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Max sixth fastest in Monaco FP1

Published on 26 May 2023 by Yannick Jonker

Max Verstappen finished sixth in the opening practice session the Monaco Grand Prix. The current Formula 1 world champion, who was not happy with his car’s handling, was eight tenths behind pace setter Carlos Sainz. In turn, the Ferrari driver was three tenths ahead of fellow Spaniard Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) in P2.

Thanks to the sun shining, it is a pleasant 26 degrees when the first free practice starts inthe streets of the Principality of Monaco. Right away, it is busy on the 3.340 kilometre track in Monte Carlo, with Sainz the first to graze the barriers.

Meanwhile, Max is unhappy with the car’s handling in the opening phase. The RB19 bottoming out and its driveability at high speed proves challenging. The Oracle Red Bull Racing driver finds himself fourth on the hard tyres, nine tenths behind Charles Leclerc on the medium compound. Fifteen minutes later, the Dutchman brings the deficit down to five tenths, as Sainz goes P1. After ten laps, Max comes into the pits.

On a set of the mediums, Max does a 1:14:489 (P4). Meanwhile, Lewis Hamilton has taken the fastest lap and is four tenths faster. Alonso goes P2 right before the red flag is waved with more than twenty minutes to go. Nico Hulkenberg is the culprit with a flat rear tyre caused by contact with the barrier as the Haas exits the tunnel.

After a few minutes, the track is cleared to go. Kevin Magnussen goes straight on at Sainte Devote, whilst Lewis Hamilton and Max cut the chicane. Sainz keeps recording fast times and is three tenths clear of Alonso. Max does not improve and stays sixth (1:14:244), eight tenths off the Ferrari.

The worst was yet to come, when Alex Albon crashed with three minutes to go. The Williams finds itself in the barriers at the exit of turn 1 and has considerable damage to the left side. As a result, the session ends and Sainz remains quickest in Monaco.

Contest GP Monaco: win a 1:43 Max Verstappen Emilia Romagna 2022 scale model car!

Results first free practice Monaco:

1Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:13.372 26
2Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:13.710+0.338s28
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:14.035+0.663s27
4Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:14.038+0.666s27
5Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:14.093+0.721s24
6Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:14.244+0.872s26
7Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:14.467+1.095s25
8Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:14.585+1.213s29
9Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:14.653+1.281s28
10Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:14.666+1.294s32
11Valtteri BottasBOTAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:14.718+1.346s29
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:14.725+1.353s29
13Yuki TsunodaTSUAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:14.820+1.448s29
14Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:14.866+1.494s30
15George RussellRUSMercedes1:15.066+1.694s24
16Nyck De VriesDEVAlphaTauri Honda RBPT1:15.083+1.711s33
17Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:15.192+1.820s32
18Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:15.557+2.185s30
19Zhou GuanyuZHOAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:15.684+2.312s25
20Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:15.785+2.413s17