Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, Monaco, 2017

Vettel flies, Mercedes struggle and Stroll shunts

2017 Monaco Grand Prix second practice

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Sebastian Vettel set a scorching pace in the second practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, lapping almost half a second faster than anyone else. His best effort, a 1’12.720, lowered the track record by almost a second.

However the Mercedes drivers conspicuously under-performed, unable to get within a second of the Ferrari driver’s benchmark. Lewis Hamilton ended up four-tenths of a second slower than his best time from the first session following a lengthy run on the ultra-soft tyres.

Kevin Magnussen, Haas, Monaco, 2017
Monaco Grand Prix practice in pictures
They weren’t the only drivers who seemed to experience difficulty getting the best out of the softest tyre compounds. Felipe Massa complained he was unable to access the grip offered by the tyres.

Team mate Lance Stroll seemed to be having the same problem when he lost control of his car at Massenet. The red flags flew after his Williams came to a stop at Casino with its front-right corner wiped off.

Other drivers made less sever contact with the barrier. Esteban Ocon did on the way to Portier and Marcus Ericsson swiped the wall on the exit of Casino. Both were able to continue running.

Jolyon Palmer’s session was ruined by a suspected engine problem on his Renault. He pulled off at Portier after smoke appeared at the rear of his corner at Mirabeau.

Daniel Ricciardo was second-quickest for Red Bull. Max Verstappen in the team’s other car reported he was having difficulty slowing the car in the braking zones due to power surges. He ended up behind the two Toro Rossos, who impressed by taking places inside the top five.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
15Sebastian VettelFerrari1’12.72037
23Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’13.2070.48734
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’13.2830.56345
426Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Renault1’13.3310.61141
555Carlos Sainz JnrToro Rosso-Renault1’13.4000.68042
633Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’13.4860.76635
711Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’13.7991.07944
844Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’13.8731.15331
920Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’13.8901.17045
1077Valtteri BottasMercedes1’13.9021.18238
112Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’13.9461.22641
1222Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Honda1’13.9811.26136
1319Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’14.0031.28346
148Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’14.0221.30243
1531Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’14.0931.37346
1618Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’14.4741.75427
1727Nico HulkenbergRenault1’14.8702.15040
1830Jolyon PalmerRenault1’15.6162.8968
199Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’15.6912.97131
2094Pascal WehrleinSauber-Ferrari1’15.6952.97536

Second practice visual gaps

Sebastian Vettel – 1’12.720

+0.487 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’13.207

+0.563 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’13.283

+0.611 Daniil Kvyat – 1’13.331

+0.680 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’13.400

+0.766 Max Verstappen – 1’13.486

+1.079 Sergio Perez – 1’13.799

+1.153 Lewis Hamilton – 1’13.873

+1.170 Kevin Magnussen – 1’13.890

+1.182 Valtteri Bottas – 1’13.902

+1.226 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’13.946

+1.261 Jenson Button – 1’13.981

+1.283 Felipe Massa – 1’14.003

+1.302 Romain Grosjean – 1’14.022

+1.373 Esteban Ocon – 1’14.093

+1.754 Lance Stroll – 1’14.474

+2.150 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’14.870

+2.896 Jolyon Palmer – 1’15.616

+2.971 Marcus Ericsson – 1’15.691

+2.975 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’15.695

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Author information

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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92 comments on “Vettel flies, Mercedes struggle and Stroll shunts”

  1. Um… Renault? Hi?
    Assuming that they’ve focused a lot on low drag for their general car this year to make up for the engine deficit, so of course have lower downforce, explaining why they weren’t great in Spain either (in qualifying at least). And then even with downforce increasing stuff like the triple t-wing, they’re still struggling.

    1. Earlier, Hulkenberg had said that Monaco should ‘suit’ the car’s characteristics…At least they’ve got a whole day to sort out their problems.

    2. The Toro Rossos are 4th and 5th with the same deficient engine. Renaults chassis is still crap. Hopefully they will get it together soon, so Hulk can start fighting nearer the front.

  2. Most entertaining moment: Button’s overtake on Hamilton

    1. His goal for this weekend was probably to overtake a Mercedes in a McLaren-Honda at some point

    2. But that was not at full race speed, besides it appears Hamilton was trying to create some diatance to the Sauber ahead.
      Three cars that close inside the tunnel !!!
      You’ll never see that in a race unless one or two have broken down.

  3. Another Singapore ’15 for Mercedes?

    1. Too early to say. They have 2 days to figure out now.

    2. Evil Homer (@)
      25th May 2017, 14:36

      Maybe! They may get it together or the weekend may be a tough one- its gonna be entertaining !!

  4. I don’t know what Dyson is waiting for to start sponsoring some of the teams. McLaren should be the first as they were the pioneers.

  5. Adam (@rocketpanda)
    25th May 2017, 14:42

    Vettel’s pace is pretty strong but I guess we’ve not seen Mercedes in qualifying mode yet. Though they seem a lot further back than I expected.

    Quietly impressed by Perez though – I mean not just in this practice session but across this season so far. He seems to be extracting the absolute maximum out of that car on every race. If he was ever to make a strong case for another ‘top’ drive this season’s been good for him so far – if Raikkonen retires/leaves Ferrari he’d probably be a really good bet to jump in his place.

    1. What over Ricciardo, Verstappen, Alonso, Hamilton, Hulkenberg, Sainz etc?

        1. I dont think you actually watch F1

      1. I know LdM’s not running the team any more, but Ferrari’s ‘one rooster’ strategy seems to still be in effect.

        1. They have two former WDC’s driving their cars, and you say that they and not Mercedes have a “one rooster strategy”?

          1. Mercedes may, but kimi in his twilight is not a match for Vettel despite still being very good. So yes, one rooster

      2. Fran, the thing is, most of the drivers that you are quoting in your list are going to be under contract to their teams.

        Now, we know that Red Bull have made it fairly clear that they will not easily let go of their drivers, and they have reportedly rebuffed attempts to sign Ricciardo, Verstappen and Sainz Jr in the past (Sainz Jr, for example, was reportedly targeted by Renault).

        As for Alonso, Marchionne probably wouldn’t be able to swallow his pride to sign a driver that he reportedly wanted out of the team because he wanted to impose his driver (Vettel), and thus his will, on the team.

        I can’t see Hulkenberg being given a chance because we know that Ferrari have already been in negotiations with him at least twice in the past, and every time they have then gone on to reject him. If they wanted to replace Kimi with Hulkenberg, they’ve already had multiple opportunities to do so – moreover, given that Hulkenberg is currently planned to be a key part of Renault’s future strategy, they won’t let him go.

        As for Hamilton, he’s still got another year at Mercedes and I expect he is inclined to stay where he is – he’s got a competitive car at his disposal and you would expect Mercedes to remain competitive for the near future, so why would he want to move from where he is?

        1. My point is Perez? Cmon do me a favour.
          Plus do you really thing contracts are worth owt?

          1. Sundar Srinivas Harish
            26th May 2017, 16:41

            Perez has really matured over the past few years. He’s checked his privilege and has developed some common sense, while retaining his speed. IMO if Ferrari let go of Kimi, it is either Checo or Grosjean who will get that seat.

      3. Deffinitely over Hulkenberg, Sainz and maybe Ricciardo, but nobody is expecting Verstappen and Hamilton to jump teams.

        1. Over Ricciardo! Are you insane?

          1. Perez is an amazing talent and I think you underrate him. Podiums in midfield cars. Saves the car on occasion similar to A. Prost. What more do you want????

            Wrap your head around how difficult it is for a midfield team to get a podium.

            VER never got one with Toro and some say he is the next best thing since Jim Clark.

  6. Stroll crashes. At least it took him till FP2.

    Mercedes with a stinker but no doubt they’ll be up there once Qualifying rolls around.
    Midfield is tight with 3 tenths between P7 and P15. Q2 is getting tense.
    Mclaren only 1.2 behind. If Alonso was there he would’ve been infront Lewis. How quick can you clone a human being?

  7. That headline was entirely and precisely predicted by the consensus of F1Fanatics here yesterday. Pretty uncanny.

  8. Fukobayashi (@)
    25th May 2017, 15:13

    Mercedes went the wrong way on setup between FP1 and FP2 and realised quickly enough, however they would have lost the entire session if they reverted back to the FP1 setup as it was a suspension reconfiguration to try and get more grip from the tyres as deg was not as bad as expected in the first session.

    As Pat Symonds said however, it’s odd that they tried the new setup on both cars in the second session, they must have had a lot of confidence in it.

    Qually will be tight!

    1. Fukobayashi (@)
      25th May 2017, 15:14

      All that is from Toto and Bottas in interviews on Sky Sports immediately following the session by the way. Neither looked too worried.

  9. Early podium prediction – 1st: VET, 2nd: RIC, 3rd: HAM

    1. I predict a fierce battle between Hamilton and Vettel. Either they will crash out or it will be a 1, 2.

      Personally I hope Vettel wins !


      1. Fierce battle at Monaco? Where 2 cars can hardly fit side by side?

        1. Who put the ZZZ in Blazzz?

        2. Oh come on , is it not a battle if they are not side by side,

          remember Jules bianchi’s overtake on the Caterham,

          remember Hamiltons overtake on Maldonado when Ham was in a Mclaren, dont remember which year though,

          stuff is possible when there are two campionship drivers fighting. ;)

          Lets hope for the best

  10. Evil Homer (@)
    25th May 2017, 15:34

    Awesome photo- lose the shark fin and T-bar and how great would that Ferrari look!! :)

    1. @evilhomer, are you okay with the thumb nose?

    2. Why do you think the sharkfin and t-bar are there? Clue: it’s not there to look nice. It probably is there to make the car faster, not to please ‘fans’ who know nothing about aero. Maybe they should get rid of it and be leading the mid-field cars instead of winning races. That will please the team and the fans /not.

      1. They fundamentally look ridiculous, though.

        Not so much the shark fin. I think they’re a huge improvement over the 2010 versions, which were utterly ghastly. These seem to balance out the car a little and stop them looking so boat-like and long.

        The thumb noses are completely ridiculous looking and should have been cleared up long ago. They’re a stubby version of the phallic noses which were a complete embarrassment to F1. Not particularly great for your brand.

        And the t-wings just look like dangerous coat hangers attached to the car.

        You heard it first from Chase Carey, and it’s something I’ve believed for a long time – F1 is now ‘sports entertainment’, in the same genre as pro wrestling. Admittedly, it’s not pre-determined like pro wrestling is, but the rule makers are openly acknowledging that they’ll do everything in their power to manipulate the rules to keep things close, and keep the cars looking aesthetically pleasing. F1 is as much a ‘brand’ as it is a sport. We may not like this, but that’s the reality. Ugly cars are not attracting anyone.

        Of course, it’s somewhat subjective, but the majority seem to dislike the aforementioned parts, so it appears to be a majority vote.

        1. @ecwdanselby, I agree, and, to be honest, I have nothing specifically against the looks of t-wings or shark fins. Definitely they are not very aesthetically-pleasing; however, their purpose is clear. Unlike the purpose of the thumb noses, which are purely driven by regulations and are an echo of the embarrassment from 2014.

      2. @Tiomkin According to Horner at the start of the season, the performance gain is so minimal that they might as well be gone as there would be more aesthetic gain from their disappearance than there would be performance loss.

        1. @robbie, I am somewhat dubious about that claim – there were some suggestions that the reality is that Red Bull doesn’t gain much in terms of performance, but they believe that Mercedes and Ferrari do gain much more from them and would therefore be hindered if they could have it banned.

      3. @Tiomkin The -wing aint there to make the cars faster, its there because the regulations say that at exactly that spot you can squeeze in a wing.

      1. that nose looks like a vacuum cleaner now

      2. Why waist your time on editing a very ugly car into another very ugly car, when instead you simply could have linked to this.
        Low nose, single chord front wing, lose all winglets and barge boards, nice cokebottle without the flat floor sticking out, etc..

    3. I like the t-wings. Humbug.

      1. I like them too!

  11. Please notice: Alonso goes to USA. Nothing breaks for McLaren in F1… :D (Podium for Button? :D)

    1. Honestly with the way people say it could be Hamilton breaking his engines you could say the same about Alonso. Funnily they had to change his engine at the indy500

    2. Mclaren still have until Sunday to see if anything breaks. So its too early to tell if its Alonso breaking the engines on both cars and at the factory

    3. Guys, of course, I don’t think that Alonso breaks his engine becouse of his driving style. Everyone knows that’s due to Honda’s bad engine design. I was just joking. However, to be honest, if nothing breaks for the whole weekend, we can think that Alonso maybe brings bad luck the team :D

    4. Or it could be that with Alonso away, the team is able to finally work in peace without expecting any funny/hurtful comments from the drivers during the race.

      1. @redbullf1 If the comments of a driver result in the mechanics assembling a unreliable engine, then they should 100% be sacked.

        1. Disrespect doesn’t promote team work

        2. @Mashiat If thats the case i would sack the driver 100%. Lance Stroll in a working car gives better results than Alonso in a Honda-McLaren.

          1. Miss Informed
            26th May 2017, 6:29

            Are you guys happy in the alt. universe?

          2. @rethla Has that been the case so far? I see Stroll as being 0 points ahead of Alonso despite being in a car several seconds quicker.

          3. @mashiat
            0points ahead is still ahead. Stroll is p17 with his phenomenal p11 in Russia and Alonso is p18. Only Jolyn Palmer and Stoffel is doing worse than that but even there you see the working car gives Palmers the upper edge against Stoffel.

          4. “Phenomenal P11”. There is nothing phenomenal about Stroll or his driving, especially compared to FA. If Stroll was in a working McHonda, he would be last in the championship.

  12. Fikri Harish (@)
    25th May 2017, 15:49

    Man, one of the top two teams messes up, and maybe, just maybe Toro Rosso could have another day in the spotlight again outshining the Red Bulls.
    Here’s hoping one, or preferably both, could do something this Sunday.

  13. Should be a good battle…. The red bulls were quick last year, throw ferrari into the mix with great tire wear…. not sure if a merc will be on the podium.

  14. I think Mercedes will be at a slight disadvantage here as the Monaco circuit neutralizes the qualifying engine mode which they usually run. Im pretty sure they will be in contention but Ferrari/RBR should beat them to the front row.

  15. What the heck is going on? Why are FP1 and FP2 on a thurday? What did I miss? Any one?

    1. Monaco tradition. They always do practice on Thursday. Rest of the weekend runs as usual.

    2. It’s completely normal, I believe Friday is a holiday in Monaco.

      1. Oh I hadn’t heard that Friday was a holiday. I thought that they ran practice on Thursday so they weren’t effectively shutting the town down for three days in a row.

    3. As far as I remember, it is like that because of all the different series racing there on that weekend of the year. More than on any other GP weekend, because it is Monaco, and everybody wants to be there. The prestige etc… There would be less attention for other racing series if they had to race on thursday as there would be less people. F1 practise 1 and 2 are therefore set to thursday to let some series race on friday.

      1. Just googled it. They want to free up the streets ahead of the weekend. Friday is also usually a ‘bank holiday.’ They run some practice and qualy of other series and race 1 of GP2 on Friday but then the streets are opened up to the public from 2pm on Friday to 7am Saturday. Normally everything that goes on on a race weekend can be done Friday, Saturday, Sunday as we know, but at Monaco the circuit shuts the whole town down, unlike anywhere else they race.

        1. Thanks guys. I thought I had missed something big, like if that was a part of the Liberty Media plan to make a GP weekend to a week long festival or what ever the idea was. Couldn’t find any mention of any irregularities concerning the Monaco GP mentioned anywhere either. I don’t know how I didn’t know about this earlier. This is my 7th season following F1 to make it even worse lol.

          1. Wasn’t it originally some thing to do with Ascension Day which is today as it happens?

          2. Yes, it was originally the Ascension Day holiday that caused this effect. That, and the royal family thought it was a good idea to have people there for 4 days to maximise profits, and by the time F1 became a thing in 1950, the series organisers didn’t have the power to change that. It’s been going on for so long that it would be considered a sort of sacriledge to make Monaco revert to the usual Friday-Saturday-Sunday format.

  16. I’ve tried to tidy the 2017 Ferrari up a little bit, as these cars are rapidly turning in to the 2008 cars, sadly… Check it out (credit goes to F1F for the image):

    1. It doesn’t look like the 2008 cars at all in my opinion. Those were much prettier cars than these.

      1. I meant the copious amounts of winglets and appendages! They’re starting to look extremely ‘busy’, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, aesthetically (at least to this guy, anyway).

    2. Nice , I personally like the Shark fins but awesome edit,

      that Ferrari looks leet.

  17. Yup. Good stuff. I don’t hate the fins and the T’s, but I would prefer them gone.

  18. I think it’s all the wicked comments about Stroll that caused him to crash. Luckily, Palmer’s engine had the foresight to prevent him suffering fan voodoo.

    1. No, Stroll just wanted to show he could do what Verstappen did last year.

  19. Claire Williams says that Lance is doing a fine job, and that he’s a great addition to the Williams legacy.

  20. So Button comes back and gets within a tenth of Van Doorne whilst Raikonnen is once again miles off of Vettel.
    Jeez let someone else have a go…

    1. The plan was for Bianchi to replace him at the end of 2015, but you know what happened:( Kimi will have his few podiums, maybe even a lucky win if the cards fall his way, but he is past his best.

      1. It would be a fun place for a junior series, or possibly Formula E. Tradition will probably leave F1 on the same layout as always.

  21. Honest to God, I had this dream last night. Jenson Button Wins Monaco, Stuffel Vandroone is second and Alonso Wins Indy 500 on Sunday….. I swear I am not a McLaren Fan … never been one…. It is just a dream…..

    Again. happy to see Vettel do well in FP2 but as long as Mercedes runs its Secret Tubro Engine Mode in Q3 it is no good for competition. All the hard-work by other teams goes for a toss.

    1. I doubt Mercedes has a super-duper qualy mode that their customers don’t. Paddy Lowe from williams even said so during the Spanish GP qualifying, and as you know he came over to williams from Mercedes this year. I think All Merc customers have these modes available, but it’s only the Mercedes cars that can leave using it in Q3 as it stresses the engine. Others just use it since Q1 in order not to leave any time on the table. Just like the Mercs mostly don’t need to use the softest tyres until Q2 or Q3, becasue their overall package just has enough performance as it is.

      1. Look at all the Renault powered cars compared to Redbull, and you’d think they had diffetent engines. The car/chassis makes all the difference and you need vast amounts of money for that. Not even Stroll’s dad can give Williams that kind of money. It helps to have the right quality of engineers also, else all that money will go to waste.

  22. I heard that they are building the new island at Monaco for the first time during FP2 today. I checked out the plans and… are they thinking about racing around it? It’s being built right by Portier so it’d certainly be possible!

    I tried to draw the potential layout on Paint (sorry for the quality)

  23. The Haas now looks like Williams used to …

  24. Sergey Martyn
    26th May 2017, 11:19

    C’mon too much babble about Massa struggle with tyres and Ocon shunt – but not a word about 4th and 5th positioned Toro Rosso’s. Not very proffessional IMHO.

    1. not a word

      Yes there is.

  25. Sundar Srinivas Harish
    26th May 2017, 16:50

    Someone should hand Grosjean’s kid a pack of crayons and tell him to go nuts on that Haas.

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