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Monaco GP: Charles Leclerc seals double training in Monaco as Ferrari chief Red Bull

Monaco GP: Charles Leclerc seals double training in Monaco as Ferrari chief Red Bull

Charles Leclerc beats Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz in Practice Two; Red Bulls of Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen cannot match speed; Lewis Hamilton continues to struggle; watch Practice Three live on Sky Sports F1 on Saturday at 12pm, with qualifying from 2pm

Last updated: 27/05/22 5:58 PM

Charles Leclerc was the fastest in both practices on Friday in Monaco

Charles Leclerc was the fastest in both practices on Friday in Monaco

Charles Leclerc sealed a practice double at the Monaco GP on Friday as a Ferrari one-two in the second session of the day appeared to put them one step ahead of Red Bull.

Ferrari looked closely matched with Red Bull in the opening session, separating from their title rivals in P2, while home hero Leclerc led team-mate Carlos Sainz by less than half a tenth.

Sergio Perez defeated world champion Max Verstappen to third place, with both Red Bulls three to four tenths of the Ferraris.

Lewis Hamilton had a nightmarish day when the seven-time world champion failed to build on the progress he made at last weekend’s Spanish GP when he finished 12th, almost a full second behind his Mercedes teammate George Russell, who finished sixth behind the impressive Lando Norris’ McLaren.

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his McLaren and crashed in the second practice of the Monaco Grand Prix

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Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his McLaren and crashed in the second practice of the Monaco Grand Prix

Daniel Ricciardo lost control of his McLaren and crashed in the second practice of the Monaco Grand Prix

It wasn’t all good news for McLaren though, with a bad crash for Daniel Ricciardo in the pool area ending his session after just 15 minutes and triggering a red flag that caused a short delay.

Ricciardo’s incident seemed somewhat inevitable as nearly all drivers struggled for the first time to drive the new bigger cars of 2022 on the famously narrow streets of Monte Carlo.

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Several drivers had to swerve to the run-out area at the first corner, Sainte Devote. Sebastian Vettel nearly crashed by the pool just before Ricciardo’s incident, while both Norris and Russell reported contact with the barrier, which they seemed to get away with.

Monaco GP Practice Two timesheet

Driver Team Time
1) Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:12.656
2) Carlos Sainz Ferrari +0.044
3) Sergio Perez Red Bull +0.379
4) Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.447
5) Lando Norris McLaren +0.638
6) George Russell Mercedes +0.750
7) Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri +0.980
8) Fernando Alonso alpine +1.256
9) Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin +1.403
10) Yuki Tsunoda Alpha Tauri +1.478
11) Kevin Magnussen Hare +1,583
12) Lewis Hamilton Mercedes +1.611
13) Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo +1.812
14) Alexander Albon Williams +1,830
15) Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo +1.869
16) Lance Walk Aston Martin +1.967
17) Mick Schumacher Hare +2.238
18) Esteban Ocon alpine +2.560
19) Nicholas Latifi Williams +3.620
20) Daniel Ricciardo McLaren no time

Leclerc on track for crucial pole

With Leclerc narrowly fastest against Perez in the earlier session, Ferrari and Red Bull, who have shared all six wins and pole positions this season, looked set for another exciting battle in the opening stages of P2.

Leclerc traded fastest times with Perez and Verstappen during the first half of the session before completing a lap they simply couldn’t challenge.

Sainz, who has repeatedly failed to keep up with Leclerc in the opening races of the season, had a response on this occasion, setting a time suggesting he and his teammate will be chasing pole position in Saturday’s qualifying.

Martin Brundle assesses the cars as they pass through Casino Square in practice two for the Monaco Grand Prix

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Martin Brundle assesses the cars as they pass through Casino Square in practice two for the Monaco Grand Prix

Martin Brundle assesses the cars as they pass through Casino Square in practice two for the Monaco Grand Prix

Before then, Saturday morning’s third and final practice session could be crucial, with Verstappen likely to look for improvements that will at least enable him to be the fastest driver in his own team as he manages a run of three want to extend consecutive wins.

With overtaking extremely difficult on the street circuit, qualifying in Monaco represents arguably the most important Saturday of the season, with a pole position giving a huge advantage on Sunday.

Leclerc, who has failed to finish the race in each of his three F1 appearances at his home circuit, will not take anything for granted as he tries to regain the championship lead he lost to Verstappen when he suffered an engine failure. fell back from the lead last weekend in Barcelona.

Hamilton struggles as Mercedes seeks balance

Lewis Hamilton locked down twice to join a growing list of drivers who slipped off the track during practice ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix

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Lewis Hamilton locked down twice to join a growing list of drivers who slipped off the track during practice ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton locked down twice to join a growing list of drivers who slipped off the track during practice ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix

After leaving Barcelona on a hugely positive note, Friday in Monaco seemed to bring Hamilton back to earth as he struggled with “crazy bouncing” on his Mercedes from the start.

Not for the first time this season, his younger team-mate Russell seemed to cope better with the challenging car and was the much more competitive of the Silver Arrows.

Speaking to Sky Sports F1 between the two sessions, Mercedes boss Toto Wolff admitted the team faced a dilemma in balancing the car’s performance with driver comfort.

Hamilton says the Monaco circuit is the worst for bouncing in the Mercedes.

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Hamilton says the Monaco circuit is the worst for bouncing in the Mercedes.

Hamilton says the Monaco circuit is the worst for bouncing in the Mercedes.

Mercedes posted on social media that Hamilton’s request for extra padding on his elbows during the first session had been addressed for the second, but that didn’t seem to help the seven-time world champion.

“I think we have a problem with the ride, that’s something we’ve had with the bounce all season,” said Wolff. “Sometimes it’s a combination between the aero and the stiffness, nowadays it’s the stiffness.

“It looks like our car is performing because we were fast. Overall I think it’s a good car, but it’s just undriveable this way.”

Mixed emotions at McLaren

Norris was once again hugely impressive, especially considering he is still recovering from tonsillitis, having endured the illness at last weekend’s Spanish GP.

The 22-year-old Briton maintained the consistency he has shown throughout his F1 career, finishing fifth in both sessions on Friday.

Lando Norris impressed for McLaren in Monaco on Friday Lando Norris impressed for McLaren in Monaco on Friday

Lando Norris impressed for McLaren in Monaco on Friday

Norris’s outstanding performance only served to highlight the struggle of his team-mate Ricciardo, who hit a new low with a nasty shunt in the barriers.

The incident comes just days after McLaren chief executive Zak Brown told Sky Sports ‘Any Driven Monday’ that the Australian is not living up to the team’s expectations and is only increasing the pressure.

Ricciardo, a former race winner in Monaco during his time at Red Bull, will need all his experience on the track to help him overcome the time lost after his crash.

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