Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Monaco, 2019

Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas covered by a tenth in Monaco

2019 Monaco Grand Prix first practice

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Three drivers were separated by less than a tenth of a second at the end of first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton set the benchmark time with a lap of 1’12.106. His best effort was two-hundredths of a second quicker than the best time seen in first practice last year, since when the track has been resurfaced in several places.

While his team mate was able to get within a tenth of his best time, the two Mercedes were split by Max Verstappen, who was two-tenths of a second quicker through the final sector than Hamilton.

The Ferrari drivers were able to join their front-running rivals on a 1’12.1. Charles Leclerc, who picked up a pit lane speeding fine during the session, led the two red cars, three-tenths off Hamilton.

Pierre Gasly wasn’t able to match his team mate’s immediate confidence around Monte-Carlo. He ended up over a second slower than Verstappen in sixth place.

The midfield pack was very close behind the second Red Bull. Last year’s winner Daniel Ricciardo was less than a quarter of a second slower than his Red Bull replacement, but that was only good enough for 11th.

Nico Hulkenberg put the other Renault in the top 10. He was joined by the Haas pair and Kimi Raikkonen, the trio all with new ‘spec-two’ Ferrari engines in their cars.

As usual slippery conditions in the first session at Monaco saw several drivers make mistakes. Verstappen disappeared up the run-off area at Mirabeau and struggled to rejoin as he was initially unable to select reverse. Sebastian Vettel, Lando Norris and Lance Stroll were among those who went off at Sainte Devote. The latter had a tough session, ending up behidn the Williams pair, and irritating Verstappen by holding the Red Bull driver up.

Norris’s team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr failed to appear at all in the session due to a technical problem on his McLaren.

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Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’12.10646
233Max VerstappenRed Bull-Honda1’12.1650.05934
377Valtteri BottasMercedes1’12.1780.07242
416Charles LeclercFerrari1’12.4670.36124
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1’12.8230.71735
610Pierre GaslyRed Bull-Honda1’13.1701.06440
727Nico HulkenbergRenault1’13.2271.12144
820Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’13.2321.12623
97Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’13.3631.25738
108Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’13.3791.27322
113Daniel RicciardoRenault1’13.4131.30741
1299Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1’13.4371.33138
1326Daniil KvyatToro Rosso-Honda1’13.7311.62539
1423Alexander AlbonToro Rosso-Honda1’13.8271.72144
154Lando NorrisMcLaren-Renault1’14.2782.17238
1611Sergio PerezRacing Point-Mercedes1’14.5662.46039
1763George RussellWilliams-Mercedes1’15.1153.00939
1888Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’15.5143.40824
1918Lance StrollRacing Point-Mercedes1’16.1354.02936
2055Carlos Sainz JnrMcLaren-Renault2’00.67048.5643

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’12.106

+0.059 Max Verstappen – 1’12.165

+0.072 Valtteri Bottas – 1’12.178

+0.361 Charles Leclerc – 1’12.467

+0.717 Sebastian Vettel – 1’12.823

+1.064 Pierre Gasly – 1’13.170

+1.121 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’13.227

+1.126 Kevin Magnussen – 1’13.232

+1.257 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’13.363

+1.273 Romain Grosjean – 1’13.379

+1.307 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’13.413

+1.331 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’13.437

+1.625 Daniil Kvyat – 1’13.731

+1.721 Alexander Albon – 1’13.827

+2.172 Lando Norris – 1’14.278

+2.460 Sergio Perez – 1’14.566

+3.009 George Russell – 1’15.115

+3.408 Robert Kubica – 1’15.514

+4.029 Lance Stroll – 1’16.135

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2019 Monaco Grand Prix

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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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30 comments on “Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas covered by a tenth in Monaco”

  1. How much of a difference does party mode make around here? I’m thinking very little, would that be correct?

    1. Have you seen the boats and verandas all around the track? Those people all seem to be in party mode for pretty much the entire track!

    2. Very little yeah. Mechanical grip really comes into play here

    3. Verstappen did his flying lap quite a bit later than the Mercs, Ferrari’s, right? So, how much difference does the track evolution make there? I would expect it to be quite a big effect, especially in FP1. So, while I like to see Verstappen that close, I wonder how realistic it is to expect him to fight with the Mercedes in qualifying.

      1. @bosyber – thank you, that’s a good point about track evolution, given its a street circuit. I didn’t know when they did their best laps, I didn’t catch the broadcast.

        @dam00r – thank you.

      2. Possible.. but Bottas bettered his time after that still behind VER.

    4. georgeboole (@)
      23rd May 2019, 13:06

      I ‘ve been in Monaco before and driven my car there and I can tell you it is more balls than anything else to race there. At least from my point of view. It’s so narrow from the casino to the tunnel that a car and a bus barely fit in opposite lanes. And imagine it’s wider without the barriers.
      I just don’t know how they do it!

  2. Why would they only cover Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas with a tent? I know they reduced the predicted risk of rain for the GP, but that’s no reason to leave the others out in the (potential) wet.
    F1 really needs to change, but all anyone wants to talk about is tyres!

    1. I am not quite sure what you are talking about; since my F1tv stream did not want to go, once again I was reliant on Palmer’s bbc5live, but in the last quarter of an hour, I was chatting with a chap from F1tv, who actually couldn’t help me, though he was very polite about it, and seemingly of good intent; so I might have missed something. On the other hand, those three were the top three, so maybe it’s an exercise as preparation for the top three from quali or so?

        1. @lums, as I said, I missed quite a bit of FP1 (and almost all I got was only commentary, no moving pictures) so I guessed I missed some kind of discussion and/or images then?

          1. @bosyber No it’s a word-joke: Hamilton, Verstappen and Bottas covered by a tent(h) in Monaco :)

          2. *blink* LOL @mathijs, thanks for that, clearly wasn’t completely there when reading that @lums!

          3. @Matthijs @[tr] Hahaha. Only those with royal blood had privilege to be covered by a tent. Monaco is monarchy indeed.

    2. on fire today!

    3. BlackJackFan
      23rd May 2019, 18:27

      [TR] – Boy, that took a while to trickle though to some funny bones, didn’t it… lol. Perhaps you’re being too subtle… ;-)

      1. It all hinged on a lowly ‘h’. They’re often silent or soft-spoken, so it was to be expected.
        If anything, I was expecting the “all they talk about is tyres” to completely de-rail it all.

  3. What was Racing point doing – I caught a bit of a comment they were going on the hard tyres, which might explain their mixing it with the Williams, I suppose, but it doesn’t explain why they would be doing that – seems like a pretty unusual way to give your drivers a good start to feeling comfortable in the car at Monaco, which would be needed (esp. with Lance I would think) to get them to reasonable grid slots.

  4. Was there a rush to get this out @keithcollantine? It seems the #laps field accidentally got left out; and I also missed any mention of Haas’ odd black flag episode, which certainly curbed their amount of laps, though it looks like they got reasonable laps in in the end. Anyway, thanks for your good efforts, still the best website to keep up with F1 and other motorsport for me.

  5. Should be an interesting battle this weekend between Lewis and Max. Well… as interesting as the Monaco circuit allows it to be.

    1. It all depends on how much Max can keep his head cool during next sessions for the weekend.

      1. He seems to be doing a stellar job of keeping his head cool since Monaco last year.

        1. He still had his red mist monents last year but this year so far he is doing an Alonsoesq brilliant job of putting that RBR where it doesnt belong and outscoring Ferraris. Seems like Leclrec is more comfortable with his car on this track.

  6. @todfod To be fair, Verstappen did post his time late in the session so it remains to be seen how much track evolution was a factor in his fast time.

    1. @matthijs
      True. Plus we all know that Mercedes had something up their slee for Q3. Although, the Q3 advantage might not be as large in Monaco.

      Right now it’s just wishful thinking

  7. BlackJackFan
    23rd May 2019, 18:20

    “and irritating Verstappen by holding the Red Bull driver up”
    I think Kimi’s comment here was his best ever… lmao

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