Nico Rosberg led the way in the opening practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix

Nico Rosberg has set the pace in the first practice session for the Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix. The Mercedes driver posted a 1:16.195 lap-time on the Pirelli soft tyres, with Spanish Grand Prix winner Fernando Alonso going second-fastest, just 0.08 seconds slower.

Conditions were bright and clear when the pit lane was declared open this morning, but as has typically been the case at most Grands Prix this year, no one was keen to venture out and clock many laps were track conditions are typically at their worst.

Eventually, Sauber’s Esteban Gutiérrez bit the bullet with the first sensible lap-time, and that opened the floodgates, ultimately leading to Rosberg’s session-topping effort.

Alonso had looked on course to topple Rosberg’s time, but a poor final sector – courtesy of some slower traffic – consigned him to second-quickest.

Emphasising how competitive this weekend is likely to be, the fastest five drivers were covered by just over a quarter of a second on the stopwatch. Romain Grosjean was third-fastest, narrowly ahead of Felipe Massa and Lewis Hamilton on the timesheets.

Monaco specialist Pastor Maldonado took his unfancied Williams to the giddy heights of sixth on the timesheets, while Mark Webber, McLaren duo Jenson Button and Sergio Pérez and Webber’s teammate, Sebastian Vettel, rounded out the top-ten.

Kimi Räikkönen finished the session eleventh-quickest in the second Lotus, with the Finn suffering from an untidy sequence of laps.

The session had little in the way of drama, except for a spin at St Devote by Adrian Sutil, who got his Force India sideways and damaged his rear wing in the process.

Thursday afternoon’s session kicks off at 2:00PM local time (GMT+2).

2013 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Session Times:

Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1. Nico Rosberg DEU Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:16.195 31
2. Fernando Alonso ESP Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:16.282 + 0.087 27
3. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:16.380 + 0.185 21
4. Felipe Massa BRA Scuderia Ferrari F138 1:16.394 + 0.199 23
5. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W04 1:16.469 + 0.274 28
6. Pastor Maldonado VEN Williams Renault FW35 1:16.993 + 0.798 27
7. Mark Webber AUS Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:17.020 + 0.825 27
8. Jenson Button GBR McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:17.129 + 0.934 29
9. Sergio Pérez MEX McLaren Mercedes MP4-28 1:17.378 + 1.183 25
10. Sebastian Vettel DEU Red Bull Racing Renault RB9 1:17.380 + 1.185 23
11. Kimi Räikkönen FIN Lotus F1 Renault E21 1:17.509 + 1.314 26
12. Paul di Resta GBR Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:17.548 + 1.353 27
13. Adrian Sutil DEU Force India Mercedes VJM06 1:17.625 + 1.430 20
14. Nico Hülkenberg DEU Sauber Ferrari C32 1:18.193 + 1.998 26
15. Jean-Éric Vergne FRA Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:18.454 + 2.259 25
16. Esteban Gutiérrez MEX Sauber Ferrari C32 1:18.754 + 2.559 28
17. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams Renault FW35 1:18.830 + 2.635 28
18. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR8 1:19.067 + 2.872 25
19. Giedo van der Garde NED Caterham Renault CT03 1:19.203 + 3.008 21
20. Charles Pic FRA Caterham Renault CT03 1:19.438 + 3.243 28
21. Jules Bianchi FRA Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:19.773 + 3.578 20
22. Max Chilton GBR Marussia Cosworth MR02 1:20.225 + 4.030 21

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.