Sainz is faster, Alonso and Hamilton follow

Sainz is faster, Alonso and Hamilton follow

In the 1st practice session before the Monaco Grand Prix, the 6th race of the 2023 Formula 1 season, the fastest time came from Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz.

The F1 paddock, unable to compete in Imola last weekend due to flooding in Italy, arrived in Monaco, the “student of the calendar” for the 6th race of the season.

The Monaco GP weekend, which has a great attraction and attraction even outside the track with its famous guests, interesting social life, famous marina and casino, started with the 1st training session.

F1 drivers were relatively cautious in the first 60 minutes, as the Monaco Circuit is the narrowest and most unpredictable track on the F1 calendar. We have seen accidents though.

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Pierre Gasly, Alpine A523, Kevin Magnussen, Haas VF-23, Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB19

Photo: Jake Grant / Sports Pictures

session report

The first session in Monaco began as the light at the end of the pit lane turned green. With the start of the session, all the drivers took to the track and did the first laps of the weekend on the streets of Monte Carlo. Lando Norris and Ferrari drivers were on track with the intermediate driver, all other drivers on the hard tire.

With the first 10 minutes of the session behind, the Ferrari drivers who were spinning with the middle powder were on top. Charles Leclerc was first with 1:14,562. Carlos Sainz, who was close to the limits from the first laps, was second.

Fernando Alonso was third in Aston Martin’s hopes of victory this weekend. Max Verstappen, on the other hand, complained that the sole hit the ground too much. Lance Stroll, on the other hand, was able to continue his journey although he made contact with the barriers on the exit of the final corner.

With the first 25 minutes remaining, Carlos Sainz was on top this time. The Spanish pilot was first with 1:14,245. Leclerc was second, about 0.1 seconds behind. Alonso and Verstappen were following the Ferrari drivers.

At this point, Williams driver Logan Sargeant slowly returned to pit lane, stuck in 2nd gear. He was in last place this time. “The tire can be fully inserted,” said Sargeant when pitted.

When coming to the middle of the session, more pilots started to go around with intermediate powder. Competing with the new cars, Lewis Hamilton came out on top with a 1:14,035 in the Mercedes.

Behind him were Sainz, Lando Norris, Max Verstappen, Leclerc, Alonso. Although Lewis Hamilton was first in the Mercedes, George Russell was not happy with the car. The British pilot complained about the tires and the rear.

With 22 minutes remaining, the first red flags of the weekend came out. Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg spun at the chicane at the start of the second sector, hitting the barriers and puncturing his tyre. The German pilot slowly returned to the pits. Red flags were briefly raised as pieces were thrown around the track.

After a short cleanup on the track, the last 20 minutes of the session began. With 15 minutes to go, Alonso climbed to the top. The Spanish driver was in first place with a 1.13,907, but as we entered the final 10 minutes, everyone picked up the pace and Sainz was back in first place. Other pilots were also coming up with fast laps, but could not complete these laps.

Verstappen flooded the track on the exit of Turn 15 and had to abandon his lap. Leclerc flooded in the same corner and stopped his lap. Alonso, on the other hand, got stuck in traffic in the first sector and stopped his tour.

With 3 minutes remaining, Williams driver Alexander Albon hit the wall at the exit of the first corner and severely damaged the left side of the left car. Albon, who suddenly lost the rear at the exit of the first corner, could not continue his journey after this serious accident. As a result, the session ended early with a red flag and Sainz was fastest.

The Spanish driver finished the first session in Monaco on top with a time of 1:13.372. Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso was 0.338 seconds behind. However, as we mentioned, Alonso was stuck in traffic so he couldn’t show his real speed.

Fernando Alonso, Aston Martin AMR23

Photo: Andy Hone / Sports Pictures

Third place went to Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton. Racing with new bikes, Hamilton was third, 0.663 seconds behind. Sergio Perez was fourth, 0.003 seconds behind him.

Leclerc, on the other hand, was finishing 5th by 0.7 seconds. Verstappen, who had problems with the rear and floor of the car touching the ground throughout the session, was in sixth place.

In a McLaren race with a special Monaco livery, Lando Norris recorded the seventh fastest time; Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll and the fall of Alexander Albon rounded out the top 10.

Valtteri Bottas was 11th in an Alfa Romeo; Kevin Magnussen, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly followed him.

George Russell, who was unhappy with the rear of the car and could not drive the tires during the session, took 15th place.

Zhou Guanyu, Alfa Romeo C43

Photo: Simon Galloway / Sports Pictures

Nyck de Vries, Oscar Piastri, Logan Sargeant, Guanyu Zhou and Nico Hulkenberg completed the grid.

The second session of the weekend will start today at 18.30.

Results of the session:

Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes F1 W14

Photo: Simon Galloway / Sports Pictures