Weather: dry 27°C
Asphalt: dry 42°C
Wind: 1 km/h NW
Pressure: 1017 bar
In the heart of Monaco, the drama of the F1 Grand Prix continued in a second free practice session. The day was characterized by sweltering temperatures with the track heating up to 42 degrees Celsius and air temperature of 27 degrees Celsius. Potential showers over the weekend added an element of unpredictability to the course, which only intensified the excitement of the event.
Practice started with Nico Hulkenberg and many other drivers taking to the track, most of whom opted for the medium compound tyres. Notable absent from the start of the session was Alexander Albon, whose car was being repaired by the Williams team after his FP1 accident.
On track, Max Verstappen started well, setting an impressive time of 1m 13.985s on medium tyres, clearly ahead of Fernando Alonso by six tenths. Hamilton was on Alonso’s heels, passing the Aston Martin by just 0.004 seconds.
Hamilton, determined not to be overtaken, briefly took the lead from Verstappen, only for the Dutchman to reclaim the top spot on his next lap. The Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc were the only ones not to opt for medium-compound tyres.
The stakes increased as drivers began switching to the soft tyres, with the Aston Martin pair leading the way, followed by Valtteri Bottas and Logan Sargeant. Alonso, on a fast lap, narrowly missed Verstappen’s time to finish second by 0.015s.
Sainz delivered a commendable performance with the second fastest time, just 0.241s behind Verstappen. He was on harder tyres, showing Ferrari’s potential at this track. As the session progressed Verstappen improved his lap times, extending his lead at the front.
Off the track Sebastian Vettel, the former star of Aston Martin, paid a visit to his former team, causing a wave of emotions among the fans. Meanwhile, Lando Norris had to wait a little longer to join the session due to last-minute changes made by the McLaren team.
Further down the grid, there was a glimmer of hope for Albon as Williams mechanics were seen adjusting his car. He still had a chance to join the training session. However, the day was not without its problems and traffic on the track proved to be a problem, causing frustration among the drivers, including Sergio Perez.
At the end of practice, Charles Leclerc managed to move up to second place, just 0.065 seconds behind the leader. After the first hard training session, Leclerc seemed to find his rhythm. Lewis Hamilton also showed improvement, moving up to sixth.
After the second free practice ended, the focus turned to qualifying. Given the importance of starting position in Monaco, more emphasis on lap pace was expected in subsequent sessions.
17 minutes before Sainz crashed his Ferrari into the barrier at the infamous Turn 16. First, he hit the barrier with his right front tire and broke the tie rod. The session was marked with a red flag and all cars had to be returned to the pits. The Ferrari SF-23 was removed within 5 minutes. Albon was also able to start FP2 after his Williams car was finally fixed.
With 10 minutes left Verstappen was still fastest with a time of 1:12.462. Leclerc was second at +0.065s and Sainz was still on P3 at +0.107s. Verstappen set this time on hard while the rest of the top five used soft.
All in all, the second free practice was a testament to the thrilling action that the Monaco Grand Prix promises. With unpredictable weather, intense competition and imminent wear and tear penalties, the 2023 Monaco F1 GP promises to be an exciting event
Last year, the fastest lap time in FP2 was 1:12,656 minutes, driven by Charles Leclerc in a Ferrari F1-75.
FP2 2023 Monaco GP times table
|1||1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:12,462||29||🔴S|
|4||14||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||1:12682||+0.220s||31||🔴S|
|7||11||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||1:12,991||+0.529s||29||🔴S|
|8||77||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||1:13,050||+0.588s||32||🔴S|
|11||18||Stroll Lance||Aston Martin||1:13,185||+0.723s||thirty||🔴S|
|13||24||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||1:13354||+0.892s||31||🔴S|
|16||22||Yuki Tsunoda||Alpha Tauri||1:13,641||+1179s||22||🔴S|
|17||21||Nyck de Vries||Alpha Tauri||1:13663||+1201s||33||🔴S|
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