Mercedes again asserted their authority on Formula One this afternoon as Nico Rosberg headed team-mate Lewis Hamilton on the streets of Monte Carlo. The German had previously been fastest in FP1 and continued his dominance with a lap 0.3 quicker than any of his rivals. Fernando Alonso was 3rd for Ferrari, with Felipe Massa consolidating the Scuderia’s position as second-best in the current speed stakes.
Red Bull appeared to have work to do after Webber and Vettel could only manage 5th and 9th places, with the Australian again outpacing his younger team-mate. Kimi Raikkonen was back on even terms with the other front-runners after FP1 had seen him languishing in the midfield, and the Finn also demonstrated some fearsome long-run race simulation speed with a 1:18.2 his best effort right at the end of the session.
Paul Di Resta again edged Force India stablemate Adrian Sutil, while Jenson Button seemed to have made progress for McLaren
The session was briefly interrupted by an accident involving Lotus’ Romain Grosjean. The Frenchman had just embarked on a fresh run when he lost control of his Lotus into the tricky St Devote first corner; the resulting collision tore the front wing and front-left tyre from the car. Although the incident only warranted a yellow flag, the red flag to halt the session was thrown a few minutes later when kerbs at the swimming pool chicane came loose, necessitating running repairs.
The drivers gave their verdict to the press in the official press conference:
“A very productive day for us. We completed a lot of laps and I feel comfortable in the car. It seems that we are quick again on one lap but we have been working hard again to make improvements to our race pace. It will be interesting to see where we are compared to the others over the weekend as it’s not really representative today.” Nico Rosberg
“We did some good long run work this afternoon and the supersoft tyres seem to be performing well. I need to improve my one lap pace however, partly with the balance of the car and partly from me. The car is almost there and the pace looks good so we’ll look at the data tonight and work on those areas which can still be improved before the weekend.” Lewis Hamilton
“We will have to wait a bit to see where all our rivals really are, because here too, until Saturday, no one pushes a hundred percent: the barriers constitute too high a threat to take risks in the first free practice sessions. There’s not much time to do a tyre comparison here, we did only one and the results didn’t throw up any surprises: the Super Softs are a bit quicker and degrade more. All that remains now is to spend all the available time analysing the data we have gathered to try and find the best strategy for qualifying and the race”. Fernando Alonso
“I think generally it was okay. Unfortunately we lost quite a lot of time in the afternoon while we were making some changes, but that can happen on Friday, or in this case Thursday. We’d like to be a little bit more competitive, so we need to try and find some more lap time. We had a KERS issue this afternoon, so I didn’t use the system during P2. The guys know what the problem was with that.” Sebastian Vettel
“I was much happier at the end of today than this morning. We spent the first session getting the steering right as it wasn’t great at the beginning, then we changed a few things on the car and it felt far better. We’ve still got a few other areas to improve, but it was getting stronger with every run today.” Kimi Raikkonen
“Our pace on a long run looks surprisingly good, although we’re not quite there with our qualifying pace yet. Still, I feel happier with the car here than I have the past few weekends. There are some areas in which we’ve struggled before that now seem a little bit better, and that’s obviously positive. We may not be setting amazing times out there, but I’m happy that we’re heading in the right direction.” Jenson Button
“There are some improvements we can make to improve the balance, especially with the race in mind, and that’s something we will work on tonight and tomorrow. The tyre programme went well and we got as much data as we could, which is always the main focus for a Friday so I think we’re in good shape. My general feeling with the car is good and the work we’ve done today has taken us in the right direction.” Paul Di Resta
“This track is amazing in a Formula One car and just as exhilarating as I thought it would be. It has been a busy day but we were able to complete the full programme we had planned and I think we are reasonably confident based on what we have seen so far. Once again the big challenge will be managing the tyres through the race but the work we have done today means we have plenty of information to help us make good choices for the race.” Max Chilton
PRACTICE TWO – TIMES – MONACO GRAND PRIX
|10||Di Resta||Force India||1:16:046|
|22||Van Der Garde||Caterham||1:19:031|