Mercedes has maintained its dominance as the Formula 1 field returned to on-track action for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. Lewis Hamilton and teammate Nico Rosberg were separated by just three-hundredths of a second in Thursday’s opening practice session, while Daniel Ricciardo’s Red Bull was just two-tenths of a second adrift in third.

With rain forecast to hit the circuit in time for the afternoon’s practice session, the field was keen to clock up as much mileage as possible around the classic street circuit. The Mercedes’ were quick to make their presence felt, with Rosberg and subsequently Hamilton – who arrived late for the session – moving to the top of the timesheets early on. Hamilton ultimately worked his way down to a handy time of 1:18.271, with Rosberg snapping at his heels.

Ricciardo finished third-fastest, no doubt more confident that the RB10 could deliver a good performance this weekend at a circuit where the Renault power unit’s shortcomings could be somewhat masked. The Australian finished a handy four-tenths of a second quicker than Ferrari’s Fernando Alonso, and over half a second quicker than teammate Sebastian Vettel who rounded out the top five.

Kimi Räikkönen was sixth-fastest in the second Ferrari to ensure three teams completed the top-six, while fellow Finn Valtteri Bottas took his Williams Mercedes seventh-quickest. The two Force Indias and Kevin Magnussen’s McLaren completed the top ten, although Magnussen and Sergio Pérez were lucky to avoid a collision at the Anthony Noghes corner when the Dane came upon the unexpectedly slow Mexican.

The session saw a few minor escapes into the run-off areas, with Adrian Sutil being the only driver to come to serious grief when he biffed his ill-handling Sauber into the barriers at Mirabeau. Max Chilton also had a spin at the same corner, curtailing his practice session.

2014 Monaco Formula 1 Grand Prix – Free Practice 1 Results:

Driver Team / Entry Time Gap Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:18.271 32
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes AMG Petronas F1W05 1:18.303 + 0.032 31
3. Daniel Ricciardo Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:18.506 + 0.235 37
4. Fernando Alonso Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:18.930 + 0.759 31
5. Sebastian Vettel Infiniti Red Bull Racing Renault RB10 1:19.043 + 0.772 33
6. Kimi Räikkönen Scuderia Ferrari F14T 1:19.467 + 1.196 31
7. Valtteri Bottas Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:19.494 + 1.223 31
8. Sergio Pérez Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:19.666 + 1.395 29
9. Kevin Magnussen McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:19.789 + 1.518 29
10. Nico Hülkenberg Force India Mercedes Mercedes VJM07 1:19.856 + 1.585 38
11. Jenson Button McLaren Mercedes MP4-29 1:20.033 + 1.762 35
12. Esteban Gutiérrez Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:20.118 + 1.847 33
13. Romain Grosjean Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:20.207 + 1.936 33
14. Pastor Maldonado Lotus F1 Team Renault E22 1:20.241 + 1.970 38
15. Jean-Éric Vergne Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:20.260 + 1.989 36
16. Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW36 1:20.517 + 2.246 25
17. Adrian Sutil Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C33 1:20.736 + 2.465 18
18. Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Renault STR9 1:20.914 + 2.643 37
19. Jules Bianchi Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:21.310 + 3.039 27
20. Marcus Ericsson Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:22.063 + 3.792 40
21. Kamui Kobayashi Caterham F1 Team Renault CT05 1:22.492 + 4.221 38
22. Max Chilton Marussia F1 Team Ferrari MR03 1:25.817 + 7.546 7

Image via Sutton Images

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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.