Charles Leclerc was not very lucky as a driver in his own Monaco because he has never seen the finish in the principality in either Formula 2 or Formula 1. Things are looking up in terms of speed though: last year – before he crashed on his last qualifying lap – he took pole position and set the fastest time in yesterday’s second free practice ahead of Ferrari team-mate Carlos Sainz. So the Scuderia’s form on the tight street circuit seems to be perfectly fine, but the question is of course whether they can keep that up going into qualifying and the race.
Last year, Sainz and Leclerc had to acknowledge their superiority over Max Verstappen in the third free practice session. The leader of the Red Bull Racing World Cup was not yet convincing on Friday and finished fourth in both practice sessions behind team-mate Sergio Perez. Especially in the first sector, Verstappen seemed to be missing something compared to the Ferraris and Perez and so the reigning world champion also reported after the session that something still had to be found. But did Verstappen and Red Bull succeed in the run-up to the third training session?
Behind the top two teams, McLaren looked good in Friday practice, although the team had to work hard to repair the damage following Daniel Ricciardo’s crash in VT2. Lando Norris, on the other hand, drove the fifth fastest time in this session – as in the first practice session – and thus stayed in front of both Mercedes drivers. George Russell and above all Lewis Hamilton jumped over the asphalt again in Monaco, but this time not because of porpoises, but because of the stiff set-up and many bumps. Does Mercedes have a solution for this or should it also let McLaren go first on Saturday?
These questions will be answered in the third free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, which begins at 1 p.m. on Saturday. Via the live blog below, our team of F1 journalists will keep you up to date with the latest developments during FP1.