Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Monaco, 2018

Ricciardo on top, Verstappen under investigation as Red Bull lead practice

2018 Monaco Grand Prix first practice

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Daniel Ricciardo beat last year’s pole position time in the first practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver chipped five-hundredths of a second off the 2017 pole position time and previous track record set by Kimi Raikkonen.

Max Verstappen made it a one-two for Red Bull but ran afoul of the stewards after going off the track at Sainte Devote. He reversed back onto the circuit as Raikkonen was approaching, prompting the Ferrari driver to take to the pit lane exit to avoid him.

Lewis Hamilton was third-quickest for Mercedes, the only driver to get within nine-tenths of a second of the Red Bulls. Valtteri Bottas struggled to find a clear lap and ended up a second behind his team mate.

The pair were separated by the two closely-matched Ferraris and Carlos Sainz Jnr, who posted an encouraging time for Renault. Sergio Perez was eighth followed by two drivers who had brushes the with barriers. Romain Grosjean made light contact on his way to ninth while 10th-placed Sergey Sirotkin limped in with a puncture at one stage after hitting the wall at Anthony Noghes.

It was a tough session for McLaren. Stoffel Vandoorne languished in 15th while Fernando Alonso lost a significant amount of running while the team removed his car’s floor to fix a brake-by-wire fault.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
13Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’12.12636
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’12.2800.15425
344Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.4800.35434
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’13.0410.91540
57Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’13.0660.94038
655Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’13.4561.33040
777Valtteri BottasMercedes1’13.5021.37639
811Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’13.7171.59138
98Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’13.9431.81724
1035Sergey SirotkinWilliams-Mercedes1’13.9621.83639
1131Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’14.0001.87439
1228Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’14.0341.90846
1327Nico HulkenbergRenault1’14.1342.00838
1410Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’14.2402.11438
152Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’14.2912.16537
1616Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’14.5212.39539
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’14.6372.51116
1818Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’14.7822.65643
199Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’15.2063.08039
2020Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’18.8016.6757

First practice visual gaps

Daniel Ricciardo – 1’12.126

+0.154 Max Verstappen – 1’12.280

+0.354 Lewis Hamilton – 1’12.480

+0.915 Sebastian Vettel – 1’13.041

+0.940 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’13.066

+1.330 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’13.456

+1.376 Valtteri Bottas – 1’13.502

+1.591 Sergio Perez – 1’13.717

+1.817 Romain Grosjean – 1’13.943

+1.836 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’13.962

+1.874 Esteban Ocon – 1’14.000

+1.908 Brendon Hartley – 1’14.034

+2.008 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’14.134

+2.114 Pierre Gasly – 1’14.240

+2.165 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’14.291

+2.395 Charles Leclerc – 1’14.521

+2.511 Fernando Alonso – 1’14.637

+2.656 Lance Stroll – 1’14.782

+3.080 Marcus Ericsson – 1’15.206

+6.675 Kevin Magnussen – 1’18.801

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2018 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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64 comments on “Ricciardo on top, Verstappen under investigation as Red Bull lead practice”

  1. Ferraris look slow

    1. They usually (since last year anyway) have their engines set low for Fridays to save them for times when it counts; expect them to be up there from tomorrow.

      1. Engines don’t make that much of a difference around Monaco, I’m not sure that accounts for being a second off the RB’s. Their tyres looked shocking in the slow mo though.

      2. Perhaps they are saving oil.

  2. Verstappen should at the very least get a 5 place grid penalty for this and yet again more penalty points on his license. Reversing onto the track as cars are coming full speed down the main straight is ridiculously irresponsible.

    1. Yet Nico recieved no penalty for doing exactly the same thing in 2014! Nico cost Lewis pole and a win in 2014!

      1. I agree that Rosberg should have been penalized back then. But yeah, that´s 4 years ago now.

    2. That was remarkably dangerous. I didn’t watch live and expected that it couldn’t possibly be as bad as you suggested so visited YouTube… have to agree with you, incredibly reckless and deserving of a penalty.

      1. @ben-n
        A bit of a strange one there, he could have hugged the outside barrier and stayed out of the way of the Ferrari but he went straight back on the racing line. Max is quite clearly much smarter than that so my first thought he was told by his race engineer to go at the wrong time.

        1. @garns – I agree – it would be interesting to know what/if he was told, because it just seemed such an unnecessary maneuver!

          1. @ben-n – It was really, news just came through he escaped a penalty so he was a bit lucky there.

            This will get people asking if it were another driver if the outcome may have been different, I wont say they favour Max but will say it seems to be inconsistent at times.

      2. @jeffreyj ”Reversing onto the track as cars are coming full speed down the main straight”
        – Wrong, they weren’t approaching the corner at full speed as it was yellow-flagged.
        @ben-n ”That was remarkably dangerous.”
        – Not really as that part of the track was yellow-flagged anyway so that it’d be safer to rejoin the circuit by reversing.

        1. @jerejj – Have to disagree with you here, yellow flag or not. It’s one of the heaviest braking spots on the entire track; having a car moving even slowly in that area is asking for trouble, let alone backing into the middle of the corner and towards oncoming traffic. Not sure how can suggest it was safer to reverse onto a live track than to “burnout a 180” and rejoin when he can see it’s clear, as drivers normally do when messing up into Turn 1.

          1. @ben-n But with the yellows displayed on the light panel before St. Devote the drivers approaching the corner could be prepared that there might be something (happening) on the track by slowing down significantly. Yes, the burnout by 180 degrees is how they usually rejoin the circuit at T1 in Monaco after having gone off, but maybe on this particular occasion, it was easier to reverse than do that.

  3. Didnt the race engineer tell Verstappen when to reverse the car? Anyways it was dangerous for Kimi to find a car suddenly reversing.

    1. Marshalls should direct reversing in practice…

  4. That oil burning clarification seems to have hurt all Ferrari teams.

    I think the championship just got decided.

    1. I thought the FIA was still investigating it. Not sure whether Ferrari has taken the step of not using it already. Had read somewhere else that they were also going to be investigating Ferrari’s usage of the MGU-H system as apparently they were using more than the allocated 4 megajoules per lap.

      1. @todfod There is an allegation that there going beyond the energy usage allowance however the FIA have a sensor on every car to monitor the MGU-H usage & according to that sensor Ferrari haven’t been using more than the allocated energy.

        However the FIA have added a second sensor elsewhere on the system on the Ferrari this weekend just to make sure.

        1. @stefmeister

          Interesting. Let’s see if it makes a difference to their competitiveness this race weekend.

        2. The genius of F1, just wait until Prius owners adopt this simple performance upgrade, on their behalf we thank you Ferrari.

  5. digitalrurouni
    24th May 2018, 11:48

    This Verstappen guy starting to show signs of cracking or what?

    1. He’s just verstapping as usual

      1. @m-bagattini – I disagree. The problem is he’s not ver-“stop”ping.

  6. The 2nd race weekend in a row in which last season’s pole time has been beaten in FP1 already.

  7. Mclaren should consider an entry in to the Historic F1 championship…the only thing they seem to be good at is living in the past.

    1. savage

    2. They will be back. One day.

      (Said as a fan of multiple team entries, not particularly McLaren.)

  8. What this weekend so far confirms to me is that McLaren’s 2018 car is indeed worse than their 2017 one. Last year, they were the 4th fastest team here, so maybe they did actually have quite a good chassis last year (definitely NOT the best though), just that they couldn’t do the same this year. Because in a track like Monaco, there would be no reason why you would go from 4th fastest to 6th-9th fastest with a quicker engine unless your chassis has gone backwards. I know they had reliability, but even still, they looked very slow out there.

    1. *reliability issues.

    2. I’m not so sure. I think it might be more of a case that they have a car with a narrow operating window and it suits some tracks more than others. I don’t think it’s worse, Alonso has more points at round 6 than Mclaren scored in the constructors championship for 2017. So it’s not a dog but it’s also not great. Saturday will tell us where they’re really at

      1. Yeah I’m sure overall they are thrilled to be doing so much better than the previous 3 years. And given how crucial the marriage is between Pu and chassis, and how the tires are a little different this year, I think it is folly to try to compare this year to last in any way other than just for fringe reasons. It’s not a matter of throwing a better Pu in their chassis and away they should go. It is still very difficult and complex to merge the two components and make them gel, obviously, which as we know is why you have to be a factory works team and do it all in house to succeed these days.

        Bottom line for me…sure Mac still has headaches, but over the last three years they’d have loved to have the points by this time in the season that they currently do. Also…even Mercedes have headaches.

    3. Yes. Monaco reveals aero problems. and it is a much worse car than last year’s. A late engine supplier change cost them a lot….thats for sure

      1. engine supply change wasn’t that late.
        Certainly not as late as Brawn in 09.

      2. Much worse car than last year? Not going by FA’s performances on Sundays this season.

        1. @robbie Purely based on the chassis I assume, most, if not all, of their performance gain has come from the engine change.

          1. @mashiat Sure it appears that way, but I just think that as soon as they started to gear up for having a Renault Pu, that changed the ability to compare as easily…New marriage, new and different issues. The two go hand in hand. The Renault Pu would change how the brakes work and feel, for example.

            Anyway, it was the comment above that this car is worse than their 2017 car, and given that it has only been 5 races and they’re already way ahead after 3 season with Honda, tells me this 2018 car is better than the previous cars with Honda. I just claim it is not just the better Pu though…Mac had to also merge that Pu to the car and that study and understanding for them has just begun really. They’ve not been able to bring all the upgrades that should have been on the car already for race 1. But it’s such early days for them, they must be feeling quite a bit more happy with their potential than they have been for a while.

  9. I know it’s early days, but that was an encouraging session for Williams when you consider how badly they have struggled at Monaco in the hybrid era.

    1. Not so for stroll. 18th. And 8 tenths behind sirotkin.

    2. Agree. Look pretty decent if you look at Sirotkin’s time at least.

      1. Yep, so that’s good for Williams @todfod, @geemac, they have at least one driver who can do the deal on a ‘drivers track’; I know, stroll clearly has talent, but, it’s just not coming out all too often, so that’s not good enough in F1.

  10. I think it may actually have been Vettel who had to take evasive action (from a later onboard-with-him replay of the event) @keithcollantine

    So, that was a bit odd and unthinking there from Verstappen. For the sake of the race it would be sad if he got a grid penalty, but I can’t say it would be unjust, looking at what he did, seemingly without giving any thought to others on the straight.

    1. LOL. Imagine the stewards giving Max a penalty. Not going to happen.

      1. Ah, no @glennb, it seems not ‘yellow flags and danger to others on track’ so not even a reprimand. Yeah, I guess he’s lucky it was FP1 where the times don’t count; Vettel did see him well in time to be able to evade. So, I’ll be glad for the potential in the rest of the weekend not being spoiled so soon then.

  11. Maybe the final sector in Barcelona is a good indicator of form in Monaco. Red Bull were quickest there and Sainz was the top midfielder?.

  12. Sonny Crocket
    24th May 2018, 12:50

    McLaren! Grrrrrr! Sort it out!!!

    1. What do you mean? People (not you personally) should really stop saying they ´belong´at the sharp end of the grid and wake up to McLaren´s reality: they have been a midfield team since 2013 now and haven´t won a drivers or constructors championship for a decade now.

      1. @jeffreyj
        I agree no team or driver ‘deserves’ to be at the front of the grid and I have been guilty of the same comments. I was a Senna fan so want to see them do well, same as Williams being an iconic F1 team- shame to see them both struggle so much. But its the same disclaimer as when you get investment advice or buy shares “Historical performance is no indicator of future returns or earnings” So true.

      2. Sonny Crocket
        24th May 2018, 16:57

        Er, I support McLaren so was therefore somewhat frustrated when I saw their times in FP1!

  13. Bottas said earlier in the week that he had eliminated his poor performances. I think he forgot to touch wood after saying that. I know it is only FP1, but he is a full second slower than his team mate.

    On the Verstappen thing. I am not in favour of grid penalties for minor infractions. I think this was dangerous and silly and definitely can’t go unpunished though. A reprimand would be fine for me. However, it will be very interesting to see what happens here.

    Ricciardo was slapped with a 3 place grid penalty in Australia for speeding under yellows. He was at the other end of the track from the danger and the only danger was a loose cable. When you compare that to this situation, you must come to the conclusion that this was many orders of magnitude more dangerous. Does that mean that Verstappen is facing at least a 3 place grip penalty? I think there is a clear penalty system for speeding under yellows, while I doubt there are many exact rules for what Max did. That means the FIA probably had less options open to them in Dan’s case. In this case, the rules are probably less rigid.

    The FIA are in a difficult position here too. Verstappen already has a reprimand this season, so if they did choose to give him anotehr reprimand, he would be on 2 for the season. If he gets 3 in a 12 month period, it is an automatic race ban. His final reprimand could just be for speeding in the pit lane in a practice session or some other innocuous thing. I think the FIA will not want to put themselves in the position that they may need to enforce this ban.

    So that leaves a grid penalty or no penalty as their only options I think? Anyway, it will be interesting and controversial either way they go here.

    1. There is no grid penealty! Fia announced no further action!
      So Max is in the clear.

      1. No objection to that decision. Looking forward to a awesome qualifying!

    2. Well, the ´entitled-one´ got away with it again. No grid penalty, no points on his license and not even a reprimand.

      The fact that this would be already his second reprimand out of three before he receives a race ban should not weigh into the steward’s judgment. If anything, it makes him a repeat-offender who should be punished harsher than first-time offenders. Giving Ricciardo a 3 place penalty for speeding under yellow and not giving Verstappen anything for this potentially much more dangerous incident, really shows F1´s pro-Verstappen bias imho.

      1. Seems your bias is anti-Verstappen ;-)

        1. Seems your bias is pro-Verstappen ;-)
          Why you, fanatics, never get it when your favourite driver makes a blunder?

      2. Your hate against Verstappen is reaching ridiculous proportions, just like a lot of others on this site by the way.

        1. I just posted elsewhere about lack of consistency.
          On face value on Max’s move today if I were Charlie I would 1) Be more wealthy :) and 2) issued a reprimand not to do it again, a 3 place may have been close.

          But as said with Dan in Melbourne, which I can still see why it was there, but not as dangerous at what was done today. This is certainly not meant to be a Dan V Max post, just saying how inconsistent the Stewarts can seem to be.

        2. @dennis65
          Do you have any other logical, meaningful, true arguments against Jeffrey’s opinion apart from “you hate Verstappen”? Obviously, not. So what’s the point of your comment?

      3. I agree with @jeffreyj.

        I think the penalty points should be a good tool for dealing Verstappen’s string of incidents. He should be under more pressure to clean up his driving. Sadly enough points have not been given for his driving this year.

        @dennis65 – I don’t think his comments are ridiculous or require hate as a justification. So he is fustrated with the situation? Versappen has been in many incidents this year. There is real disagreement between with the no-penalty in Baku. Many drivers spoke out in disagreement. This poll from jaf1 shows a majority of fans blame Verstappen.

        I think there is bias in the opposite direction, especially on this site.

        1. The readers on JAonF1 are British for the majority, so on this website. And the Brits in general seem to be more a fan of Ozzy Ricciardo than of Verstappen.
          One could argue very well that Ricciardo’s praised overtakes are usually pretty borderline and only successful because of his opponent’s avoiding reaction. This time it didn’t work out.

  14. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
    24th May 2018, 13:36


    Indeed it is just FP1… Really, this gap between Bottas and Hamilton doesn’t show anything. Hamilton was a second behind Bottas in FP1 in Spain. Does that mean Hamilton was slow? No. FP1 is the wrong time to judge the pace. Hamilton looked fine in the practice sessions here last year thn looked bad in qualifing where it mattered and wasn’t just a second behind Bottas, he was 11 places behind. It is qualifying what matters. Especially on this track and I think they will be pretty close.

  15. I don’t “hate” Verstappen, I just dislike his driving so far this year and his attitude as it comes across in the media. And for the record, I’m Dutch.

    I feel he has been making mistake after mistake, after mistake and has consequently hurt his own start to the season as well as that of his team. Even worse, he has collided with Hamilton, Vettel and Ricciardo (I feel the 2 moves by VER in Baku are the reason RIC had nowhere to go) and cost them serious points.

    I mean, Max spun at Australia, crashed in quali at Bahrain and then hit Hamilton during the race, messed up multiple times at China, slowed both himslef and his teammate down and then crashed at Baku and even Spain wasn’t flawless as he blatantly cut T2 (without penalty of course) and then spun in practice and during the race he managed to hit Stroll under the VSC as he wasn’t paying attention.

    In light of all these incidents and mistakes (including reversing onto the track today) the amount of penalties he has received so far is no way near in accordance to his actions imho. Especially when you see Sirotkin being penalized for being sandwitched by Alonso and Hulkenberg at Baku and Ricciardo for mildly speeding under yellow at Melbourne for example.

    Worst of all, he is arrogant about it in the media, saying he won’t change a thing etc. etc. He hasn’t won yet this year, unlike his teammate and only has one podium. Yet, he’s unwilling to admit his mistakes and doesn’t want to change his approach one bit. That’s at the very least immature imho.

    Meanwhile, his fans and some media (especially the Dutch) think Max is the best thing since the invention of sliced bread and claim he’s not to blame for anything. If anything, the general bias by the fans, media and not in the least the stewards seems extremely pro Verstappen.

    1. This was meant to be in reaction to @dennis65 post above.

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