Perez tops opening practice in Monaco

Sergio Perez

Sergio Perez has gone fastest in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

It was a confidence-building performance from the Mexican who headed Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

Perez used a set of soft compound tyres, as did fourth-best Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), with most others opting for the medium rubber.

It was a short session for Charles Leclerc, the Ferrari driver logging just four laps before suffering a terminal gearbox issue.

Across the garage, Sainz proved competitive throughout, spending much of the session towards the top of the timesheets.

That was helped by finding free air on a track busy with traffic, allowing the Spaniard to build up his confidence in the car early.

His best of 1:12.606s used a set of medium compound tyres, whereas Perez used a set of softs to bank his 1:12.536s.

Fernando Alonso had an interrupted session, knocking the front wing off his Alpine as he rounded the final corner.

Another mistake later in the session saw him run long at Ste Devote as the two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner ended the session 13th fastest.

It was a busy session with every driver, aside from the aforementioned Leclerc, logging nearly 30 laps in the 60-minute session.

Antonio Giovinazzi set the fewest with just 27, while Nicholas Latifi logged 40 at Williams.

McLaren used the session like a test, with Daniel Ricciardo completing 36 laps to end proceedings 15th best, his 1:14.281s a full second down on team-mate Lando Norris in seventh.

Lewis Hamilton was just fifth fastest, 0.5s off Perez’s pace, with Valtteri Bottas 0.2s further back in sixth.

Rounding out the top 10 were Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) in eighth, Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri), and Kimi Raikkonen (Alfa Romeo).

Free Practice 2, another 60-minute session, follows at 23:00 AEST.

Results: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Free Practice 1

1 11 Sergio Perez RED BULL RACING HONDA 01:12.5 36
2 55 Carlos Sainz FERRARI 01:12.6 +0.119s 32
3 33 Max Verstappen RED BULL RACING HONDA 01:12.6 +0.161s 39
4 10 Pierre Gasly ALPHATAURI HONDA 01:12.9 +0.442s 37
5 44 Lewis Hamilton MERCEDES 01:13.0 +0.508s 34
6 77 Valtteri Bottas MERCEDES 01:13.1 +0.644s 36
7 4 Lando Norris MCLAREN MERCEDES 01:13.2 +0.749s 31
8 5 Sebastian Vettel ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 01:13.7 +1.245s 33
9 22 Yuki Tsunoda ALPHATAURI HONDA 01:13.7 +1.259s 39
10 7 Kimi Räikkönen ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 01:14.1 +1.594s 31
11 18 Lance Stroll ASTON MARTIN MERCEDES 01:14.1 +1.603s 33
12 99 Antonio Giovinazzi ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI 01:14.1 +1.619s 27
13 14 Fernando Alonso ALPINE RENAULT 01:14.2 +1.718s 37
14 6 Nicholas Latifi WILLIAMS MERCEDES 01:14.3 +1.781s 41
15 3 Daniel Ricciardo MCLAREN MERCEDES 01:14.3 +1.794s 36
16 31 Esteban Ocon ALPINE RENAULT 01:14.3 +1.833s 37
17 9 Nikita Mazepin HAAS FERRARI 01:14.6 +2.129s 33
18 47 Mick Schumacher HAAS FERRARI 01:14.8 +2.314s 35
19 63 George Russell WILLIAMS MERCEDES 01:14.8 +2.353s 35
20 16 Charles Leclerc FERRARI 01:19.6 +7.131s 4

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