Ricciardo leads Red Bull domination in Monaco practice
Red Bull has dominated the opening day’s running ahead of this weekend’s Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix by topping both of Thursday’s practice sessions.
Daniel Ricciardo headed team-mate Max Verstappen in both sessions, the pair with pace in hand over Mercedes and Ferrari.
Their advantage remained over both long and short runs, painting them as the early favourites heading into the remainder of the race weekend on Saturday.
The Red Bull managed the hypersoft Pirelli tyres well, while Mercedes in particular seemed to struggle to find a comfortable balance for Lewis Hamilton during his race simulation runs.
It wasn’t all plain sailing though, with a mistake for Verstappen in Practice 1 seeing the Dutchman in the escape road at Ste Devote.
He was then placed under investigation by the stewards after reversing back onto the track, forcing Kimi Raikkonen to skip through the pit exit road to avoid colliding with the Red Bull.
Stewards though were satisfied that, covered under yellow flags, Verstappen rejoined in a manner which posed no danger to others.
Brake issues interrupted Fernando Alonso’s opening practice session, leaving the McLaren driver down the order in the opening session as the team worked to replace the floor.
He and team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne showed solid potential by ending the day in the top 10, though Renault headed the condensed midfield pack.
Behind the leading three teams, the midfield was tightly packed, with less than a second between Nico Hulkenberg in seventh to Lance Stroll in 19th in Practice 2.
Haas and Sauber ended the day down the order, though Romain Grosjean left Haas with a glimmer of hope with ninth fastest in Practice 1.
Both sessions ran comparatively incident free, though a number of drivers found themselves touring back to the pits after scraping the wall.
The worst was Sergey Sirotkin, who tagged the wall on the front straight early in Practice 1, dragging his Williams back to the pits before ending the session 10th.
Times across both sessions were faster than the pole time set by Raikkonen in 2017, a by-product of the hypersoft tyres and resurfacing at selected places around the circuit.
Ricciardo’s 1m 11.841s effort in Practice 2 was the fastest lap ever recorded around the Principality, with times tipped to dip into the 1m 10s bracket come qualifying.
Monaco’s unique race weekend schedule now sees teams given a day off on Friday ahead of final practice and qualifying on Saturday and the race on Sunday.
Results: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Free Practice 2
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Renault||1:11.841|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Renault||1:12.035|
|8||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:13.077|
|9||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:13.115|
|11||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:13.222|
|12||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:13.370|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:13.382|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:13.410|
|15||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:13.547|
|16||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:13.572|
|17||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:13.575|
|18||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:13.763|
|19||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:14.011|
|20||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:14.173|
Results: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Free Practice 1
|1||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Renault||1:12.126|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Renault||1:12.280|
|8||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:13.717|
|9||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:13.943|
|10||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:13.962|
|11||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:14.000|
|12||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:14.034|
|14||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:14.240|
|15||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:14.291|
|16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:14.521|
|17||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:14.637|
|18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:14.782|
|19||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:15.206|
|20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:18.801|