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Max fourth after Friday practice in Monaco: 'Really tricky'

Published on 24 May 2024 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen clocked the fourth quickest time in the second Friday practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix. Local hero Charles Leclerc went fastest through the streets of Monte Carlo in his Ferrari. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso completed the top three. 

“It was pretty difficult but we knew coming into the race this weekend that this might be the case", explained Max after practice. "There was a lot of bouncing and temperature changes on track, which also made it tricky. Every time we went over a bump, the car lost a lot of lap time and on this track one small jump can result in you ending up against the wall. We are looking into a solution ahead of the weekend to sort this out."

Max added: "In general, the issue is a bit more difficult to solve in set up and it won’t be a quick fix but we are going to work on it overnight; we don’t expect miracles but are still looking ahead to tomorrow. Ferrari are also looking quick but I am not thinking about that ahead of tomorrow. Overnight we are going to review the issues that we have and we will hopefully improve the drive of the car ahead of qualifying.”

Despite a threat of rain hanging over the Monaco harbour, FP2 is a dry affair. At the start of the session Max steers his RB20 out of the garage on a set of the hard Pirelli tyres. In the first fifteen minutes, the Dutchman trades fastest laps with the likes of Leclerc and Hamilton as the lap times tumble due to the ever increasing grip.

Although Max’ lap times are better than the ones he clocked in FP1, the reigning champion is not happy with the car. “The car is jumping like a kangaroo, I’m getting a headache”, the Oracle Red Bull racer tells his team.

Twenty minutes into the hour-long session, Alex Albon is the first driver to bolt on the soft compound. On his first timed lap, he moves up into second place on the timing sheets. Soon after, several others join the Williams driver on the red side-walled softs with lap times continuing to drop. At the halfway mark, Leclerc sets the pace, followed by Alonso and Max. Soon after, Hamilton moves into second, pushing Max out of the top three.

In the final third of FP2, the teams switch their attention to long runs, meaning lap times are not longer bettered. At his home race, Leclerc ends Friday on a high, ahead of the three world champions on the current F1 grid.

Contest GP Monaco: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results second free practice Monaco:

1Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:11.278 37
2Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:11.466+0.188s32
3Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:11.753+0.475s37
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:11.813+0.535s37
5Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:11.953+0.675s35
6Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:11.962+0.684s36
7Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:12.062+0.784s22
8Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:12.099+0.821s31
9Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:12.257+0.979s38
10George RussellRUSMercedes1:12.260+0.982s30
11Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:12.349+1.071s36
12Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:12.366+1.088s35
13Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:12.473+1.195s31
14Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:12.554+1.276s34
15Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:12.569+1.291s34
16Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:12.577+1.299s37
17Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:12.750+1.472s35
18Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:12.790+1.512s36
19Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.057+1.779s31
20Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.773+2.495s32