Leclerc on top, Ricciardo crashes out of practice

Charles Leclerc

Charles Leclerc has ended Free Practice 2 for the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix fastest as Daniel Ricciardo crashed out in the early minutes.

Leclerc built on his strong pace from earlier in the day to sit atop the timesheets in both of the day’s sessions, Carlos Sainz second best in the latter just 0.044s down on his team-mate.

The Monaco streets weren’t kind to Ricciardo, the Australian clouting the barrier at the Swimming Pool without a time to his name.

Mick Schumacher headed into Free Practice 2 with a new MGU-K and gearbox after Haas identified and resolved the issues which saw the German stop at pit entry in the day’s earlier session.

There was a similar issue for Alfa Romeo Sauber, Valtteri Bottas delayed slightly as he joined the session after he managed just two laps in the morning session.

The Finn was among those to head out early, together with 15 other drivers who took to the streets of the Principality as the session opened.

Ferrari sent its two drivers out on the hard tyres, while the balance of the field opted for mediums.

Clear track was at a premium, with the complex from the Swimming Pool through La Rascasse littered with slow moving cars.

Sebastian Vettel had a near miss in the Swimming Pool, taking too much kerb heading into the complex, pitching the Aston Martin sideways.

He somehow survived, picking his way around the sleeping policeman to continue without so much as a scratch on his car.

No sooner did the German escape than Ricciardo was less fortunate, burying the McLaren in the Tecpro barrier exiting the complex.

The Australian suffered oversteer entering the complex, overcorrecting the slide only to be fired into the barrier on driver’s left.

The red flag was shown as a consequence, his McLaren having slid down the circuit and pierced a Tecpro barrier, necessitating a nine minute stoppage for repairs.

Most of the remaining runners opted for soft compound tyres as they focused on qualifying simulations once running resumed.

That didn’t initially include the Ferraris, both Leclerc and Sainz remaining in the garage.

Sergio Perez was the session’s benchmark, having logged a 1:14.001 prior to the interruption.

Fernando Alonso set a 1:13.912s on his qualifying run to briefly go quickest, only for both Max Verstappen and Perez to improve, the latter to 1:13.324s, a 0.7s gain on his earlier lap.

That lasted only until Leclerc, who’d headed out on a set of softs, completed his first qualifying simulation, logging a lap 1:13.125s, 0.199s faster than the previous marker.

He improved further to 1:12.656s, while Sainz slotted in second, though 0.4s slower than his team-mate.

Lewis Hamilton locked up at Mirabeau, skating into the escape road before returning to the pits.

At McLaren, Norris reported brushing the wall at Ste Devout before he toured round for the team to examine the MCL36.

When the qualifying simulations ended, Leclerc was fastest from Sainz, just 0.044s between the Maranello pair.

Perez was up next, 0.379s slower, then Verstappen who was 0.447s off his title rival’s pace.

Norris was next best, in front of George Russell in the first of the Mercedes, the Brit seemingly more on top of the set-up than team-mate Hamilton, who was just 12th fastest over a single lap.

With attentions turned to long runs in the final 15 minutes, the order remained unchanged, with Leclerc best from his team-mate to round out a strong opening day for the Scuderia.

The Red Bull pairing looked within touching distance of the front of the field, the leading two teams comfortably clear of the rest of the field.

A final hour of practice continues on Saturday with Free Practice 3 set to commence at 21:00 AEST.

Results: Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, Free Practice 2

Pos Num Driver Team Laps Time Diff
1 16 Charles Leclerc Scuderia Ferrari 29 1:12.656
2 55 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Ferrari 31 1:12.700 +0.044s
3 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 30 1:13.035 +0.379s
4 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 32 1:13.103 +0.447s
5 4 Lando Norris McLaren F1 Team 24 1:13.294 +0.638s
6 63 George Russell Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 30 1:13.406 +0.750s
7 10 Pierre Gasly Scuderia AlphaTauri 31 1:13.636 +0.980s
8 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine F1 Team 30 1:13.912 +1.256s
9 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin F1 Team 31 1:14.059 +1.403s
10 22 Yuki Tsunoda Scuderia AlphaTauri 26 1:14.134 +1.478s
11 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team 31 1:14.239 +1.583s
12 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG F1 Team 28 1:14.267 +1.611s
13 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo F1 Team 27 1:14.468 +1.812s
14 23 Alex Albon Williams Racing 32 1:14.486 +1.830s
15 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo F1 Team 22 1:14.525 +1.869s
16 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin F1 Team 28 1:14.623 +1.967s
17 47 Mick Schumacher Haas F1 Team 32 1:14.894 +2.238s
18 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine F1 Team 33 1:15.216 +2.560s
19 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams Racing 32 1:16.276 +3.620s
20 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren F1 Team 2

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