circuit.

In the closing moments of the session, most drivers are out on track on medium tyres as they complete their long runs. However, Tsunoda, Piastri, Ricciardo, Bottas, and Zhou all opted to not run the soft tyre in the session. All five will have an extra set of new tyres to use at a later date, but we haven’t seen the past of those specific drivers in this session.

Final classification of free practice 2

After dominating the session, Leclerc remained at the top of the timesheet at his home Grand Prix. Hamilton, Alonso, Verstappen, Norris, Sainz, Stroll, Perez, Albon, and Russell round out the top 10. Piastri is down in P12, however the McLaren driver didn’t set a lap time on the soft tyres.

At the other end of the timesheet, the two Saubers remained P19 (Bottas) and P20 (Zhou), but they both also didn’t use the soft tyre. They were joined by Daniel Ricciardo (P16), Pierre Gasly (P17), and Logan Sargeant (P18). The rain failed to turn up again in free practice 2, however the teams were starting to discover tyre degradation issues at the end of the session. Could the tyres spring a surprise on race day if the rain continues to stay away?

Final classification of free practice 2 at the Monaco Grand Prix
Final classification of free practice 2 at the Monaco Grand Prix. (Image Credit: @F1 on X)

Feature Image Credit: @ScuderiaFerrari on X

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