Grand Prix practice results: Ferrari’s Leclerc fastest in Monaco

Charles Leclerc set the fastest overall time on the opening day of Monaco Grand Prix practice for Ferrari on Thursday, the fifth round of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship season.

Grand Prix practice results: Ferrari’s Leclerc fastest in Monaco

Both Thursday practice sessions in Monaco have each been cut to one hour in 2021, instead of the usual 90 minutes each.

FP1 was topped by Red Bull's Sergio Perez, and Leclerc was fastest in FP2 – leading a Ferrari 1-2.

Monaco Grand Prix FP1 results: Perez fastest from Sainz

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 36 1'12.487    
2 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 32 1'12.606 0.119 0.119
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 39 1'12.648 0.161 0.042
4 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 37 1'12.929 0.442 0.281
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 34 1'12.995 0.508 0.066
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 36 1'13.131 0.644 0.136
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 31 1'13.236 0.749 0.105
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 33 1'13.732 1.245 0.496
9 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 39 1'13.746 1.259 0.014
10 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 31 1'14.081 1.594 0.335
11 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 33 1'14.090 1.603 0.009
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 27 1'14.106 1.619 0.016
13 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 37 1'14.205 1.718 0.099
14 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 41 1'14.268 1.781 0.063
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 36 1'14.281 1.794 0.013
16 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 37 1'14.320 1.833 0.039
17 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 33 1'14.616 2.129 0.296
18 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 35 1'14.801 2.314 0.185
19 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 35 1'14.840 2.353 0.039
20 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 4 1'19.618 7.131 4.778

What happened in Free Practice 1?

Carlos Sainz set the early pace for Ferrari at 1m14.457s on medium tyres, lowering it to 1m13.639s and 1m13.388s as the track rubbered-in. Sainz’s running in this session was doubly important as Ferrari lost Leclerc with a gearbox failure after a handful of laps.

Unlike the majority of teams, Red Bull evaluated the hard tyres initially, Red Bull's Max Verstappen having one flying lap ruined by Haas’s Nikita Mazepin at the Swimming Pool. Verstappen was fourth in the early going, behind Sainz and the Mercedes duo.

Once he worked his way clear of the traffic, Verstappen leapt to P1 after 28 minutes – despite using the hard tyre – but was topped by Valtteri Bottas just after the halfway mark with a lap of 1m13.131s. Lewis Hamilton then beat that with 1m12.995s – both Mercs using the mediums.

Sainz went back to the top on 1m12.965s with 25 minutes remaining, before Pierre Gasly topped it with 1m12.929s as AlphaTauri ran early on soft tyres. Sainz then hit the wall on the exit of the Swimming Pool, sending the sole Ferrari into the garage.

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Verstappen went P1 on mediums with a lap of 1m12.648s, a tenth clear of Perez who was using softs. On his second attempt on the softs, Perez went P1 on 1m12.536s, and the repaired car of Sainz bounced back to P2, 0.07s down, the fastest of the medium users.

In the closing seconds of the session, Perez improved his quickest time to 1m12.487s.

Verstappen was third, within two tenths of Perez, ahead of Gasly (set on softs), Hamilton, Bottas and Lando Norris, who was running in McLaren’s smart new Gulf Oils livery. Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin), Yuki Tsunoda (AlphaTauri) and Alfa Romeo’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Fernando Alonso hit the wall at the final corner, damaging his Alpine’s front wing. Elsewhere, Raikkonen locked up and straightlined Sainte Devote, something the Alonso also did with 20 minutes remaining.

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Monaco Grand Prix FP2 results: Leclerc fastest from Sainz

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap Interval
1 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 30 1'11.684    
2 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 32 1'11.796 0.112 0.112
3 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 28 1'12.074 0.390 0.278
4 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 27 1'12.081 0.397 0.007
5 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 32 1'12.107 0.423 0.026
6 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 24 1'12.379 0.695 0.272
7 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 28 1'12.498 0.814 0.119
8 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 24 1'12.708 1.024 0.210
9 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 28 1'12.746 1.062 0.038
10 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 26 1'12.982 1.298 0.236
11 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 31 1'13.065 1.381 0.083
12 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 27 1'13.175 1.491 0.110
13 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 26 1'13.195 1.511 0.020
14 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 28 1'13.199 1.515 0.004
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 26 1'13.257 1.573 0.058
16 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 32 1'13.509 1.825 0.252
17 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 31 1'13.593 1.909 0.084
18 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 26 1'14.407 2.723 0.814
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 25 1'14.416 2.732 0.009
20 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 11 1'14.829 3.145 0.413

What happened in Free Practice 2?

In FP2, Verstappen set the early pace at 1m13.499s on medium tyres. Hamilton had to abort his first flying lap after cutting the harbour chicane, but equalled Verstappen’s time to the thousandth of a second at his second attempt – also using mediums.

Verstappen then set 1m13.241s, but hit traffic at the end of his lap, as Hamilton produced 1m12.772s to gap Verstappen by almost half a second. Hamilton improved to 1m12.569s, with Verstappen getting to within 0.232s. Sainz then split them, going P2 on the hard tyre at 1m12.749s, before Bottas knocked him back to third.

Bottas and Hamilton switched to the soft tyres just before the halfway point, Bottas setting 1m12.107 and Hamilton on 1m12.280s after a couple of big slides. Sainz, now using the soft, beat them all with 1m11.796s, with Hamilton and Verstappen failing to get within a quarter of a second.

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Despite missing most of FP1, Leclerc jumped up to P1 with 18 minutes to go, unleashing 1m11.684s to beat his teammate by 0.112s to make it a Ferrari 1-2. Hamilton was third, ahead of Verstappen and Bottas. Norris, Gasly, Perez, Antonio Giovinazzi (Alfa Romeo) and Vettel rounded out the top 10.

Haas F1’s Mick Schumacher hit the wall at Massenet, and was forced to stop before he got back to the pits due to the damage to his right-rear corner. The session was red flagged with less than five minutes remaining.

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