As unique as it is, the Monaco Grand Prix action starts on Thursday with the first Free Practice session.
For the slowest GP of the year, Pirelli has selected the softest tyres compounds available: the C3, coloured in white, C4 in yellow and C5 in red. The risk of rain is about 20%.
Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas put themselves respectively in first and second position, both wearing C5 tyres, the softest available. Hamilton clocked a 1.12.106s, while Daniel Ricciardo’s pole last year was a 1.10.810s. Are they going to break another record?
The resurfaced track is a little more rubbered after the track activity in the morning, meaning there can be a lap of grip. Both Vettel and Bottas, at the Saint Devote, and Gasly at the Pools turn, slide a little bit, but they managed to keep their car far from the tight barriers. Only Bottas comes back to the garage to fix his badgeboards.
A lot of spins happened during the session: Robert Kubica lost his rear at the Casino square. He kissed the barriers with a light touch, as Max Verstappen thanks the Pole for avoiding him.
Traffic also gave as some fights already, like the one between Kvyat and Hamilton.
Meanwhile, two Black Flags appeared for the Haas drivers: both cars had telemetry and radio issue, making it hard to communicate with drivers. That is the reason behind the black flag: both cars had to come back to the box.
After 30 minutes of action, Max Verstappen places himself in between the two Silver Arrows.
Is again Red Bull the one that threat Mercedes for the victory?
As time flies into the session, the track is continuing to rubber and evolve, with the drivers already fighting for the Thursday domination before tomorrow’s day off.
Hamilton stays on top, with Max Verstappen following. Just 0.059s between them. Bottas is third, followed by Leclerc and Vettel.
All top ten drivers scored their fastest lap time with the C5 compound; Kvyat and Albon, otherwise, scored their best wearing the C4 tyre.
The last minutes are completely dedicated to long runs: both Racing Point tested the hardest compound available, the C3. Vettel tested the
Carlos Sainz is the only driver who has not clocked a lap time: his mechanics are working on his MCL34, which has the floor off, because of a battery issue.