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Formula 1 Monaco GP

F1 Monaco GP: Verstappen tops FP2 from Leclerc as Sainz crashes

Max Verstappen topped the second Formula 1 free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, as FP1 headliner Carlos Sainz caused a red flag with a crash.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

Almost the entire field opened their lap tallies on the medium tyres, barring the hard-shod Ferrari duo, and ownership over the fastest lap time quickly changed hands as the times tumbled.

Valtteri Bottas was among the first drivers to set a somewhat representative time, but it didn't last long at the top as the circuit continued to rubber in; Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton set times in the high 1m15s, until Verstappen vaulted to the top with a 1m15.487s.

George Russell found 0.005s to move to the top, but Bottas then reclaimed the bragging rights before he was quickly displaced by Esteban Ocon.

The Frenchman was surpassed by Alonso, who went nearly a second faster before Verstappen brought the session into the 1m13s with a 1m13.985s.

Alonso attempted to beat the Dutchman, but his 1m14.227s fell down in the final sector as his opening salvo was initially quicker. Hamilton was successful in his attempt to reach the top, shading his 2021 title rival by a scant 0.001s, but Verstappen out-did the Briton with a 1m13.857s.

Verstappen's next efforts exerted his control, with a 1m13.567s followed by a 1m13.312s to bring the medium-compound running to a conclusion.

On softs, Alonso leapfrogged him with a 1m12.786s and held the fort for a good 10 minutes until countryman Sainz fired in a 1m12.569s to reclaim his time-topping efforts from the opening practice session.

Although Verstappen opened his soft-tyre running with the best first sector, but lost ground in the following splits and plonked his car into third, ahead of Charles Leclerc, who was struggling with his car "jumping" through the tighter corners.

Alonso also stormed to the quickest first sector on another soft-tyre effort, but lost ground thanks to traffic in the final part of the lap and could not overhaul Sainz on that occasion - and was shy of the quickest time by 0.113s.

After stringing a better lap together on his next run, Verstappen logged a 1m12.462s despite not setting any purple sectors in that particular tilt.

Leclerc was less than a tenth away from Verstappen on a far stronger tour of the Monte Carlo circuit, and overcame team-mate Sainz to grab second.

Sainz then produced a red flag after fluffing his lines on the exit of the Swimming Pool, clipping the inside wall and coming to rest in the barrier to enforce a pause in proceedings with his front-right suspension broken.

The session resumed with 12 minutes left on the clock when the stricken Ferrari was mopped up by the marshals, but there was no further performance runs forthcoming as race runs became the focus of the remaining minutes of the session.

This cemented Verstappen's place at the top, less than a tenth clear of Leclerc's best effort of the session while Sainz could not improve on third-best after his crash.

Alonso was fourth fastest, just over two tenths ahead of Lando Norris, who suffered a delay to the start of the session as apparent electrical issues required fixes within the McLaren garage. The Briton's car later suffered further issues, and was ordered to minimise his throttle inputs ahead of an unwelcome retreat to the pits.

Hamilton took his Mercedes to sixth, admitting that he did not have the tools to go faster, as Sergio Perez was seventh on the timing boards.

Bottas beat the two Alpines to eighth; Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon completed the top 10, finishing just ahead of Aston Martin's Lance Stroll.

Alex Albon managed to get onto the circuit on the resumption of the session following extensive repairs to his Williams FW45, having crashed at the end of FP1, and leapfrogged team-mate Logan Sargeant to the 19th-best time at the session's close.

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Laps Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Red Bull 30 1'12.462  
2 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 33 1'12.527 0.065
3 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari Ferrari 22 1'12.569 0.107
4 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes 32 1'12.682 0.220
5 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 18 1'12.906 0.444
6 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 29 1'12.960 0.498
7 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Red Bull 30 1'12.991 0.529
8 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 33 1'13.050 0.588
9 France Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 28 1'13.089 0.627
10 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 30 1'13.162 0.700
11 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 31 1'13.185 0.723
12 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes Mercedes 32 1'13.191 0.729
13 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 32 1'13.354 0.892
14 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 28 1'13.457 0.995
15 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 33 1'13.520 1.058
16 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Red Bull 22 1'13.641 1.179
17 Netherlands Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Red Bull 34 1'13.663 1.201
18 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 30 1'13.673 1.211
19 Thailand Alex Albon Williams Mercedes 10 1'14.217 1.755
20 United States Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 33 1'14.238 1.776

 

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