Vettel lights up Monaco in 2nd practice (Updated)

UPDATE Added quotes and photos below.

Sebastian Vettel
Sebastian Vettel


Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel was in a class of his own in the 2nd practice session for the Monaco GP Thursday afternoon. Vettel not only was the only driver to dip into the 1m12s bracket, he was 0.487s up on 2nd quick Daniel Ricciardo in the Red Bull, he also had a standout long run. Advantage Ferrari.

Kimi Raikkonen made it a Ferrari one-three as he lapped 0.563s slower than Vettel, while Toro Rosso continued their excellent form as Daniil Kvyat and Carlos Sainz finished fourth and fifth respectively, ahead of the second Red Bull of Max Verstappen and Force India’s Sergio Perez.

In contrast to the morning session, which had been largely uneventful, the second 90 minutes saw several drivers tag the barriers, including Williams' Lance Stroll who crashed into the barriers at Massenet – Verstappen 2016-style – just before the hour mark and brought out the red flags.

The Canadian rookie was unhurt, and the session was restarted after a commendably short five-minute clear up.

Up to that point, Vettel had set the pace with the first laps under 1m 13s, a 1m 12.759s followed by 1m 12.270s. Prior to that Stoffel Vandoorne had set the ball rolling for McLaren with 1m 14.642s on ultrasoft tires, before Kvyat took over with 1m 13.331s in a Toro Rosso 1-2 which became a Red Bull 1-2-3-4 for a while. Then Ricciardo did 1m 13.280s before Vettel went ahead.

Vettel fastest all sectors
Vettel fastest all sectors

While all this was going on Mercedes stuck with the supersofts as Hamilton just shaded Bottas, but the times didn’t come when they switched to ultrasofts and at one stage it even looked as if they had started doing long runs.

On the red flag restart traffic was inevitable, and that hurt Mercedes more than most because of their earlier supersoft running, and because everyone else was now running off the pace doing their race simulations. Their hopes of fast times were over before they had begun.

Thus, behind Vettel and Ricciardo, it was Raikkonen who jumped to third on 1m 13.283s ahead of Kvyat, whose time held up remarkable well. Team mate Sainz was fifth on 1mm 13.400s, with Verstappen sixth on 1m 13.486s. The Dutchman complained of problematic downshifts at one stage, and the inevitable traffic. Perez was still up there for Force India in seventh on 1m 13.799s, while Hamilton’s best on the supersofts left him eighth on 1m 13.873s as Kevin Magnussen’s Haas separated him from team mate Bottas on 1m 13.902s.

Jenson Button’s comeback performance vindicated his decision not to run in Bahrain. As Vandoorne ended up 11th with 1m 13.946s on ultrasofts, he managed 1m 13.981s on the same rubber without ever putting a wheel wrong in his McLaren.

It was another unhappy session for Renault. This time the misfortune struck Jolyon Palmer, whose RS17 rolled to a halt at Portier early on with a smoking engine.

Vettel, Hamilton, Esteban Ocon, Sainz and Stroll all missed the chicane, but catch of the day went to Marcus Ericsson who was getting some miles on his Sauber after his gearbox troubles in FP1 when it stepped out on him exiting Casino Square. Where many might have spun, the Swede just brushed the wall and carried on.


Mercedes GP

Lewis Hamilton
Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton (8th, 1:13.873): "We didn't have the greatest day today. Practice one was actually really good and we were quickest, but then in second practice we just struggled to extract the grip from the tyres and we were sliding around a lot. I'm not sure why the tyres weren't working but the difference between the two sessions was night and day. We've got some work to do ahead of Saturday that's for sure but I'm confident the team can work it out. Monaco is always amazing to drive, but this is definitely the best car I've driven around here. Ferrari are very quick again and Red Bull are also looking good this weekend. We're looking forward to a real fight on Saturday."

Valtteri Bottas (10th, 1:13.902): "Practice two was difficult and we struggled with the pace over one lap. We made some changes between practice one and practice two but we clearly went in the wrong direction – that's why both of us were struggling. When the car isn't quite right you lose a lot of time in Monaco. We tried to go back with the set-up and it felt better but by that point we'd already put a lot of laps into the tyres. At least we've learned what not to do with the set-up here. It's a shame but we have a full day tomorrow to analyse everything and come back stronger on Saturday. It will be close again at the top I'm sure."

James Allison, Technical Director: "After a very positive morning session with both cars and drivers, the afternoon proved more difficult and we clearly took a step in the wrong direction with the car set-up over the break. We will have a good think about it tomorrow in order to put things right for Saturday. But I think we can be encouraged by the pace and consistency that we were able to demonstrate in FP1."

Red Bull-Tag Heuer

Daniel Ricciardo (2nd, 1:13.207): "Regardless of how the car feels it is always so much fun to drive this track. We are looking pretty good at the moment. We put some good laps together and know where we need to improve so I'm very happy with our position after the first day. We have good downforce here, the rear of the car feels like it is working the best it has so far this year. If we can get the tires warmed up I think we can be pretty close on Saturday. I'm pleased with the cars rhythm and set-up which gives me confidence and makes me feel we are back in that groove after the first couple of practice sessions. I don't think we need to do too much to the car set-up wise at the moment, just a couple of small tweaks overnight perhaps. Being the first time round here with the new cars it definitely felt a little bit tighter so that needs to be considered when pushing on quick laps, but as I said, so much fun as always."

Max Verstappen (6th, 1:13.486): "It felt quite straightforward today, the balance of the car felt ok and we didn't do too many big changes so we are pleased with our performance. We still need some small improvements which we will hopefully find overnight and be up there at the front tomorrow. The red flag in the second practice messed up my run a bit so I didn't get a good chance on the new tyres and to show a true fast lap potential. I have learnt from the last few years you do not need to be the quickest on Thursday, it takes a lot of concentration here as one small mistake means you are in the wall and the session is over. Qualifying is very important in Monaco as once you get in traffic during a race it is so hard to overtake and progress, it's also very risky trying it. If you can get the tyres in the right window it helps massively, today we didn't quite manage to get there so we will work on that tomorrow and be ready for Qualifying."


Sebastian Vettel (1st, 1:12.720):

Kimi Raikkonen (3rd, 1:13.283):

Maurizio Arrivabene, Team Principal:

Force India-Mercedes

Sergio Perez (7th, 1:13.799): "Finishing in the top ten in both sessions is a good result, especially considering I am not feeling fully comfortable with the car yet. We have a lot of work to do before qualifying, but I am confident we can extract more performance and be really strong on Saturday. It hasn't been easy to get the tyres into the right window today and this makes it very hard around a place like this where there is no margin for error. We have time tonight and tomorrow to analyse all the data and ensure we can get our set-up right for qualifying and the race."

Esteban Ocon (15th, 1:14.093): "It was my first experience of Monaco from inside the cockpit and I am impressed. To be here for the first time in an F1 car is not easy, but I was able to do a good amount of laps and learn my way around the circuit. I took it step by step in the morning and felt satisfied with what we achieved. In FP2 I tried to push a bit more and I ended up brushing the walls a couple of times. Fortunately there was no significant damage and I could carry on with our programme. I am looking forward to being back in the car on Saturday and seeing where we stand in qualifying."

Robert Fernley, Deputy Team Principal: "We started FP1 pretty well and the drivers were immediately comfortable with the balance of the car. We tried a slightly different direction in FP2 and things didn't really improve, so we will need to look at the changes we made to understand how to move forward for Saturday. Esteban had to get up to speed with a new circuit and he went very close to the limit at times, but that's part of his learning process around this track. We were able to do a lot of mileage with the softer compounds and we also tried some new parts, which seem to be working as expected. Now it's a matter of extracting some more potential from the car during FP3 and focussing on qualifying performance."


Felipe Massa (13th, 1:14.003): "Today was a typical first day in Monaco, really. We had to try and understand everything: the tyres, the balance, and try to get used to the track with the new car and new rules. But today was always going to be a learning day. Happy may not be the right word to describe today because we're not in a great position, but we are a little better than we have been at this track in previous years. It's definitely going to be a big fight with so many teams around us. But we'll do everything we can and I hope we'll be able to understand everything to improve so that we can be ready for qualifying on Saturday."

Lance Stroll (16th, 1:14.474): "The track is great and I was really happy with the car, but then there was the crash at the end. I just basically centred in looking for the limit, got onto the dirt a little bit and lost the rear. It was a typical street circuit mistake. I got into learning the circuit pretty quickly and I was happy with the day until then. What is good here is the tyre seems to be hanging on quite a bit, so we are able to do multiple push laps. In FP3 I am just going to build up my rhythm in that area, but I think I know pretty clearly in my head what I did wrong. I am going to look at the little areas I can improve on for Saturday, as I know we can do that and have a good day. I think corner eight and the last corner are the two places I need to improve on, but it really annoys me because every time I play the Playstation game it has always been those two corners that I couldn't get right, and in reality it is still those two corners!"

Paddy Lowe, Chief Technical Officer: "Thursday in Monaco is all about getting in the laps and I think we ran a good programme. We timed our runs well for both drivers as we didn't encounter too much traffic. Felipe conducted a number of tests throughout both sessions, and we gathered some good information from those. It was Lance's first time driving around Monaco, and he did a very solid job in building up his confidence and improving his laptimes. By the middle of FP2 he was producing times that were very similar to Felipe's. Unfortunately, towards the end of the programme we'd planned for him, he braked too late for Massenet and lost the back end. Despite that mistake we're all happy with what he has achieved today. On the whole the baseline performance of the car isn't too bad, but there are a few things we need to understand to be better on Saturday; as it's going to be very close between everyone out on track."


Stoffel Vandoorne (11th, 1:13.946): "It's been a reasonably good day's running. If you look at today's lap-times, you can see how extremely tight it is in the midfield – and that's exactly where we are. That means we really need to maximise every single opportunity that comes our way this weekend so we can eke out every last bit of performance from the car. An extra tenth or two could make a huge difference in Saturday's qualifying. I'm feeling pretty comfortable in the car. I think we'll make some small adjustments ahead of FP3, and those should hopefully help us take another slight step forward. The most important thing around here is to build up throughout the weekend, and to be fully prepared for qualifying. I think we can be in good shape for that. There's still more to come from us this weekend."

Jenson Button (12th, 1:13.981): "It was funny when I did the install lap this morning, I had a little giggle to myself. Have I missed it? No, but when you jump in the car, you definitely enjoy the moments that you have. I've really enjoyed practice, both the long and short runs. FP2 was a bit of a struggle to really find my feet with the car. I'm braking so much later than what I'm used to here and carrying so much speed into the corners. Adjusting to that takes time, so with another day with the engineers and a look through the data, I'm confident that I can improve for Saturday. As soon as I exited the pits, everything felt very natural. The weirdest thing is when you're behind a car or when you let a car past, because you look at it and it's gigantic. Then you feel really uncomfortable because you think, maybe I am too close to the barriers. But the car fits well; it fits like a glove. I haven't really thought about where I hope to finish. It's a very mixed-up grid at the moment which I'm sure will all change again on Saturday. I don't expect to be one tenth off the Mercedes cars in qualifying, but the guys understand where I'm coming from. They know what they need to do to improve the car to suit me a little bit more and to give me a little bit more confidence. Hopefully we'll see a step in performance on Saturday."

Eric Boullier, Racing Director: "It's always fantastic to be in Monte-Carlo for the Monaco Grand Prix, particularly after a relatively quick and trouble-free day of running. We managed to execute our run-programme with very few disruptions today, and, while that's nothing to be proud of, it's satisfying to have been able to maintain momentum with both cars through both sessions. I'm pleased that Stoffel had such a productive day. Both he and his engineers have worked hard since the last race to better understand how he and the car can work together, and I think we're starting to see the fruits of those labours. Jenson also had a good day. He judged the day very well, typically playing himself in gently during FP1 before starting to explore the increased grip and performance of these 2017 cars in the afternoon. After FP2, he admitted that he'd had a lot of fun in the car today, and I think that translated directly into his lap-times. This has been a solid start to our weekend. We'll now spend Friday evaluating the data and will look to further improve on Saturday."

Satoshi Nakamura, Honda: "It was a good start for us here in Monte-Carlo today. Stoffel and Jenson each clocked more than 70 laps without any major issues throughout FP1 and FP2, and we were able to go through our programmes with minimal disruption. For Jenson, today was his first time behind the wheel of a Formula 1 car since his swan-song in Abu Dhabi last year. The cars have changed a huge amount since then, but Jenson showed today what an incredibly capable and experienced driver he is and was quickly up to speed. I'm looking forward to seeing how he progresses over the remainder of the weekend. It was also Stoffel's first time around Monaco in a Formula 1 car, although he is of course a former winner here in GP2. It was great for him to have such a solid day of running. He's been working incredibly hard with the team over the last few weeks and we are seeing encouraging results from that hard work this weekend. Needless to say, qualifying will be key here as overtaking is very difficult. Although we will not have any sessions tomorrow, we will continue to work hard analysing the data collected today to gain as much lap-time as possible before Saturday."

Scuderia Toro Rosso-Renault

Daniil Kvyat (4th, 1:13.331): "A productive Friday. We did many laps today and they were all of good quality. We now have a lot of useful data to analyse before Saturday. The good news is that I'm happy with the balance of the car and we already look quite competitive. We now need to maintain this and get the car ready for qualifying and the race."

Carlos Sainz (5th, 1:13.400): "I think that we did what we needed to do on a Thursday in Monaco, building the speed up little by little and trying different configurations to give myself confidence with the car. After today's two practice sessions it's safe to say that we're quite happy with everything. Obviously, from Thursday to Saturday a lot of things could change so we can't let ourselves get carried away with today's result, but it's definitely a good starting point! I'm looking forward to the rest of the weekend!"

James Key, Technical Director: "Quite a productive day today. Since our problems in Barcelona, where we had a number of updates, we've learned a little more on how to get a better balance with the car. Both drivers seemed to be reasonably happy in FP1, so it was a case of fine-tuning the car a little bit for FP2. We ran a slightly different tyre programme to other teams, concentrating on our own work, car set-up and understanding. During the afternoon session we made reasonable progress and, even if there are still some issues to resolve, the session went well. We will now be working hard overnight and tomorrow to look at the data and optimise the car as best we can."


Kevin Magnussen in new Haas colors
Kevin Magnussen in new Haas colors

Kevin Magnussen (9th, 1:13.890): "I'm pretty happy with the day. We got everything done that was on our program. The car's not feeling bad, so I'm looking forward to qualifying on Saturday. It's very fast here. It feels amazing and it's really good fun to drive. Let's hope we can be competitive, as well."

Romain Grosjean (14th, 1:14.022): "We managed to stay out of trouble. It's a very tight midfield. We need to get all our sectors together. I think there's a bit of work we can do on the car to make it better. In general, though, I'm happy with the work everyone's done. I'm looking forward to Saturday. It's harder and more challenging to drive here, but it's more fun."

Guenther Steiner, Team Principal: "It was a pretty good day. If in FP1 and FP2 you bring both cars home without damage, it's always a good day in Monte Carlo. There's a very tight midfield as always – it's even a little bit tighter, which is very interesting. We had a good session. We did a lot of laps and learned a lot. Now we're soon into qualifying. It will be tight – there were seven cars in less than three tenths (of a second). I think we're in a good position. We'll try to do our best to get ready for Saturday."


Nico Hulkenberg (17th, 1:14.870): "We made progress in the afternoon after a morning where I wasn't put through my paces but my team mechanics had all the work to do. There were no issues for me in the afternoon however we were a bit behind where we should have been by missing the earlier track time. I focussed on assessing parts and set-up more than going all out for the fastest time possible, so there's more in the bag for Saturday."

Jolyon Palmer (18th, 1:15.616): "Monaco's all about building momentum and getting the laps in, so in that regard it was a positive morning but a less positive afternoon. There's certainly more pace to come from me and the car so I'm very eager to get back out on track, although we have to wait a day longer for FP3 and qualifying here. Obviously the afternoon was unfortunate but there's still a lot of potential for the weekend ahead."

Alan Permane, Sporting Director: "Jolyon had a trouble-free FP1, completing 42 laps using Pirelli's Ultrasoft (purple) tyres. Nico suffered from an electronics issue in FP1, limiting him to three untimed laps using Ultrasoft tyres. In FP2 Jolyon completed eight laps using the Ultrasoft (purple) tyre before he retired from the session for precautionary reasons. Nico ran faultlessly with the Ultrasoft tyre in FP2. Monaco can present unexpected challenges."

Nick Chester, Technical Director: "Today certainly wasn't the start we wanted for our Monaco weekend. Nico suffered from an electronics issue in the morning whilst Jolyon experienced a power unit related issue in the afternoon, meaning less running for both drivers. We have some work to do but we know where improvements can be made looking to qualifying on Saturday."


Marcus Ericsson (19th, 1:15.691): "It was obviously not an ideal day. I have lost lots of track time in FP1 because of the gear box issue. That really hurts, especially on a track like Monaco, where you need to find a good rhythm every lap. The guys worked really hard to get the car ready again for FP2. The afternoon session was good in terms of running, but our pace is not satisfying at the moment. We made some proress in Barcelona, but here we struggle with the overall grip."

Pascal Wehrlein (20th, 1:15.695): "Overall it was a difficult practice day for us. We definitely expected more here in Monaco compared to where we are. Therefore, I am not satisfied with today's performance. We need to understand the reasons for that, so that we can improve for Saturday and Sunday."


1 5 Sebastian Vettel VET Ferrari 1:12.720 +0.000s 38
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo RIC Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:13.207 +0.487s 35
3 7 Kimi Räikkönen RAI Ferrari 1:13.283 +0.563s 46
4 26 Daniil Kvyat KVY Toro Rosso 1:13.331 +0.611s 41
5 55 Carlos Sainz SAI Toro Rosso 1:13.400 +0.680s 43
6 33 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer 1:13.486 +0.766s 36
7 11 Sergio Perez PER Force India Mercedes 1:13.799 +1.079s 45
8 44 Lewis Hamilton HAM Mercedes 1:13.873 +1.153s 31
9 20 Kevin Magnussen MAG Haas Ferrari 1:13.890 +1.170s 46
10 77 Valtteri Bottas BOT Mercedes 1:13.902 +1.182s 39
11 2 Stoffel Vandoorne VAN McLaren Honda 1:13.946 +1.226s 42
12 22 Jenson Button BUT McLaren Honda 1:13.981 +1.261s 37
13 19 Felipe Massa MAS Williams Mercedes 1:14.003 +1.283s 46
14 8 Romain Grosjean GRO Haas Ferrari 1:14.022 +1.302s 44
15 31 Esteban Ocon OCO Force India Mercedes 1:14.093 +1.373s 47
16 18 Lance Stroll STR Williams Mercedes 1:14.474 +1.754s 27
17 27 Nico Hulkenberg HUL Renault 1:14.870 +2.150s 41
18 30 Jolyon Palmer PAL Renault 1:15.616 +2.896s 8
19 9 Marcus Ericsson ERI Sauber Ferrari 1:15.691 +2.971s 32
20 94 Pascal Wehrlein WEH Sauber Ferrari 1:15.695 +2.975s 37

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