(Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team)
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Lewis Hamilton set the pace as day one of on track action gone underway ahead of Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix, the jewel in the Formula One crown.
Fresh from confirming his new three year contract with the Brackley based outfit, the double world champion set a fastest time of 1m 18.750s to end the morning session just ahead of the start of the first on track action, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen who ended just 0.149s behind Hamilton.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniel Ricciardo was third fastest for the former world champions.
The Australian who finished on the podium here last year ended the morning 0.336s behind Hamilton while Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel was fourth fastest 0.384s behind Hamilton. Carlos Sainz in the second Scuderia Toro Rosso did a great job as he ended the morning in fifth place 0.495s behind Hamilton with the Lotus F1 Team’s Pastor Maldonado popping into sixth place in the Mercedes powered E23 Hybrid.
Infiniti Red Bull Racing’s Daniil Kvyat was seventh fastest in the second Red Bull ending up just ahead of Scuderia Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen who was eighth fastest after he and team mate Sebastian Vettel suffered problems with the front right tyre.
Mercedes AMG PETRONAS F1 Team’s Nico Rosberg was ninth fastest in the second W06 ending the morning 1.012s behind team mate Lewis Hamilton. Williams Martini Racing Team’s Felipe Massa rounded out the top ten 1.016s behind Hamilton.
It was a far better start to the weekend compared to recent Grand Prix for McLaren Honda as Fernando Alonso and Jenson Button ended the morning in 11th and 12th place respectively, 1.041s and 1.452s behind former McLaren driver Lewis Hamilton and ending the session ahead of the Lotus F1 Team’s Romain Grosjean who ended the session in 13th place.
The Sahara Force India Formula One Team duo of Sergio Perez and Nico Hulkenberg ended the morning in 14th and 15th place respectively just ahead of the Sauber F1 Team’s Felipe Nasr.
It was a frustrating session for the Williams Martini Racing Team’s Valtteri Bottas as the Finn ended the session 17th place 2.167s behind the works Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
Marcus Ericsson ended the morning in 18th place with the Manor Marussia duo of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi ending the session at the bottom of the time sheets in 19th and 20th place. The second session gets underway this afternoon at 2pm local time as the new Pirelli Super Soft tyre will make its debut.
© Ben Johnston 2015