Leclerc completes Ferrari sweep of Monaco GP practice

Andy Hone/Motorsport Images

Leclerc completes Ferrari sweep of Monaco GP practice

Charles Leclerc swept Friday practice by leading a Ferrari one-two in second practice at the Monaco Grand Prix.

The home favorite set a time of 1m12.656s to edge teammate Carlos Sainz by just 0.44s. His best effort was also less than a second slower than last year’s FP2-topping time, suggesting this year’s new-generation car isn’t as maladapted as feared.

The two Ferrari drivers were in a class of their own on single-lap pace, with Sergio Perez 0.379s off the pace as the next quickest driver. The Mexican bested Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen by just 0.68s.

Lando Norris repeated his fifth-place finish from the first practice to head the midfield at 0.638s behind Leclerc, but his was the only McLaren to make it to the end of the session after Daniel Ricciardo smashed his car just minutes into the hour.

The Australian lost control of his McLaren as it bounced its way into the Swimming Pool section, the rear getting loose on him as he flicked through Turns 13 and 14. He overcorrected, and the MCL36 rotated into the outside barrier, wiping off the left-front corner and spearing into the Tecpro barrier at Turn 15.

“Daniel, is the car OK?” radioed his engineer, Tom Stallard, not having registered the crash through the telemetry.

“Uh, I’m OK,” Ricciardo replied.

“Glad you’re OK. We’ll fix the car, don’t panic,” Stallard said before Ricciardo pulled himself uninjured from the car.

George Russell improved Mercedes’s position between sessions to sixth as his team tried to smooth the W13’s rough ride from first practice. The adjustments translated to a better relative time despite continued bouncy handling, though the hour ended with the Briton complaining of a power unit problem leaving him down on speed.

Pierre Gasly was seventh for AlphaTauri ahead of Fernando Alonso in an improved hour for Alpine. Sebastian Vettel was ninth for Aston Martin ahead of Yuki Tsunoda, who complained of undriveable vibrations in his car on his first turn early in the session.

Kevin Magnussen couldn’t crack the top 10 for Haas after his designated quick lap was scuppered by slow traffic, leaving him 11th ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes in 12th.

Valtteri Bottas got his first proper laps of the track under his belt after losing virtually all of first practice to a power unit problem that required some parts changes between sessions. The Finn completed 28 laps and was quick enough for 13th in the order.

Alex Albon was 14th for Williams ahead of Zhou Guanyu and Lance Stroll.

Mick Schumacher returned to the track with a changed MGU-K and gearbox after his FP2 stoppage and ended the hour 17th, his fast lap also hampered by traffic.

Esteban Ocon was 18th for Alpine, with Nicholas Latifi rounding out the order of timed finishers in 19th.

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