Added: Randal Hawthorne - Date: 19.11.2021 08:44 - Views: 25590 - Clicks: 8036
After opting to run the hard and medium compound tyres in FP1, Mercedes found themselves in the mix with those on the same strategy, but behind the few who ran the soft compound. Roll on FP2 and with most drivers on the same compounds, it was easier to see a pecking order emerge — and as it stands Mercedes are not the quickest here.
Hamilton might have to find something special on Saturday if he wants that all-important pole in Monaco. The Ferraris look really strong, which is great, it means more competition. The grip on this track is really high this year, they've redone the surface so there's a lot of grip. From a driver's point of view, you're experimenting - you've got to dial-in your driving style, figure out where you can and can't push, where you've got to give up some time to get some, and you've got to really work with the car.
I've got some changes I'll make this evening as we analyse today and it's going to be close tomorrow, which is exciting. It's very demanding and I feel like we still have work to do with the cars - from my side, I'm lacking some front end on this circuit. We've had similar issues at other tracks, mainly in mid-corner but here, it's all slow-speed corners and if you don't have a good feeling at the front, you can lose time easily. Our car also feels quite stiff on the bumps and cambers in the corners which we'll look into.
Today for the first lap, I couldn't get them to work immediately so we need to work hard on that for tomorrow. Ferrari look quick, as do Red Bull, so it's not only about two teams which will be a lot of fun. Traffic is always a feature and as expected, the shorter sessions make it hard to do much by way of long runs. That said, we've covered the majority of what we set out to and we have a decent understanding of our limitations and the areas that we need to improve.
This season we've learnt to expect Max's company in the battle at the front but it was a surprise to us to see both Ferraris looking so strong; you don't need to scrutinise the timesheets for long to see that their pace is genuine - they could be real contenders for the win. While that points to the Mexican using the C5 rubber in Q2 on Saturday, it also showed that Perez is capable of hooking up a lap here.
Verstappen could only manage a slightly disappointing fourth when he tried out the soft tyres, with multiple complaints over the airwaves to his team about the handling of his RB16B. Another team with work to do before FP3 on Saturday We were too slow in FP2 and we really need to find some pace because everyone has traffic, you have to look to optimum lap times and optimum sectors and we were quite off.
I usually feel quite comfortable in the car but that has not come yet this weekend. Luckily, we have a free day tomorrow to look at a few things to improve to make sure qualifying goes well on Saturday. I think we probably have work to do on our short runs but we have lots of information to look at now ahead of qualifying on Saturday when hopefully we can be in the mix. Well, that was a turn up for the books. After their poor season, it was great to see Ferrari back at the front of the midfield so far this year.
Sainz looked quick in FP1 as he found himself the only Ferrari runner, Leclerc side-lined with a gearbox issue. Roll on FP2 and both looked quick, with the Monegasque eventually nicking the session by a tenth from his team mate. In FP2, I felt at ease with the car and we may even have a bit of margin there to improve. We have a day of work ahead of us tomorrow, and we will only know where we really stand on Saturday. Things can change a lot from Thursday to Saturday at this track, so we will stay focused. 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.
In their new one-off livery, McLaren certainly wowed of the crowds today, but on pace it was much more of a mixed reaction. Norris looked good from the off despite his only race here being somewhat disappointing, and he certainly looks to be in the mix for the top 10 in qualifying. He has some serious homework to do on his day off tomorrow. I think we made some good progress between the sessions. We have a chance to capitalise on mistakes that they might make. So, tomorrow we can spend the day looking over the data to see what improvements we can make for the rest of the weekend.
Gasly had a good day at the Principality, a track he has a decent record at. He was an impressive fourth in FP1, albeit running the soft compound tyres. He backed that result up though in FP2 with seventh, a whisker behind Norris in the McLaren who could be his biggest rival come qualifying. Tsunoda had a tricker day — a clean morning session gave way to a collision with the barriers in FP2, which ended his afternoon rather earlier than planned. In terms of pace it was great and this morning was a strong way to start here in Monaco — I felt confident in the car and could push hard.
Hopefully I can work with the guys over the next day to improve in the areas where we are struggling but generally, we are quite happy with it. We have a good baseline but hopefully we can continue to improve ahead of qualifying, as we know how crucial it is to qualify well around these streets. I just need to prepare more for Saturday and put it altogether when it counts.
With the compound allocation this weekend we had a hard tyre to essentially use up for our first stint, which allowed us to get a feeling for the track. We then moved to the softs for more of a performance run, which focussed on giving the drivers as many laps as possible. FP1 went very well, with both drivers building up their confidence lap by lap and putting in a good performance, whilst helping us understand the set-up of the car, which is very difficult here in Monaco. Unfortunately, Yuki just clipped the rear in the last sector and this sadly damaged the suspension.
Due to the time it takes to fix this part of the car, that was the end of the day for him. Aston Martin were there or thereabouts without looking spectacular around the streets of Monte Carlo on Thursday. Vettel looked the more assured of the two which is unsurprising — he does have an excellent record here. Whether either can sneak into the top 10 once other teams turn their engines up remains to be seen.
The morning session went well, and I got into a rhythm quickly, but the afternoon was more complicated because I got something in my eye, which was quite uncomfortable and caused my eye to tear up. As usual, it is very close in the midfield, which means getting everything perfect on Saturday afternoon, and being lucky with the traffic, is what matters. I feel happy with the work we did today and if we can get everything together over the weekend, we can hopefully be near the front of the midfield group. I had a lot of fun out there today — building up speed and getting close to the walls.
It was very busy on track, with a lot of traffic, and not easy to find free air, which is always a major factor on Saturday and Sunday, too. The sessions went smoothly, giving us lots of information and things to improve before final practice. There is a chance to catch our breath tomorrow with a quiet day, but we still have some engineering meetings to see what ideas we can come up with ahead of qualifying. Alonso was in the thick of the action in FP1 as the first driver to fall foul of the tight and twisty track, hitting the barriers and damaging his front wing.
Fortunately it was an easy fix and he was able to continue without losing too much running. Ocon was held up by traffic in FP1, and then in the afternoon session both drivers seemed happier to focus on longer run pace.
It was nice to see fans around the circuit today and having their support again. Traffic management will be difficult, and we saw a snapshot of how tough it is to have a clean lap here in both the morning and afternoon sessions. Managing this well could be key to a good qualifying position on Saturday. We tried some minor updates this morning and adjusted things for FP2 where we saw some small improvements. We need to look through all of our data tonight and tomorrow, to see what we can further improve and do it better ahead of qualifying, which we all know is key around Monaco. Raikkonen might have extensive experience around here but he still managed to get it all wrong into Turn 1, locking up and running straight on in FP1.
Fortunately, he was able to continue and wound up on the fringes of the top 10 in both sessions. So far, so good, but Saturday is where it matters. We can definitely still improve but so can the others, so we will need to extract all we can for the car and see where that puts us on Saturday. FP1 was ok and already in FP2 I felt the balance of the car had improved.
I think Monaco is such a unique track, hard to compare with anything else, and I think it really suits us: if we can improve a little more ahead of Saturday, we can be confident. Roll on FP2, and neither could make much of an impression. Russell in particular will want to find a few extra tenths, with his biggest strength of qualifying here so important and this race representing one of his best chances on paper of stealing his way into the points.
It is so thrilling pushing the car to the limit. It is obviously really difficult having 20 cars on the track in the space of an hour for everybody to get clear laps. I think we had a productive day; the car is roughly where we expected it to be. We have a long day tomorrow to analyse everything and I am confident we can make some gains for Saturday. It is my first time here in a Formula 1 car as well as my first time driving a street track in these cars. It is a lot faster than I remembered in Formula 2 and you really notice the extra width these cars have.
It was a lot of fun; we have some things to work on tonight to improve the balance ahead of Saturday. We had a pretty clean day and got confidence lap by lap, so I am happy with where we are. The circuit has proved challenging, but the car and the drivers have risen to that challenge well. We completed a lot of laps on all three of the Pirelli compounds and suffered no damage or issue. We have a day to go through the data before we return to the track on Saturday for the final free practice session.
It has been a solid start to the event and are now in a good position to continue to push the car harder as we progress through the weekend. Mazepin clipped the barriers lightly in FP1 but other than that, had a clean first day at Monaco. Even better news for the Russian was that he got the beating of his team mate in both sessions.
As for Schumacher, a mistake at Massenet in the afternoon left him trying to limp home with a deflated rear tyre. Obviously, we know what we have to improve, those areas where we know we lost a bit of time. On our last run in FP2 we had a small issue but even that I think is just part of the deal in Monaco. Now I know the limit and how far I can go. It was a very good day today for us.
The team has done a fantastic job to come away from a difficult weekend in Barcelona. I had the necessary confidence in the car today that I needed. Surprising to say given the season so far, but I had so much fun in the car, it actually felt like it was a day off — it was just cool to drive. But for today, all was good. The guys just worked hard and improved lap by lap.
The car is not too badly damaged. We will be ready for Saturday. We saw solid performance from all three compounds, with a similar time gap between all of them. As expected, the teams concentrated on the hard and medium in the morning followed by the medium and soft for their performance runs in the afternoon in preparation for qualifying — which of course, takes place the day after tomorrow in Monaco.
This means that track conditions may be slightly different by the time we get to the crucial qualifying session — with a slight risk of rain before FP3, which might reset the asphalt conditions. Conditions were quite warm today, with track temperatures being a key influence on tyre wear and degradation, which is quite low in Monaco.
As a result, we've seen nothing today to suggest that teams will deviate from the usual one-stopper at Monaco, with the soft and the medium preferred, judging from today's run plans. Grand Prix Weekend. Red flag. Sorry Something's gone wrong. Live Commentary. Watch F1 TV. Live Session. Feature What the teams said — Thursday in Monaco.
Special contributor Becky Hart. Mercedes After opting to run the hard and medium compound tyres in FP1, Mercedes found themselves in the mix with those on the same strategy, but behind the few who ran the soft compound. Lewis Hamilton — FP1: Info Close. Max Verstappen - FP1: Ferrari Well, that was a turn up for the books. Charles Leclerc - FP1: McLaren In their new one-off livery, McLaren certainly wowed of the crowds today, but on pace it was much more of a mixed reaction.
Daniel Ricciardo - FP1: AlphaTauri Gasly had a good day at the Principality, a track he has a decent record at. Pierre Gasly - FP1: Aston Martin Aston Martin were there or thereabouts without looking spectacular around the streets of Monte Carlo on Thursday. Sebastian Vettel — FP1: Alpine Alonso was in the thick of the action in FP1 as the first driver to fall foul of the tight and twisty track, hitting the barriers and damaging his front wing.Is anyone else stuck at Monaco tonight
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