Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo was fastest in the first practice session for this weekends Monaco Grand Prix. The Australian set a new lap record going a tenth faster than his teammate Max Verstappen.
Ricciardo set his fastest time on Pirelli’s new hypersoft tyre which they have brought for the first time this weekend. He pushed his teammate off the top spot in the final half hour, after the Dutchman went off at Sainte Devote.
He was placed under investigation for reversing onto the track for failing to re-join the track in a safe manner. He reversed back on to the track, forcing Raikkonen to take avoiding action on the escape road on the inside of the corner. But the stewards decided not to take any further action, deeming it the safest course of action.
The four times champion Lewis Hamilton was third fastest three tenths off the pace on the same tyre.
Red Bull is expected to do well this weekend, as Monte Carlo plays to the teams’ strengths and removes the team estimated its power deficit to Mercedes and Ferrari. Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest ahead of teammate Kimi Raikkonen.
It wasn’t plain sailing for Ricciardo either, the Australian clipping the barrier midway through the session.
Renault’s Carlos Sainz was best of the rest in sixth, ahead of Valtteri Bottas. However the Mercedes driver didn’t set a lap on the new hypersoft tyre, which could have seen him gone faster.
Fernando Alonso had a difficult start to the weekend, his McLaren suffering a break by wire issue early on. He returned to the track in the latter part of the session going nineteenth fastest, six places behind Stoffel Vandoorne.
Force India Sergio Perez was eighth ahead of Romain Grosjean. But, it was overall a disappointing session for the Haas team, Grosjean’s teammate Kevin Magnussen was only twentieth, six and a half tenths off the pace.
After a difficult start to the season, Sergey Sirotkin put his Williams into tenth. That was despite the Russian hitting the wall halfway through the session, causing a puncher.
Sirotkin was over eight tenths faster than his team-mate Lance Stroll.
Charles Leclerc, taking part in his home grand prix, was sixteenth but nearly four tenths quicker than Sauber team-mate Marcus Ericsson.