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