Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2015

Alonso sees opportunities after rain-hit practice

2015 Monaco Grand Prix Friday practice analysis

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Fernando Alonso, McLaren, Monte-Carlo, 2015A rain-affected second practice session left teams with little data on long-run tyre performance or low-fuel qualifying pace, which Fernando Alonso thinks could give McLaren an advantage.

“We got very little running on the super soft,” said Alonso after today’s practice, “but hopefully we can take advantage of that on Saturday, when everyone will get limited running on the softer tyre. That should help level the playing field.”

However the disruption caused by the rain meant McLaren were unable to complete their planned evaluation of changes Honda has made to its power unit to improve its power delivery.

When it comes to the race, Alonso expects the standard Monaco convention will apply. “If it’s dry on Sunday, it’s going to be a one-stop race, for sure,” he said.

The rain interruption was a disappointment for fans at the track as it meant much of the second practice session passed with no cars on track. “There was no reason to do more laps,” was Sebastian Vettel’s assessment, “we don’t have unlimited tyres and if the rain comes again we need them, even if the forecast looks dry.”

Teams did not expect the rain to arrive as quickly as it did, meaning none of the drivers had a chance to run Pirelli’s revised super-soft tyre. On a greasy track in cool conditions several of them found it hard to get the soft tyre up to temperature, but with no track running for more than 24 hours now that picture may change drastically.

Max Verstappen produced one of the stand-out performances during practice by lapping within two-tenths of a second of Lewis Hamilton in the first session. Verstappen is the only driver in the race with no prior real-world experience of the circuit – he did his first ever laps of the track during the morning session – yet he said he “felt really good in the car immediately”.

Toro Rosso look in good shape at the track as Carlos Sainz Jnr was also on the pace, and was the quicker of the pair during the brief period of dry running in the second session.

Although Ferrari look to be closer to Mercedes than they were in Spain, expect another all-silver battle for pole position. Nico Rosberg’s slip-up at the revised Tabac corner appeared to have handed the initiative to his team mate for now. But the lengthy delay before track action resumes means he has plenty of time to recoup.

Complete practice times

PosDriverCarFP1FP2Total laps
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’18.7501’17.19261
2Nico RosbergMercedes1’19.7621’17.93263
3Sebastian VettelFerrari1’19.1341’18.29545
4Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’19.6791’18.54346
5Daniil KvyatRed Bull-Renault1’19.5201’18.54849
6Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’19.2451’18.65954
7Max VerstappenToro Rosso-Renault1’18.8991’18.78254
8Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’19.7911’18.90646
9Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-Renault1’19.0861’19.63940
10Nico HulkenbergForce India-Mercedes1’20.7841’19.15147
11Romain GrosjeanLotus-Mercedes1’20.2741’19.26647
12Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’20.6491’19.30048
13Pastor MaldonadoLotus-Mercedes1’19.4541’19.57748
14Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’19.7661’19.56047
15Valtteri BottasWilliams-Mercedes1’20.9171’19.56650
16Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’20.2021’19.60629
17Felipe NasrSauber-Ferrari1’20.8571’20.26334
18Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’21.21925
19Roberto MerhiManor-Ferrari1’23.4041’22.01740
20Will StevensManor-Ferrari1’23.2341’22.94341

2015 Monaco Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Alonso sees opportunities after rain-hit practice”

  1. That Verstappen boy shows he can handle a F1 car, great!

    PS: “2015 Monaco Grand Prix Friday practice analysis” it’s only Thursday, yet.

    1. Keith’s using his crystal ball today.

      1. @fishingelbow But nothing is going to change on Friday.

        1. It’s Friday here.

  2. Well it worked for Olivier Panis, so it could work for Fernando, or anyone else.

  3. redline24-5
    22nd May 2015, 8:54

    I hate to say it but Verstappen is looking an awful lot like a young Senna these days. Rain or not this will be a race to remember.

    1. Why hate to say it? He is clearly a great driver. His drive in Malaysia was simply excellent.

      That said, the FP1 result @ Monaco was a bit flattering, because Mercedes and Ferrari did their quick laps early in the session, and then settled into long runs. Verstappen stepped on the gas with fresh tyres right at the end, when the track had significantly improved.

  4. the super soft with a full fuel tank last less than 8laps,
    the super softs with a full fuel tank last at least 20laps,

    i can see Merc drivers qualifying on soft changing after 24 laps to soft again on lap 54 then last stint on super soft with a light fuel load will do the remainder of the race no problem,
    info comes from GP2 tire wear.

    1. the super soft with a full fuel tank last less than 8laps,
      the softs with a full fuel tank last at least 20laps,

  5. Alonso is always expecting rain, but then he does nothing with it.
    He should be a rainmaster to take full advantage of such conditions, but he clearly isn´t amongst them.

    1. @oscar Hungary 2006? Probably the best first lap ever? Nurburgring 2007 and Malaysia 2012 come to mind too. Not to mention the two wet qualifying sessions in Silverstone and Hockenheim.

      Alonso has proved himself to be very capable in wet conditions. Even in a Renault in 2008, he was the fastest car for a long period of time.

      1. Probably is not certainly.
        A few races in such a “profitable” career doesn´t mean such a big deal.
        He does well, but actually he is not amongst the rainmasters…

    2. Where did he expect rain?

      Certainly not in his words here.

      1. Did I say it was in his words?
        Certainly not…

    3. @oscar bit too harsh on him. Plus he never said he wanted rain, only the ttile mentions it. Alonso sees an opportunity at Monaco since Spain.

      1. Maybe I was a bit too harsh, or maybe he is a bit too overrated and he has the same opportunities as Jenson, or less…

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