The Principality streets are now coloured red after the amazing performance showed by Scuderia Ferrari in Monaco. The Italian team even topped the second free practice session with both drivers, scoring the first 1-2 finish in an F1 session since Brazil 2019.
Local hero Charles Leclerc didn't have an easy time in his hometown during FP1 as, after just four laps, he was forced to come back to the pit-lane: just as he was approaching the Portier he couldn't put in the fourth gear, and his session was over after few minutes. And that is why he came back stronger in the afternoon, where he scored the fastest time overall: 1:11.684s.
"It was quite a surprise to have the day end so well, after we had a difficult start this morning. It’s important to do as many laps as possible, especially here in Monaco, and with the issue we had in FP1 I only completed 4 laps," said Leclerc, who completed thirty laps in the afternoon.
"In FP2, I felt at ease with the car and we may even have a bit of margin there to improve. But we shouldn’t get too carried away, because I am convinced that our competitors have more in hand. We have a day of work ahead of us tomorrow, and we will only know where we really stand on Saturday".
The SF21 looked very fast in the slow Monegasque corners, as Carlos Sainz showed all day long. The Spaniard immediately felt at ease on the street circuit, clocking fastest times wearing only medium tyres: he was second behind Red Bull's Sergio Perez, but Sainz showed his confidence in the afternoon as well, when he showed an incredible pace even wearing the hard compound. In the end, he is second again behind teammate Leclerc, with a 0.112s gap.
"It has been a very positive first day for the team here in Monaco, but we know it is only practice - said Sainz - things can change a lot from Thursday to Saturday at this track, so we will stay focused. Despite being quite happy with the car, we’ll keep working hard over the next two days to understand where we can improve. I really missed driving around these streets. I enjoyed myself in both sessions, pushing the car little by little to try to find the limit. Lets’ fine-tune everything to put together a strong Saturday!".
Sir Lewis Hamilton's fastest time was worth third place in FP2, with a 0.390s gap from Leclerc. Surely Mercedes and Red Bull are yet to show their true potential, with McLaren's Lando Norris waiting behind, but surely Ferrari's pace seems promising. A lot can change until Saturday, but Monaco surely promises a good fight.