Mercedes colossal performance advantage showed no signs of evaporating on the streets of Monte Carlo as Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg set the pace once again, the nineteenth time this season Hamilton has topped the timesheets in an officially timed session.
Daniel Ricciardo was fastest man behind the Mercedes duo, with Fernando Alonso splitting the Red Bull’s in 4th ahead of Sebastian Vettel.
The predicted rain did not strike during the morning, but remains a constant threat toward FP2 this afternoon. Some teams elected to practice some long run planning in case rain disrupts the running later on, though some – including Force India’s Sergio Perez – chose to stay with their original plan despite the threat. All times this morning were set on the soft compound Pirelli tyre, with the super soft expected to debut this afternoon if it remains dry.
There were no major incidents during FP1 despite concerns the drivers would find it difficult to deal with the new torque levels provided by the V6 engines on the narrow streets; Max Chilton span and stalled at Mirabeau corner causing temporary yellow flags, before Adrian Sutil gave the barriers at the same corner a tap resulting in minor damage to the German’s Sauber car that was rapidly winched away. St Devote reaped it’s usual harvest of locked-up drivers, with Kimi Raikkonen the biggest scalp as he span down the slip road before continuing. Esteban Gutierrez soon followed, raising concerns the Sauber’s notoriously unreliable brake-by-wire system will prove their undoing on a track with no margin for error.
FP2 is at 13:00 GMT.
CLASSIFICATION – FP1 – Monaco GP – 22nd May 2014