Mercedes and McLaren Dominate Rapid Monaco FP1

Hamilton Leads Piastri as Verstappen Struggles in Monaco


Hamilton led Piastri while Verstappen struggled, as Mercedes and McLaren dominated a fast-paced FP1 session in Monaco.

F1 arrives in Monaco for the most unique Grand Prix of the year on a very twisty circuit. All teams have brought updates, mainly specific parts tailored for the Principality’s layout.

Red Bull introduced a new rear wing, a new beam wing, modified front brake ducts, and a suspension adjusted for tight corners. Mercedes brought a new rear wing, a revised floor, and a new front wing.

Ferrari has a revised rear wing for maximum downforce, similar to McLaren and Aston Martin. Alpine brought more updates, including a new front wing, front suspension adapted for Monaco, a revised rear wing, and a modified rear Halo section.

Williams has a new rear wing, a new beam wing, and special brake ducts for Monaco. RB F1 introduced a new rear wing, new front suspension, and new front brake ducts.

Stake F1 is one of the teams bringing an upgrade not solely for Monaco, featuring a single pillar to support the rear wing, compared to the previous two. The rear wing endplates are new, along with the front suspension and brake ducts.

Finally, Haas introduced a specific rear wing and beam wing, larger engine cover vents, new front brake ducts, and front suspension adapted to the Monaco circuit.

Action from the First Session

Drivers don’t usually focus much on setup work during free practice in Monaco. The goal is to build confidence, improving lap by lap. This is why we saw already fast times and attacking laps.

Oscar Piastri set the initial benchmark on medium tires at 1’18″002, ahead of Max Verstappen with 1’18″049. They were the only ones on yellow-walled tires, while other drivers like Valtteri Bottas and Lando Norris were on hard tires.

Yuki Tsunoda set the best time on hard tires at 1’17″227, before being beaten by Lewis Hamilton with 1’16″057. Kevin Magnussen took second place, and Charles Leclerc did better with 1’15″948. Carlos Sainz was fourth, and Lance Stroll fifth.

Verstappen improved to 1’15″625, while Norris reported “a few drops of rain” at Turn 2 at the top of the hill. Hamilton missed his final sector and aborted an improving lap, and Norris took the best time with 1’15″294.

Piastri Beats Leclerc with 1’14″694 on Medium Tires, Leclerc Responds with 1’14″521 on Hards
Carlos Sainz missed the chicane on a flying lap while Nico Hülkenberg went straight on at Sainte Devote.

Leclerc improved to 1’14″238, with Sainz in second. Alex Albon placed ninth behind the Mercedes, then got overtaken by Kevin Magnussen. Piastri improved, slotting between the Ferraris. Verstappen advanced to 1’13″974, with Leclerc just 0.036 seconds behind on less grippy tires.

Significant Time Loss for Gasly

Alpine called Pierre Gasly into the pits due to an issue. Gasly inquired about the problem, and his engineer confirmed it was engine-related, potentially limiting his track time.

Replay showed Verstappen touching the railings in the Swimming Pool section during his hot lap, causing no damage. Sainz improved to 0.039 seconds off Verstappen and 0.003 seconds off Leclerc. Bottas went straight on at Sainte Devote.

Gasly quickly returned to the track but reported a power issue, and his engineer called him back to the garage. After 20 minutes, Esteban Ocon was 18th and Gasly last. Piastri moved up to fourth.

Tsunoda climbed to sixth, then fourth, and Ricciardo to tenth. Norris improved to lead with 1’13″934, with four drivers within a tenth of a second. Leclerc went even faster with 1’13″343, achieving the best times in all three sectors.

Sainz improved but remained over three-tenths behind his teammate, and Tsunoda took provisional third. George Russell complained about his tires not gripping well enough.

Leclerc improved to 1’13″132, and Verstappen moved to second, 0.344 seconds off the leading Ferrari. Like his previous hot lap, the Dutchman flirted with the walls through the Swimming Pool section and at Sainte Devote. Albon went straight on at Sainte Devote.

Piastri First on Soft Tires, Setting Sixth Fastest Time

Norris remained on mediums and didn’t improve. Logan Sargeant hit the wall, complaining of a slightly bent steering.

Hamilton moved up to second with an improved time on medium tires. Sainz was impeded by Pérez, who lightly touched the wall entering the pits. Piastri set the fastest time at 1’12″618 on soft tires.

Russell, also on soft tires, improved in all sectors to take the lead with 1’12″295. Gasly’s session ended due to a turbo wastegate issue.

Hamilton accelerated to second, 0.103 seconds behind his teammate. Piastri improved further, taking the lead with 1’12″198 but touched the rails at the Swimming Pool. Fernando Alonso set the fourth-fastest time.

Norris took second on his first lap on mediums, and Hamilton topped the timesheets with 1’12″169. Bottas climbed to 12th, just behind Pérez. Stroll placed seventh, just behind Alonso.

Guanyu Zhou hit the rail exiting Sainte Devote, shedding pieces of his wing and prompting a red flag. Leclerc worried about floor damage from debris.

The session resumed, and Pérez suffered a puncture. Rain was approaching Monaco but wasn’t expected before the session’s end. Verstappen did not use soft tires and was 11th in the standings.

The Dutchman complained of a lack of balance and discomfort, stating each attempt to fix the problem made it worse. Gasly managed one lap at the end of the session.

Hamilton finished on top, followed by Piastri, Russell, and Norris. Leclerc was fifth without using soft tires. Alonso and Stroll were next, ahead of Tsunoda, Ricciardo, Sainz, Verstappen, and Pérez. Alpine drivers finished 18th and 20th.

01Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:12.16935
02Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:12.19831
03George RussellMercedes W151:12.29535
04Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:12.39633
05Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:12.39733
06Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:12.77526
07Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:12.78926
08Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:12.87534
09Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:12.90136
10Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:12.95435
11Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:12.98429
12Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:13.22929
13Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:13.24828
14Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:13.39033
15Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:13.42534
16Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:13.57634
17Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:14.15036
18Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:14.15933
19Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:14.57030
20Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:15.57410

Mercedes and McLaren Dominate Rapid Monaco FP1. Mercedes and McLaren Dominate Rapid Monaco FP1. f1 2024 Mercedes and McLaren Dominate Rapid Monaco FP1

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