Carlos Sainz opened the Monaco GP at the front;  FP1 ended with a red flag

Carlos Sainz opened the Monaco GP at the front; FP1 ended with a red flag

Carlos Sainz was fastest in the first free practice of the Formula 1 GP of Monaco. The session ended under a red flag, following an incident with Alexander Albon (Williams) in the final minutes.

At first, the leader was Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo), soon he was overtaken by several drivers who significantly reduced the record record. After just the first five minutes, Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) reached the top, while his teammate Sainz touched the barrier without any damage… before taking command.

Leclerc then returned to the lead, but after the first 20 minutes it was Sainz who was leading and he was already spinning in 1m14s. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin) was third, while championship leader Max Verstappen (Red Bull) was fourth.

Later, and already with medium tires on the Mercedes, Lewis Hamilton went up – something that Verstappen could not do, complaining about the behavior of his RB19 and the bumps on the track. Already in the second half of training, Alonso moved to second place.

Already in the last phase of the session, Sainz returned to the top, while Alonso responded by placing himself at 20 thousand… and saw the compatriot improving to 1m13.372s and thus being in the lead of FP1 with 0.338s ahead. Hamilton was third in the session where Mercedes unveiled its new updates, with Sergio Pérez (Red Bull) and Leclerc rounding out the top five ahead of Verstappen.

Lando Norris took the best McLaren to seventh place, ahead of Esteban Ocon’s Alpine, while the top ten was completed by Lance Stroll (Aston Martin) and Alexander Albon (Williams) ahead of Bottas. The red flag that ended the session prematurely came about three minutes from the checkered flag when Albon crashed at Saint Devote. Despite the impact, the pilot was not injured.