Lewis Hamilton has set the fastest time in the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, 3.2 seconds faster than the best time set in last year’s FP1 session. His teammate Nico Rosberg finished second ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel.

Both Mercedes drivers traded fastest times with each other early in the session as Hamilton outpaced Rosberg by a second on the ultra-soft tyre, which is being used for the first time this season.

It didn’t take long for the session’s first interruption when Williams’ Felipe Massa hit the wall at Saint Devote, bringing out the Virtual Safety Car. The Brazilian took too much speed into the right-hander and hit the side of his car heavily into the barrier.

Practice was restarted a short time later where Hamilton registered his best time of the session, a 1:15.537 which was three-tenths clear from Rosberg’s best effort. The German responded to end the session one-tenth of a second off his teammate.

The session was again suspended after Esteban Gutiérrez’s Haas stopped on track with a suspected power unit issue, which brought out another Virtual Safety Car.

Shortly after the session restarted, Jolyon Palmer ran into the barrier at Tabac and damaged his front suspension which brought out another disruption as the virtual safety car made another appearance.

Daniel Ricciardo then put in his best lap to finish the session fourth for Red Bull and 0.07 seconds ahead of the Spanish Grand Prix winner Max Verstappen, with the pair completing 29 and 30 laps respectively.

Daniil Kvyat placed his Toro Rosso in sixth position ahead of both Force India drivers of Nico Hülkenberg and Sergio Pérez, while Kimi Räikkönen and Carlos Sainz rounded out the top ten.

The session had a premature end with four minutes left to run, as Jenson Button ran over a loose drainage cover that was kicked up by Rosberg at Saint Devote. Button was left with nowhere to go but into the cover, damaging his front right tyre and wing.

The red flag was eventually brought out and the session wasn’t restarted.

Driver Team / Entry Result Laps
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid 1:15.537 31
2. Nico Rosberg de Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 W07 Hybrid + 0.101 39
3. Sebastian Vettel de Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 0.419 26
4. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 0.771 29
5. Max Verstappen nl Red Bull Racing Tag Heuer RB12 + 0.834 30
6. Daniil Kvyat ru Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 0.889 37
7. Nico Hülkenberg de Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 1.023 34
8. Sergio Pérez Sahara Force India Mercedes VJM09 + 1.160 28
9. Kimi Räikkönen fi Scuderia Ferrari SF16-H + 1.375 24
10. Carlos Sainz Jr es Scuderia Toro Rosso Ferrari STR11 + 1.593 39
11. Valtteri Bottas fi Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 2.025 44
12. Romain Grosjean fr Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.062 33
13. Fernando Alonso es McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.301 27
14. Esteban Gutiérrez Haas F1 Ferrari VF-16 + 2.372 25
15. Jenson Button McLaren-Honda MP4-31 + 2.383 26
16. Felipe Nasr br Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.650 29
17. Kevin Magnussen dk Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 2.737 34
18. Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Ferrari C35 + 2.764 33
19. Felipe Massa br Williams Martini Racing Mercedes FW38 + 3.209 10
20. Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team RS16 + 3.334 22
21. Rio Haryanto id Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 4.991 28
22. Pascal Wehrlein de Manor Racing Mercedes MRT5 + 5.331 25

Image via XPB Images

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Josh Kruse

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