Max Verstappen (Red Bull), leader of the Formula 1 World Championship, set the best time in the second free practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix, this Friday, at the Principality’s urban circuit.
Only sixth in the first practice, also held this Friday, the Dutchman, who had complained about the RB19 being hard to drive, seems to be resuming his usual heroics.
In Friday’s timesheet, Verstappen, the current two-time world champion, beat the Ferraris of Monegasque Charles Leclerc and Spaniard Carlos Sainz Jr, who caused the only red flag of the session, when he hit the wall fifteen minutes from the end. Once the car was released, the session could continue.
“The second practice was better,” said Verstappen, who has a 14-point lead over team-mate Sergio Perez in the race for this year’s title.
“The car seemed to be more competitive. Compared to Ferrari we are still a little behind in the way the car handles in the corners and on the bumps and that is something we have to work on tomorrow because they are very close,” added the Dutchman.
“The Aston Martins are also close and we need something more to stay in front. The car feels good so we can push hard and get close to the guard rails.”
Another Spaniard, the veteran Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin), was ahead of the British Lando Norris (McLaren) and Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes), Red Bull Mexican Sergio Pérez and Alfa Romeo Finnish Valtteri Bottas.
On Saturday, the pilots will do the last practice session, before the qualifying session at 11:00 am (Brasília time), which will define the starting grid for Sunday’s race.
. Monaco GP second free practice session:
Max Verstappen (HOL/Red Bull) 1:12.462
Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:12.527
Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP/Ferrari) 1:12,569
Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:12.682
Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:12,906
Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:12,960
Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:12,991
Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:13.050
Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:13.089
Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:13.162
Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:13.185
George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:13,191
Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:13,354
Kevin Magnussen (DIN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:13.457
Nico Hülkenberg (ALE/Haas-Ferrari) 1:13.520
Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Brother) 1:13.641
Nyck de Vries (HOL/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:13.663
Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:13,673
Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:14.238
Alexander Albon (TAI/Williams-Mercedes) 1:14.515
© Agence France-Presse