Maldonado tops Monaco free practice

Pastor Maldonado has reiterated the form which has given him the nickname The Monaco Maestro by topping the timesheets in this morning’s free practice session at the Principality, easily finishing ahead of Sergio Perez and Christian Vietoris.

The Venezuelan set fastest lap after fastest lap on his way to a best time of 1:20.476, four tenths quicker than his nearest rival and nearly a second faster than the equivalent time in last year’s free practice session.

Maldonado set the running right from the start, sitting on top of the timesheets apart from brief spells on the top spot by Dani Clos and Perez, with no one else able to run him close: the Mexican driver was clearly determined to make up for a disappointing weekend in Barcelona but, with qualifying just hours away, his eagerness was tempered by the knowledge that even a tiny mistake would have a huge cost.

It was a lesson that Scuderia Coloni’s Vladimir Arabadzhiev learnt to his cost when he slid slightly off line on entry to St Devote and clobbered his left rear into the wall, stopping with a broken suspension up the hill, while Max Chilton ran too deep at the same corner but took the escape road to avoid the emergency work for his mechanics.

While Maldonado was untouchable in free practice, however, qualifying is always something else entirely as the whole field pushes at ten tenths to take pole and the overwhelming assistance this gives for tomorrow’s feature race: expect to see the times drop substantially a few hours hence.

Monaco – Free Practice Driver Team Time Laps
1. Pastor Maldonado Rapax 1:20.476 20
2. Sergio Perez Barwa Addax Team 1:20.917 17
3. Christian Vietoris Racing Engineering 1:20.999 20
4. Dani Clos Racing Engineering 1:21.272 18
5. Davide Valsecchi iSport International 1:21.531 19
6. Giedo van der Garde Barwa Addax Team 1:21.540 19
7. Jules Bianchi ART Grand Prix 1:22.036 22
8. Luiz Razia Rapax 1:22.096 20
9. Oliver Turvey iSport International 1:22.132 19
10. Fabio Leimer Ocean Racing Technology 1:22.164 20
11. Alberto Valerio Scuderia Coloni 1:22.165 22
12. Jerome d’Ambrosio Dams 1:22.288 20
13. Michael Herck DPR 1:22.327 22
14. Johnny Cecotto Trident Racing 1:22.399 21
15. Sam Bird ART Grand Prix 1:22.503 22
16. Max Chilton Ocean Racing Technology 1:22.576 19
17. Ho-Pin Tung Dams 1:22.578 21
18. Giacomo Ricci DPR 1:22.622 18
19. Marcus Ericsson Super Nova Racing 1:23.059 20
20 Charles Pic Arden International 1:23.246 19
21. Josef Kral Super Nova Racing 1:23.657 21
22. Rodolfo Gonzalez Arden International 1:23.907 16
23. Adrian Zaugg Trident Racing 1:24.249 14
24. Vladimir Arabadzhiev Scuderia Coloni 124.770 13

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