GP Monaco, prove libere giovedì – 21/05/2015
Monaco GP: Lewis Hamilton leads second F1 practice before rain hits
Mercedes Formula 1 driver Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in second practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, but rain early in the session limited running.
Hamilton clocked a 1m17.192s, 0.7 seconds quicker than team-mate Nico Rosberg, with Sebastian Vettel four tenths further adrift in the Ferrari.
The session was only 14 minutes old when Roberto Merhi lost control of his Manor exiting the tunnel before crunching the front wing into the barriers.
The session was red-flagged and though it restarted six minutes later, a few drops of rain was a sign of worse things to come.
Pastor Maldonado ventured out on a set of super-soft tyres, but while it was relatively dry in the pitlane, rain was falling on the east side of the track and Lotus immediately called the Venezuelan back to the pits.
The rain intensified and most drivers got out of their cars and rolled down their overalls as they prepared for a wait.
Eventually, the rain stopped with half an hour to go, but it wasn’t until the final 10 minutes that drivers headed back out.
The intermediates were generally the tyre of choice but Mercedes decided to split its programme with Rosberg running the full wets instead.
But conditions remained tricky, with the wet track creating a lot of spray and drivers lapping around 18s slower than in the dry.
As a result, Hamilton’s early time – which was 1.6s quicker than his leading time in first practice – kept him top of the pile.
Kimi Raikkonen was fourth fastest, two tenths of a second slower than Ferrari team-mate Vettel, with Red Bull’s Daniil Kvyat fifth.
Max Verstappen, who impressed with the second quickest time in first practice on his first visit to Monaco, was seventh, a tenth slower than Toro Rosso team-mate Carlos Sainz Jr.
Fernando Alonso gave McLaren a top 10 placing with eighth, ahead of Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Lotus’s Romain Grosjean.
Sergio Perez was 11th in the second Force India with the Williams of Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas 12th and 13th respectively.
Maldonado was 14th, followed McLaren’s Jenson Button, Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Sauber’s Felipe Nasr.
Manor’s Merhi beat team-mate Will Stevens to 18th place before his crash while Marcus Ericsson had an ERS issue and didn’t set a lap time.
|5||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m18.548s||1.356s||16|
|6||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.659s||1.467s||14|
|7||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.782s||1.590s||12|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.151s||1.959s||13|
|11||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m19.300s||2.108s||13|
|16||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.639s||2.447s||13|
Monaco GP F1: Lewis Hamilton leads Max Verstappen in practice one
Lewis Hamilton went fastest of all in first practice for the 2015 Monaco Grand Prix, though an impressive Max Verstappen came close to matching him with a late flying lap.
Hamilton’s peak in practice one last year was 1m18.271s but this year his fastest time was 1m18.750s, set mid-way through the session before Mercedes switched to high-fuel running.
Team-mate Rosberg’s quickest during this phase was a second slower, and he fell down the order as others improved their times later on.
Following overnight rain the track was declared wet, and the drivers completed their installation laps on intermediate tyres.
It quickly became apparent that the surface was largely dry and the Mercedes of Hamilton and Rosberg headed back out to lead the way on slick tyres, drilling down into the 1m22s bracket and below in the first 30 minutes.
As ever in Monaco, the asphalt (around 80 per cent of which has been resurfaced since last year) was slippery before it began to rubber in, and the low ambient temperature of 14C made it tough to get heat into the brakes and tyres.
Rosberg brushed the barrier at Tabac early in the session without incurring damage, Daniel Ricciardo, Pastor Maldonado, Romain Grosjean, Valtteri Bottas and Fernando Alonso spun at Sainte Devote, and the escape road at the chicane enjoyed plenty of traffic.
With the first half-hour over and the ‘free’ set of soft tyres handed back, Mercedes upped the ante once more.
Hamilton and Rosberg traded fastest times on their next set of softs, both dipping below the 1m20s mark – a Rubicon the majority of their rivals struggled to cross until the final minutes.
Hamilton’s 1m18.570s would stand as the quickest until the end of the session.
Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen split the Mercedes on their next timed runs, with Vettel just over three-tenths off Hamilton’s benchmark, but he clearly had the Ferrari on the very edge of soft’s grip levels at that stage of the track’s evolution. He would not improve upon his best lap of 1m19.134s.
Alonso also broke through the 1m20s barrier in the last half hour, giving McLaren some succour in a session of mixed success. Jenson Button sat out the first hour while his MP4-30 received attention in the garage.
In a final flurry of track activity just before the chequered flag, Verstappen, Ricciardo, Carlos Sainz, Pastor Maldonado and Daniil Kvyat broke through and split the Mercedes further, with Verstappen falling just 0.149s short of Hamilton’s best.
|2||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m18.899s||0.149s||42|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.086s||0.336s||27|
|5||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m19.245s||0.495s||40|
|7||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull/Renault||1m19.520s||0.770s||33|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.619s||1.869s||35|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India/Mercedes||1m20.784s||2.034s||34|