Fernando Alonso topped Thursday’s rain-affected second free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix. Although it did not rain during the 90 minutes of running, a heavy downpour in the hour before soaked the track, leading to a tentative start in terms of track action.
It was not until the final 10 minutes that drivers started posting lap times on slick rubber, with Alonso completing a six-lap stint on super-soft Pirellis and setting his best time of 1m18.482s on his final flier. With the track getting faster in the final minutes, everyone except Kimi Raikkonen set their fastest time on super-soft rubber, although it did not get fast enough for Alonso to eclipse Lewis Hamilton’s fastest time of the morning session.
Raikkonen was the ninth driver to complete a lap during this phase of the running, but it was not a serious attempt thanks to his Ferrari getting stuck in third gear, leading him to return to the pits and end his session prematurely, hence his position 27 seconds off the pace at the foot of the timesheets.
Kimi Raikkonen: “Unfortunately, the bad weather affected this first day of practice and halved the possibility to complete the work we had planned. In the morning, on the dry track, we tried various set-up options, without encountering any particular problems, apart from a lack of grip at the front under braking. In the afternoon, we made a few changes to improve the balance of the car, but having waited almost an hour before being able to go out on track, a problem with the gearbox prevented me from completing the session. On Saturday we will try and make the most of the third free practice session to complete our programme for qualifying, which we know is the key factor here.”
Pat Fry: “It’s a shame we didn’t get the most out of today. Usually, you do a lot of laps in Monaco as it’s the only way to gain confidence on this very unusual track and that is even more the case this year, to learn how to manage the power delivery as well as possible with these new engines, keeping the torque under control, while trying to find the limit on a track that doesn’t allow for any mistakes. On top of that, for us engineers it is vital to understand where we can improve in terms of driveability and car stability, because with the walls this close, the drivers have to feel completely comfortable. With Fernando, because of the rain that fell in the lunch break, the afternoon session was reduced to around an hour, with just one run on Supersoft tyres, after a run on Intermediates.
The softest compound in the range is harder than last year and took a few more laps to get up to temperature, so it was very important to try it with a view to qualifying. Unfortunately Kimi’s second session ended after four laps because of a problem with the gearbox on his F14 T, but we hope that, with an extra day’s work available this weekend, we will have the time to adjust the set-up of the car properly to suit the characteristics of this track.”
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m18.482s 15 2. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.901s +0.419s 12 3. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m19.017s +0.535s 15 4. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m19.351s +0.869s 14 5. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m19.421s +0.939s 9 6. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m19.668s +1.186s 9 7. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m19.712s +1.230s 10 8. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.721s +1.239s 16 9. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m19.779s +1.297s 11 10. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.230s +1.748s 16 11. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m20.394s +1.912s 8 12. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m20.622s +2.140s 13 13. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m20.811s +2.329s 8 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.977s +2.495s 7 15. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m21.467s +2.985s 8 16. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m21.700s +3.218s 6 17. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m21.924s +3.442s 6 18. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m21.937s +3.455s 13 19. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m22.683s +4.201s 13 20. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m22.862s +4.380s 11 21. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m23.164s +4.682s 6 22. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m45.509s +27.027s 4
Report – Fourth and sixth times for Fernando Alonso and Kimi Raikkonen in the first free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix. The Scuderia Ferrari drivers, along with all the others in fact, had to deal with particularly low grip levels. This is down to a combination of factors, including low track temperature which never exceeded the 25° mark and some recent resurfacing.
Fernando covered 31 laps here in Monte Carlo, the fastest in 1.18.930, improving continuously throughout the session. It was a similar dynamic for Kimi, who completed the same number of laps, with a best of 1.19.467.
Raikkonen’s Ferrari spun but continued at Ste Devote on his final run, while team-mate Alonso took to the escape road at Mirabeau after locking his brakes, but the Spaniard easily kept his car out of the barriers.
Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps 1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m18.271s 32 2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1m18.303s +0.032s 31 3. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-Renault 1m18.506s +0.235s 37 4. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1m18.930s +0.659s 31 5. Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1m19.043s +0.772s 33 6. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m19.467s +1.196s 31 7. Valtteri Bottas Williams-Mercedes 1m19.494s +1.223s 31 8. Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1m19.666s +1.395s 29 9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.789s +1.518s 29 10. Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1m19.856s +1.585s 38 11. Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1m20.033s +1.762s 35 12. Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1m20.118s +1.847s 33 13. Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1m20.207s +1.936s 33 14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus-Renault 1m20.241s +1.970s 38 15. Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Renault 1m20.260s +1.989s 36 16. Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1m20.517s +2.246s 25 17. Adrian Sutil Sauber-Ferrari 1m20.736s +2.465s 18 18. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1m20.914s +2.643s 37 19. Jules Bianchi Marussia-Ferrari 1m21.310s +3.039s 27 20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham-Renault 1m22.063s +3.792s 40 21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham-Renault 1m22.492s +4.221s 38 22. Max Chilton Marussia-Ferrari 1m25.817s +7.546s 7