Monaco Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton takes top spot in first free practice session
By: S. Harding, Xiro Xone News May 25, 2017 Updated: 8:43 PM
MONTE CARLO, Monaco -- Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel finished strong taking the top spot ahead of Mercedes in the timesheets in the second free practice for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix.
Despite struggling with grip Hamilton is confident that the team will have this issue solved by Saturday’s qualifying.
“We just struggled to extract the grip from the tires and we were sliding around a lot. I’m not sure why the tires weren’t working but the difference between the two sessions was night and day. We've e got some work to do ahead of Saturday that’s for sure but I’m confident the team can work it out," said Hamilton.
Vettel set a new lap record with a time of 1:12.720, the fastest around the principality on the ultra-soft tires. However, Vettel still feels there is more work to be done ahead of Saturday's qualifying.
"Now it’s about fine-tuning and we have time for that. Yet, we still have to do something more on the car to be more competitive," said Vettel.
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo took second as he hopes to better his result from last year. Vettel’s teammate Kimi Raikkonen finished third ahead of the Toro Rosso’s of Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, who turned out a very impressive result finishing fourth and fifth.
Further down, Ricciardo’s teammate Max Verstappen was sixth ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez in seventh. But, it was Mercedes that had everyone scratching their heads starting with Lewis Hamilton who crossed the line eighth.
Haas’ Kevin Magnussen showed improvement from FP1 moving up to ninth while Valtteri Bottas, making up the other half of Mercedes struggles, finished in 10th.
McLaren-Honda’s Stoffel Vandoorne also improved from FP1, coming in just behind Bottas in 11th while Vandoorne’s teammate for the weekend Jensen Button came in 12th.
Williams Felipe Massa took 13th with Romain Grosjean in 14th as he wasn’t able to join his teammate Magnussen in the top ten.
Esteban Ocon dropped down in the order from earlier in FP1, finishing 15th. Massa’s teammate Lance Stroll’s rough day continued after he lost control of his car at Casino Square colliding with the wall which caused heavy damage to his car and left him in 16th.
Stroll was unharmed but later said: "I just basically centered in looking for the limit, got onto the dirt a little bit and lost the rear. It was a typical street circuit mistake. I got into learning the circuit pretty quickly and I was happy with the day until then. What is good here is the tire seems to be hanging on quite a bit, so we are able to do multiple push laps."
Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg finished 17th followed by his teammate Jolyon Palmer in 18th who ran into technical issues during the session. Sauber’s Marcus Ericsson finished 0.004s in 19th ahead of his teammate Pascal Wehrlein in 20th. The two were separated by just 0.004s.