Mixed weather conditions and extensive setup work resulted in a steady session for Kimi in Free Practice 2 this afternoon while Romain continued to shine around the Circuit de Monaco.
Forecasts of showers spurred a flurry of activity at the end of the pit lane as Free Practice 2 got underway at the Circuit de Monaco. As the queue to head out on track cleared, both Kimi and Romain charged out of the blocks for their install laps sporting matching sets of scrubbed soft compound Pirelli tyres.
With just 15 minutes of the session run the predicted shower began to fall, with Romain sitting in P2 and Kimi down in P19 having spent the first run assessing his new steering setup.
As the raindrops ebbed away allowing a dry line to emerge, Romain got his first taste of the red marker super soft compound tyres – racking up a good few laps to give the engineers at least some data on the new rubber, which had been thus far un-used this season. The Iceman meanwhile continued his setup work on a second set of scrubbed softs.
With just under 25 minutes left to run and another shower coating the track, both drivers took to the circuit for two final runs on the intermediate tyres – useful experience, as the changeable conditions look set to continue throughout the race weekends if forecasts are correct.
Having attained the necessary knowledge and data, the Finn and the Frenchman brought the E20s in to rest after a productive session – despite the somewhat unpredictable track conditions.
With running for the day complete, Kimi ended the second session in P19 with a fastest time of 1:19.267 from 25 laps, while Romain’s best effort of 1:16.138 from 19 laps saw him lie an impressive P2.
Pos-Driver---------------Team------------------Time---------------Laps 1. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m15.746s 14 2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m16.138s + 0.392 17 3. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m16.602s + 0.856 19 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m16.661s + 0.915 21 5. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m16.820s + 1.074 18 6. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m17.021s + 1.275 13 7. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m17.148s + 1.402 21 8. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.153s + 1.407 20 9. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m17.293s + 1.547 9 10. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m17.303s + 1.557 19 11. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.375s + 1.629 17 12. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m17.395s + 1.649 19 13. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m17.655s + 1.909 18 14. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m17.800s + 2.054 23 15. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m18.251s + 2.505 22 16. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m18.440s + 2.694 23 17. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m18.522s + 2.776 20 18. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m18.808s + 3.062 24 19. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1m19.267s + 3.521 23 20. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m19.309s + 3.563 27 21. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m20.029s + 4.283 13 22. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m20.240s + 4.494 19 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m20.631s + 4.885 12 24. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m20.886s + 5.140 10
Kimi Raikkonen – 19th: “It’s good to be back in Monaco even if we missed some running today. The steering wasn’t to my liking so the team changed it for me. It’s something you change for Monaco and there’s no way of knowing what it will be like beforehand. The car felt good in the second session, though it was obviously pretty slippery when the track was wet. I would have liked to have had more time in the car, but Monaco’s a track I know pretty well and it hasn’t changed much over the years. Let’s see what happens tomorrow.”
James Allison, Technical Director: “We’re happy with today’s performance as we came here with a certain amount of trepidation about whether our cars would be competitive. It was a disappointment to have missed the first session whilst we changed the steering setup on Kimi’s car, but he’s an old enough trooper to get himself up to speed on Saturday. The pace shown by Romain in both sessions was certainly encouraging. All the Monaco upgrades seem to be working well and the E20 is pretty happy around what is a very unique track.”
A sole E20 took to the streets of Monaco during the first Free Practice session in Monaco this morning, with Romain charging to P2 while Kimi remained confined to the garage for extensive steering adjustments to his car.
Clear blue skies and mild temperatures greeted the team in the stunning surroundings of Monaco this morning. Set against an idyllic backdrop of rolling hills and sparkling sea, the serenity was soon broken by the scream of Formula 1 cars tearing through the narrow streets.
Both Kimi and Romain surged out of the garage on the hour to complete their install laps on the yellow marked soft tyres. Kimi’s return to the pits would be his last action of the morning, with the Finn requesting a different steering setup which required a total rebuild of the front suspension; inevitably consuming the entire 90 minute session despite the best efforts of the mechanics.
Thus it was left to Romain to put the E20 through its paces on his first visit to Monaco in a Formula 1 car. Having performed spectacularly in the GP2 race here last year the Frenchman was quickly up to speed, setting the fastest time in his first stint on the soft compound tyres – just under 40 minutes into the session.
Having been displaced from his perch at the top of the standings shortly afterwards, Romain returned to the track in determined fashion, fleetingly returning to the head of the leaderboard before just being edged by Fernando Alonso.
With 8 minutes left to run the red flags were waved as Heikki Kovalainen’s Caterham stopped out on track, just after the famous tunnel. With no time to clear the car before the clock reached zero, the session was declared over and the order remained.
As the chequered flag dropped Romain ended the session in P2 with a fastest time of 1:16.630 from 17 laps, while Kimi has yet to take to the Monaco streets after a morning of tweaks to his E20.
Pos--Driver---------------Team------------------Time---------------Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m16.265s 22 2. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m16.630s + 0.365 17 3. Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1m16.711s + 0.446 19 4. Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1m16.747s + 0.482 12 5. Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1m16.760s + 0.495 20 6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m16.843s + 0.578 19 7. Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1m17.038s + 0.773 21 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m17.190s + 0.925 13 9. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m17.222s + 0.957 14 10. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m17.261s + 0.996 18 11. Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1m17.413s + 1.148 14 12. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m17.631s + 1.366 18 13. Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1m18.106s + 1.841 14 14. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m18.209s + 1.944 25 15. Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1m18.252s + 1.987 28 16. Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1m18.302s + 2.037 16 17. Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1m18.617s + 2.352 20 18. Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1m19.03$s + 2.774 20 19. Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1m19.341s + 3.076 16 20. Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1m20.838s + 4.573 26 21. Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1m20.895s + 4.630 18 22. Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1m21.638s + 5.373 9 23. Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1m22.423s + 6.158 15 24. Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1