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Monaco Grand Prix 2023

Sainz leads Alonso in double red-flagged Monaco FP1

The Ferrari driver was quickest ahead of the Aston Martin, while the session was interrupted by two red flags.

Sainz Monaco
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To news overview © XPBimages

Carlos Sainz was quickest in the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

The Ferrari driver was 0.338s ahead of Alonso on the Medium tyres having made a late improvement, while Hamilton was 0.663s off the pace.

Alonso was blocked by Sergio Perez on one of his runs, to which the Spaniard retorted "I will be on the racing line all the slow laps" having let the Mexican by for his fastest lap that put him fourth.

Charles Leclerc attempted to improve in the closing stages from P5, but locked up coming into the Nouvelle Chicane and again coming out of the Swimming Pool section.

Any further attempts to improve were stopped when Alex Albon crashed at Sainte Devote, causing significant damage to the left side of his Williams and bringing out the red flag to end the session.

Verstappen and Russell suffer setup problems

Many of the drivers elected to run the Hard tyre in the opening stages of the session, as traffic became a problem for most timed runs.

Ferrari chose not to run the Hard for both drivers, with Sainz setting the early pace on the Mediums from Verstappen who was half a second off on the Hard.

Max Verstappen complained of car problems in the early stages of FP1, reporting that it was "bottoming out" and "unbelievably difficult to drive” in the high speed sections over the team radio.

He pitted to make some setup changes at the rear of the car, but still suffered from issues that the team said would have to be resolved after the session.

Teammate Perez was noticeably faster in the first sector compared to Verstappen, setting the fastest time in that section. He ultimately ended the session sixth quickest with a best lap that was 0.8s off Sainz.

Also suffering with setup problems was George Russell, who complained about the rear sliding throughout the session. The team has brought their new upgrades to this race, although they are not expecting them to produce a major swing in performance.

The Mercedes driver ended the session outside of the top 10 in P15, with his best time 1.6s off the pace.

A brief red flag was caused when Nico Hulkenberg clipped the wall coming out of the tunnel and into the Nouvelle chicane, causing damage to his left rear wheel.

The Haas driver could limp back to the pits, but the car shed enough parts for a clean-up to be necessary in that section of the track.

Result Free practice 1 - Monaco

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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F1 2023 Monaco Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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