F1 | Monaco GP | FP1 | Hamilton outpaces Piastri and Russell to go fastest in opening practice

Photo Credit: Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team
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First practice in Monaco took place under cloudy skies. In the opening part of the session, McLaren, Red Bull and Ferrari took turns at the top of the charts.

A 1:13.343 from Charles Leclerc saw the Monegasque lead teammate Carlos Sainz by 0.375s with 20 minutes gone. Norris completed the top 3, with the Ferraris and the McLaren running on the hard compound.

Max Verstappen led the medium runners, ahead of Tsunoda and Piastri. The trio were 0.631s, 0.849s and 0.865 away from Leclerc’s time respectively.

Hülkenberg, Alonso, Perez and Ricciardo completed the top 10.

In what has been a bad season for Alpine so far, it continued as Pierre Gasly was stuck in the garage for most of the session as he complained of no power.

As the Dutch driver improved to P2 with a 1:13.476, he had a couple of snaps as he said the car was on a knife edge.

Lewis Hamilton then displaced as he went within 0.165s of Leclerc’s time. Leclerc, Hamilton, Verstappen, Sainz and Tsunoda was the top 5 with 30 minutes to go.

McLaren’s Oscar Piastri was the first driver to switch to softs, moving up to P6, 0.492s off the pace. The Australian was baulked by Russell in the early part of the middle sector. The same happened to Carlos Sainz with a Red Bull.

On his second attempt, a 1:12.618 put Piastri on top. However, George Russell beat that seconds later as a 1:12.295 saw Mercedes go fastest. Despite lifiting a bit just before the line, Piastri responded again as a 1:12.198 was good enough to be 0.097s faster than Russell, with Lewis Hamilton a tenth away from his teammate.

On his next flying lap, a 1:12.169 put the seven-time World Champion top of the charts. Tsunoda, Alonso, Leclerc, Norris, Magnussen, Stroll and Albon completed the top 10 with 20 minutes left. The top 5 all set their best time on softs at that point.

Hamilton, Hülkenberg, Bottas, Leclerc, Albon, Verstappen all had off track moments but all drivers managed to glance the walls without hitting it.

A red flag was thrown with just under 15 minutes remaining as debris had to picked up on the exit of turn 1.

Zhou Guanyu had a snap and hit the wall but avoided suspension damage. However, he did damage his front wing. Home hero Charles Leclerc picked up some of the carbon and the leading edge of his floor sustained a bit of damage, with Ferrari putting tape on it for the rest of the session.

Hamilton, Piastri, Russell, Norris, Leclerc, Alonso, Stroll, Tsunoda, Ricciardo and Sainz was the top 10 on the restart. The Ferraris ran on mediums, with Leclerc only 0.228s away from Hamilton at the top. Max Verstappen was down in 15th.

Heading into the last 5 minutes, Max Verstappen slotted into P11, 0.815s away from Hamilton’s benchmark. Teammate Sergio Perez had a puncture as he returned to the pits.

Hamilton reminded fastest from Piastri, Russell, Norris, Leclerc, Alonso, Stroll, Tsunoda, Ricciardo and Sainz.

Verstappen, Perez, Bottas, Magnussen, Albon, Hülkenberg, Sargeant, Ocon, Guanyu and Gasly completed the order.