Alonso leads Monaco Friday Practice 1

Fernando Alonso set the pace in Monaco Friday Practice 1

Fernando Alonso set the pace in Monaco Friday Practice 1

Fernando Alonso set the pace for the start of the Monaco weekend, by topping the timesheets in Friday Practice 1. However, the Red Bulls weren’t far behind.

In the early part of the session, both McLarens of Button and Hamilton traded times, before Felipe Massa took the top spot. In fact, in the first half of the session, Alonso struggled slightly, having a sideways moment at the Anthony Noghes (the last) corner. However, when he went out later on, he beat all of his rivals with a 1.15.927.

The Red Bulls waited until the second half of the session to go out, as did the Force India drivers. However, in their case, Paul di Resta did not make an appearance, as the team felt they needed to develop as much as possible for this race. Sebastian Vettel went into second place 10 minutes from the end, only 0.073 seconds behind Fernando. Mark Webber was fourth, nearly four tenths back from his team-mate.

Robert Kubica had an excellent session, finishing third overall. He was consistently fast throughout, and was only 0.089 seconds slower than Alonso. Vitaly Petrov did not impress, though, as he was 14th, 1.7 seconds behind.

In the Mercedes pits, Michael Schumacher beat Nico Rosberg this time, though it was no fault of Nico’s. Michael was sixth fastest, 6 tenths behind Alonso, but Rosberg spent much of his time in the pits, due to an unspecified problem with the car. He only managed 15 laps, and was 11th.

Adrian Sutil once again got into the top 10, and once again Vitantonio Liuzzi failed to get anywhere near his team-mate. While Sutil was 9th, and right behind the McLarens, Liuzzi was 13th, 9 tenths slower than Adrian. It was a similar situation at Toro Rosso, where Sebastien Buemi impressed with 10th place. However, Jaime Alguersuari was an entire second slower than Buemi, and therefore was only 15th.

The Saubers were the slowest of the midfield, finishing 17th and 18th. Kamui Kobayashi had another eventful session, as he hit the barriers after the kerb at the swimming pool corner. The crash resulted in damaged suspension and no front wing. Despite this, he still set 32 laps, which was more than most of the field. Pedro de la Rosa set 38 laps in comparison.

The Virgin of Timo Glock was the fastest of the new teams for once. He impressed by only being 3.6 seconds slower than Fernando Alonso. The two Lotus drivers of Heikki Kovalainen and Jarno Trulli were behind Glock, half a tenth and 3 tenths slower respectively. Lucas di Grassi was a further 7 tenths slower than this group, ending up in 22nd.

The HRT drivers filled the back row again. Bruno Senna beat Karun Chandhok by two tenths, but set 22 more laps. This is because Chandhok spun his car at Massenet, and did not set a lap time after that.

At the end of the session, there were 22 cars out on track, which gave everyone a good impression of what will happen in Q1 on Saturday.

Times from Monaco Friday Practice 1:

Driver Team Fastest lap Gap # of Laps
1 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1.15.927 32
2 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1.16.000 0.073 27
3 Robert Kubica Renault 1.16.016 0.089 28
4 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1.16.382 0.455 25
5 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1.16.517 0.59 30
6 Michael Schumacher Mercedes GP 1.16.589 0.662 21
7 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1.16.647 0.72 32
8 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1.16.692 0.765 30
9 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1.16.805 0.878 23
10 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.16.857 0.93 31
11 Nico Rosberg Mercedes GP 1.17.149 1.222 15
12 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1.17.331 1.404 28
13 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1.17.704 1.777 27
14 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1.17.718 1.791 39
15 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1.17.991 2.064 37
16 Nico Hulkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1.18.397 2.47 39
17 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1.18.434 2.507 38
18 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1.18.547 2.62 32
19 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1.19.527 3.6 24
20 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1.19.606 3.679 32
21 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1.19.902 3.975 31
22 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1.20.566 4.639 18
23 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1.21.688 5.761 28
24 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1.21.853 5.926 6
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