F1

Monaco GP: McLaren Thursday practice notes

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso dominated today's two free practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix emerging fastest from both with times of 1m16.973 and 1m15.940. Lewis Hamilton was second in the first session with 1m17.601...

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes driver Fernando Alonso dominated today's two free practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix emerging fastest from both with times of 1m16.973 and 1m15.940. Lewis Hamilton was second in the first session with 1m17.601 and ended third in the second session with 1m16.296 despite going off at St. Devote with 30 minutes to go. Fernando completed 33 and 40 laps whilst Lewis did 14 and 19 laps.

FAST FACTS

Why did Lewis not run in the second half of the first practice session?

The starter motor broke and left a piece of debris in the back of the gearbox. The team had to remove the floor of the car in order to remove the debris.

Traditionally in Monaco Steinmetz has diamonds incorporated into either the driver's helmets or the steering wheel. What are they doing this year?

This year Steinmetz in conjunction with Vodafone McLaren Mercedes engineers have manufactured bespoke diamond helmets for both Fernando and Lewis. The words "Monaco 07" have been emblazoned in whiter diamonds across the both sides of the helmets.

Fernando Alonso:

"As always free practice was focused on testing the different tyre compounds made available to us by Bridgestone as well as finding the right balance with the set-up. We made good progress and the car feels good. Monaco is a unique circuit with the close barriers and also traffic - it's very easy to get a flying lap ruined, but that is the challenge for everybody. I think we are in good shape, and with some more fine tuning during Saturday morning practice we are definitely looking forward to a competitive weekend."

Lewis Hamilton:

"Today was the first time I ever drove a Formula 1 car around Monaco, and it was awesome. I have obviously had experience of the circuit from Formula 3 and GP2, but in a Formula 1 car it's very different. I found out how unforgiving the track can be when I went off in the second session causing some damage to the car."

"I'm obviously sorry as there will be a bit of work for the guys but until then everything had been going smoothly, and we were able to set some competitive lap times. I had a very small braking error coming into St. Devote, and the tyres hadn't built up enough grip so I made a tiny mistake, and the back of the car slipped a little and that was it - there is just no room for error in Monaco."

Ron Dennis:

"As always the Monaco Grand Prix presents some unique challenges for both drivers and teams and today's practice was no exception. Both our cars look competitive, and Fernando in particular was able to complete a lot of running. The problem with the starter motor in the first session and Lewis's off in the second practice cost him some time, but we have plenty of data to analyse to put both drivers in the best possible position to fight for pole position."

Norbert Haug:

"Overall a good first day for us with a little bad luck on Lewis's side who was caught out in the first corner on a fresh set of tyres which obviously had not built up enough grip at this stage - however before he was strong as was Fernando. On Saturday and Sunday our goal is to be as competitive as today."

Chassis allocation
Fernando Alonso: MP4-22 06
Lewis Hamilton: MP4-22 05
T-car (Fernando): MP4-22 03

-credit: mclaren

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