Monaco GP: Perez leads Sainz, Verstappen in FP1

Red Bull Racing driver Sergio Perez led the way in Formula 1's first practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix, holding off Ferrari's Carlos Sainz and teammate Max Verstappen.

Monaco GP: Perez leads Sainz, Verstappen in FP1

Williams' George Russell was the first car out on the sunny streets of the principality, which traditionally open on Thursday for F1 practice.

Sainz was first to set a reasonable laptime of 1m16.241s mediums in the Ferrari.

World champion Lewis Hamilton quickly bested Sainz's time in the Mercedes with a 1m15.858s, before Sainz struck back with a 1m14.457s aboard the SF-21.

Sainz's Ferrari teammate Charles Leclerc disappeared into the garage after just 10 minutes with a gearbox issue, preventing the Monegasque driver from enjoying a return to his home track.

Sainz further lowered his personal best to a 1m13.639s and then 1m13.388s on Pirelli's yellow-banded medium tyres, leading at the 15-minute mark from Hamilton, Valtteri Bottas and Verstappen.

Mercedes kept chipping away at Sainz's benchmark, Bottas taking second with a time of 1m13.732s before Hamilton approached P1 by 0.016s.

Red Bull driver Verstappen also got involved, splitting the Mercedes cars just before the halfway mark.

Alpine's Fernando Alonso was the first driver to cause a yellow flag, damaging his front wing by understeering into the barriers at the final turn. The two-time world champion was soon able to continue after a front wing change.

After a short virtual safety car period, Verstappen vaulted to the top of the leaderboard with a 1m13.191s on the hard tyre.

Mercedes's response was forthcoming, with both Bottas and Hamilton immediately going quicker. Hamilton reclaimed top spot with a 1m12.995s on mediums, the first driver to dip below the 1m13 mark.

Hamilton's time in front was short-lived, with Sainz quickly reclaiming P1 with a time of 1m12.965s before an impressive Pierre Gasly jumped from fourth to first with a 1m12.929s in the AlphaTauri, the Frenchman using softs.

Sainz was the second driver to brush the barriers diving out of the swimming pool chicane, but he appeared to escape damage.

With 15 minutes left on the clock, Verstappen took first place with a 1m12.648s on the medium tyres, with soft-shod teammate Perez following the Dutchman into second with a 1m12.817s.

In the final stages, Perez ultimately leapfrogged his teammate, going top with a 1m12.536s and then 1m12.487s, albeit on softs. Sainz also jumped Verstappen to go second with an eye-catching time of 1m12.606s on mediums.

Verstappen, who was battling Sainz to find clear air for a final flyer, settled for third, followed by Gasly, Hamilton and Bottas.

Behind the frontrunners, Lando Norris held seventh in his McLaren, which carries the iconic Gulf Oil livery this weekend, seven tenths behind Perez. Sebastian Vettel was an encouraging eighth for Aston Martin.

Yuki Tsunoda was ninth fastest on his first ever outing on the streets of Monaco, followed by Alfa Romeo's Kimi Raikkonen and Aston's Lance Stroll.

Antonio Giovinazzi was 12th ahead of Alonso, who added a Sainte Devote excursion to his wall tap in a rough first session.

Williams' Nicholas Latifi followed in 14th ahead of low-key Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Ocon.

Haas rookies Nikita Mazepin and Mick Schumacher ranked 17th and 18th respectively, only ahead of Russell and garage-bound Leclerc.

 
Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 36 1'12.487
2 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 32 1'12.606 0.119
3 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 39 1'12.648 0.161
4 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 37 1'12.929 0.442
5 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 34 1'12.995 0.508
6 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 36 1'13.131 0.644
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 31 1'13.236 0.749
8 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 33 1'13.732 1.245
9 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 39 1'13.746 1.259
10 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 31 1'14.081 1.594
11 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 33 1'14.090 1.603
12 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 27 1'14.106 1.619
13 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 37 1'14.205 1.718
14 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 41 1'14.268 1.781
15 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 36 1'14.281 1.794
16 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 37 1'14.320 1.833
17 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 33 1'14.616 2.129
18 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 35 1'14.801 2.314
19 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 35 1'14.840 2.353
20 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 4 1'19.618 7.131
shares
comments

Related video

How Lauda won F1's closest ever title battle
Previous article

How Lauda won F1's closest ever title battle

Next article

Tsunoda 'lost his mind' in Spain, seeks reset in Monaco

Tsunoda 'lost his mind' in Spain, seeks reset in Monaco
Load comments
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Prime

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as Ben Anderson discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren Prime

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver for McLaren

From being lapped by his own teammate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Prime

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing wind tunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher Prime

The invisible enemy that's made Hamilton's title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles as a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay Prime

Why F1's inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax Prime

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021's title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings Prime

Qatar Grand Prix driver ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021