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Monaco Grand Prix 2022

Leclerc sets the pace as Mercedes hit problems in Monaco

Ferrari driver and home hero Charles Leclerc set the pace during FP1 at the Monaco Grand Prix, while Mercedes struggled as their porpoising problems appeared to return.

Leclerc Monaco
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Ferrari set the pace during FP1 at the Monaco Grand Prix, with home hero Charles Leclerc ending the session at the top of the timing sheets.

The Monegasque registered a fastest lap time of 1:14.531 on the Medium tyre as he ramped up the pace at his local Grand Prix. His teammate, Carlos Sainz, placed third with a lap just 0.07 seconds slower.

Max Verstappen was fourth, two tenths off the pace, with Sergio Perez in second after a session that saw F1's two leading teams trade strong lap times.

Meanwhile, Mercedes struggled for pace in the Principality, as both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton faced apparent porpoising problems while McLaren, who were expecting a difficult weekend, showed strong pace with Lando Norris in fifth.

Result Free practice 1 - Monaco

Pos. Driver Team Time
Results are being loaded...

Plenty of unhappy drivers on the radio

Mercedes came to Monaco quietly confident that their car would perform well through the narrow streets. But an early radio message from Russell suggested that the team were facing problems.

Russell complained that porpoising had returned as he described the sensation as "awful", the last thing Mercedes would have wanted to hear following their success at the Spanish Grand Prix.

Hamilton echoed Russell's view only a few laps later as he reported an "incredible amount of bouncing" on a lap close to a second slower than the pace-setters.

Mercedes were not alone, though, with Ferrari driver Sainz also stating that his car was bouncing through the lap. However, just like during the season's opening rounds, the sensation failed to slow the Scuderia down.

More problems for Schumacher as Bottas stalls

Mick Schumacher is still yet to score points in 2022, despite Haas teammate Kevin Magnussen having pocketed 15 during the opening six races of the season.

His Monaco weekend started in a nightmare fashion when an apparent gearbox issue left him unable to change gear and stranded at Rascasse, blocking the track.

That incident brought out the red flag and robbed Schumacher of what would have been valuable learning time out on track.

Valtteri Bottas came into the weekend with high hopes of scoring a big result, but was left waiting in the garage due to a gearbox problem. He only managed two laps during FP1.

Verstappen, Perez and Leclerc all went straight on at Turn 1 during the session as they traded rapid lap times, but all escaped unscathed.

Also interesting:

F1 Podcast: Did off-track matters ruin the spectacle at the Spanish GP?

RacingNews365.com F1 journalists Dieter Rencken and Michael Butterworth discuss the Spanish Grand Prix, where Max Verstappen won a thrilling race after Charles Leclerc retired. But was the on-track action soured by a poor fan experience at the Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya?

F1 2022 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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