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Leclerc Tops FP1 Session on Home Soil in Monaco

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Charles Leclerc topped the timings on home soil, in the Monaco Grand Prix while his teammate Carlos Sainz finished in third.

Sergio Perez separated the two Ferraris in second place while his teammate Max Verstappen finished in fourth.

Ferrari vs Red Bull

Charles Leclerc went off the track during the first few minutes of the session. It was nothing serious and he managed to go out on track again and proceed with the practice session before it was red-flagged.

Both Ferraris were out on the medium-compound tyres while Red Bull took their drivers out on the hard. Christian Horner reported that both drivers were doing well on track and getting the data needed for the team.

With 16 minutes left on the clock, Verstappen went off the track at the same place Leclerc did, at Turn One. It seemed that he had a lock-up on his front left and had a run-off. It might have burned his tyre a bit but the Dutch kept running in the session.

Sainz was going on a flying lap, setting overall records in both first sectors but traffic ruined his lap as he had to go off track to avoid a crash. Sky Sports reporter Ted Kravitz explained on the other hand how Ferrari said that they were not looking at chasing the timings in this first session. They were happy to have both drivers out there running successfully.

Despite that, the drivers still pushed their Ferraris to the limit and topped the timings with 11 minutes left on the clock. Sainz was in second, seven one-hundredths slowers than his teammate.

With seven minutes left, even Perez had a lock-up at the same place, it seems like teams need to look at how their cars are reacting at Turn one.

Mick Schumacher Causes Red Flag

Mick Schumacher reported that the gearbox might have a problem to his mechanics. He stopped by the pitlane entry and blocked the track for a while. The car did not cooperate with him and needed a push from the marshalls.

This urged the stewards to red flag the session. Ted Kravitz reported that they probably didn’t have to take that approach, because of the efficiency of the marshalls at Monaco. Also, they were already lifting the car and successfully helping it into the pitlane.

He also explained how they probably decided to red flag it because the pitlane entry was limited. Although Kevin Magnussen managed to enter, safety comes first in Formula One.

This was the end of Schumacher’s practice session.

Kevin Magnussen kept running for Haas but a huge lock-up with 10 minutes left on the clock had to take him back to the pits. The Danish also had a run-off at Turn one.

Mercedes and Porpoising

George Russell reported that the porpoising is back again for Mercedes. His teammate Lewis Hamilton also said that the car is having a huge amount of porpoising. Very weird considering that this is the slowest track on the calendar.

With 32 minutes left on the clock, Hamilton reported, “Yeah, the bouncing’s crazy mate.” With two minutes left, he told his team that he is “losing my mind” with all the bouncing. They also changed the heave spring in the suspension of the car, while they changed Russell’s front wing. Despite the change, the heave spring will not do much to help the bouncing. It is made to help the car when it is going down the straights and helps the car to have a smoother ride when going over kerbs and bumps.

Mercedes were running their old front wings during the session rather than the new upgraded ones. They didn’t want to risk having the new changes damaged already during the first session.

News from other teams

Not a great session for Valtteri Bottas and Alfa Romeo. the Finn only recorded two laps during the session after a gearbox problem occurred. No time was recorded from Bottas and the team spend the session working on their problems.

It’s devasting for Bottas who had high hopes for this weekend and even believed that he can get a podium. They do have time to recover though.

Meanwhile, Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll sent a message to his engineer complaining that he has no front grip. He was told to box immediately and it looks like they came up with a solution. The Canadian was out on track a few minutes after.

Final Results

  1. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
  2. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
  3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
  4. Max Verstappen (Red Bull)
  5. Lando Norris (McLaren)
  6. Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri)
  7. Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren)
  8. George Russell (Mercedes)
  9. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin)
  10. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
  11. Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri)
  12. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
  13. Fernando Alonso (Alpine)
  14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
  15. Alex Albon (Williams)
  16. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
  17. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
  18. Nicholas Latifi (Williams)
  19. Mick Schumacher (Haas)
  20. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo) NO TIME

Featured Image Credit: Planet F1

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