Monaco GP - Thursday - Practice Session 2 Report

Even faster

Sebastian Vettel, Monaco GP 2017

Sebastian Vettel, Monaco GP 2017 

 © The Cahier Archive

 

By Dan Knutson in Monaco

Mercedes man Lewis Hamilton clocked a 1:13.425, the fastest lap ever around the current Monaco track in Free Practice 1. Sebastian Vettel went even faster in FP2 as he turned a 1:12.720 in his Ferrari.

The lineup for the weekend was: Mercedes – Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas; Red Bull TAG Heuer – Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen; Ferrari – Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen; Force India Mercedes – Sergio Perez and Esteban Ocon; Williams Mercedes – Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll; McLaren Honda – Jenson Button and Stoffel Vandoorne; Renault – Nico Hulkenberg and Jolyon Palmer; Toro Rosso Renault – Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz; Haas Ferrari – Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen; Sauber Ferrari – Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein.

Hulkenberg, Ericsson and Magnussen got things going in FP2.

The ambient temperature at the start of the 90-minute session was 72 degrees Fahrenheit (22 degrees Centigrade) and the track temperature was 102 degrees Fahrenheit (39 degrees Centigrade).

Pirelli compounds for the weekend were the soft, super soft and ultra soft.

Palmer wasn't going to get a chance to use them as his Renault started spewing smoke and he stopped on track just before the tunnel.

Kvyat set the early pace with a time of 1:13.331 on the ultras.

Vettel had yet to appear as the mechanics continued to work on his Ferrari. He finally got on track 24 minutes into the session.

And the Merc drivers were circulating on the super soft tires, which were about a second slower than the ultra softs.

"It takes them ages to get up to temperature," Hamilton said of the super softs.

Thirty minutes into FP2 Ricciardo took over the top spot with a 1:13.280. Kvyat was now second ahead of Verstappen and Vettel.

Bottas and Hamilton were 12th and 13th, but now they were going to try the ultra softs. Raikkonen used them to move into third, then second with 1:13.283.

Bottas moved to ninth, Hamilton to eighth. Both had plenty of traffic on their laps.

Just past the halfway mark of FP2 Vettel got down to a 1:12.759. The first ever sub 1:13 lap on the track. He then shaved that to a 1:12.720. Ricciardo improved to a 1:12.207 to stay second.

Thirty-six minutes remained when the Virtual Safety Car was deployed after Stroll hit the barriers with the right side of the Williams at Turn 3. Then the session was red flagged while marshals cleaned up the debris.

The session was restarted with 30 minutes to go. The drivers were now doing long runs, so their lap times were for the most part not improving.

The top 12 at the end of the session were: Vettel, Ricciardo, Raikkonen, Kvyat, Sainz, Verstappen, Perez, Hamilton, Magnussen, Bottas, Vandoorne and Button.


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