Verstappen quickest in Monaco Grand Prix FP2 ahead of Leclerc

Verstappen quickest in Monaco Grand Prix FP2 ahead of Leclerc

Formula 1 Drivers' Championship leader Max Verstappen topped the second practice session for this Sunday’s 2023 FIA Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, beating Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by just under seven hundredths of a second. Third place went to Leclerc’s team-mate Carlos Sainz but the Spanish driver crashed in the final part of the session, bringing out the red flags. 


In the early stages of the second hour of practice it was Verstappen who led the way with the Red Bull driver taking P1 thanks to a lap of 1:13.985. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton briefly supplanted the title leader by the slimmest of margins before the Dutchman resumed control with a time of 1:13.857.


Verstappen improved again to lower the benchmark to 1:13.312 as the early running on medium compound Pirelli tyres came to an end. 


When the field began to move to soft tyres it was Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso who made the first major move. The two-time champion jumped ahead of Verstappen with a lap of 1:12.786, which stood as the best time of the session for more than 10 minutes before Sainz made his soft-tyre leap with a lap of 1:12.569. 


Verstappen slotted into third with his first effort on soft tyres, but then moved ahead with his next run of 1:12.462. 


Leclerc then jumped to P2, marginally ahead of his Ferrari team-mate but that brought an end to significant improvements as Sainz then brought out the red flags. The Spanish driver clipped the barrier on the inside as he went to exit the Swimming Pool section. 


The contact broke a suspension arm on the front right of his car and he slid into the barriers at the exit, causing further damage to the right side of his Ferrari. 


Once his car and the debris had been cleared running resumed with 12 minutes left on the clock but there were few improvements. 


Verstappen therefore took top spot ahead of the Ferrari duo, with Alonso fourth fastest ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris. Hamilton finished sixth for Mercedes, while Sergio Perez was seventh in the second Red Bull RB19. Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas ended the session in P8 ahead of the Alpines Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon. 

 

 

2023 FIA Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix – Free Practice 2 
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1:12.462 30 165.786
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:12.527 0.065 33 165.637
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:12.569 0.107 22 165.541
4 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:12.682 0.220 32 165.284
5 Lando Norris McLaren 1:12.906 0.444 18 164.776
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:12.960 0.498 29 164.654
7 Sergio Pérez Red Bull Racing 1:12.991 0.529 30 164.584
8 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:13.050 0.588 33 164.451
9 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:13.089 0.627 28 164.363
10 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:13.162 0.700 30 164.199
11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:13.185 0.723 31 164.148
12 George Russell Mercedes 1:13.191 0.729 32 164.134
13 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:13.354 0.892 32 163.770
14 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:13.457 0.995 28 163.540
15 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:13.520 1.058 33 163.400
16 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:13.641 1.179 22 163.131
17 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri 1:13.663 1.201 34 163.083
18 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:13.673 1.211 30 163.061
19 Alexander Albon Williams 1:14.217 1.755 10 161.865
20 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:14.238 1.776 33 161.820


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