MONACO GP – Charles Leclerc leads Ferrari one-two in second practice ahead of Mercedes and Red Bull

Testing & Race Reports

Charles Leclerc led a Ferrari one-two in second practice for the Monaco Grand Prix after going a tenth faster than his teammate Carlos Sainz. The Monégasques set his fastest on the soft tyre in the final part of the session after finding more time in the final sector when he and Sainz set identical first and middle sector before the Spaniard lost a tenth in the final sector.

Ferrari who hasn’t won a race since Monza 2019 were the surprise, they were three tenths ahead of Sir Lewis Hamilton was third. Leclerc needed a strong session after sitting out most of FP1 because of a gearbox issue, he found seven seconds worth of time between his first lap and his best lap an 11.684.

However, at this early stage it the weekend it’s almost certain Mercedes and Red Bull haven’t shown their full potential, Max Verstappen just seven-thousandths of a second behind Hamilton in fourth. Ferrari have looked competitive all day. Sainz was continually up at the sharp end through the first session, ending it second fastest to Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Valtteri Bottas was three-hundredths behind Hamilton in fifth, suggesting that there will be an extremely close battle in qualifying on Saturday between Mercedes and Red Bull in qualifying. But as ever the same question remains’ will Red Bull be able to unearth those final hundredths in Q3 to challenge for pole.

Hamilton also may have slightly more to give appearing to lose time, when he made a mistake at the Nouvelle/Harbour Chicane which would have put him on the same pace as the Ferrari’s. Monaco practice is even more unreliable than normal given the unique circuit.

Lando Norris continued his strong performances this season putting his McLaren sixth fastest just over two tenths faster than the Alpha Tauri of Pierre Gasly. However, the Englishman had a minor moment at the Swimming Pool catching a bit of oversteer.

The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez was eighth ahead of Antonio Giovinazzi and Sebastian Vettel. However, teams lost their long-run data gathering when Mick Schumacher crash his Haas at Massenet.

The German lost the rear of the car when it slid through the corner before hitting the outside barrier through the entry to Casino Square, he did keep going but had a puncher when he exited the Tunnel causing the red flag as he parked up at the Harbour Chicane.

Vettel reported that it “feels like my eye is bleeding” before adding “I’m super emotional or there’s something stuck in my eye”, although he opted to continue lapping despite his discomfort.

Antonio Giovinazzi was ninth fastest with his teammate Kimi Raikkonen eleventh, the pair split by Vettel’s Aston Martin. Fernando Alonso was twelfth fastest ahead of Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon by two-hundredths of a second, in between was Vettel’s teammate Lance Stroll.

Daniel Ricciardo was only fifteenth ahead of the two Williams of George Russell and Nicolas Latifi, Nikita Mazepin eighteenth almost a hundredth faster than Schumacher with Yuki Tsunoda rounding out the field

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