“One-two”, or the result that was at the top of the list of predictions on the eve of the Monegasque stage. But it is Friday’s ranking, indicative but not definitive, and the first to know are the men of Ferrari.
The F1-75 proved to be an ‘animal’ of medium-slow corners, and Charles Leclerc continued with the approach interrupted last Sunday in Barcelona by the breakdown of the turbo, i.e. first position and with a certain margin.
Charles Leclerc, Ferrari with his special helmet for the Monaco GP
Photo by: Ferrari
The ranking says that Leclerc preceded Carlos Sainz by only 44 thousandths of a second, but the impression is that Charles kept further from the walls than his teammate, as confirmed by the intermediate in the second sector, or the stretch that it includes the passage to the Tobacconist and the two chicane of the swimming pools. Sainz was almost two tenths faster than Charles on this stretch, and in fact the Ferrari number 55 seemed much closer to the barriers than the 16.
Carlos Sainz, Ferrari F1-75
Photo by: Zak Mauger / Motorsport Images
Leclerc also confirmed his leadership in the FP1 session, with a small margin (4 cents) over Sergio Perez.
Red Bull started the day’s program well, then in the FP2 session the changes made to the two RB18s did not go in the right direction, highlighting an annoying understeer that did not allow both Perez and Verstappen to be able to go under the minute barrier. and thirteen seconds, the limit knocked down by the two Ferraris.
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB18
Photo by: Glenn Dunbar / Motorsport Images
“We did some tests to assess the car’s behavior – commented Max – and in the second session I didn’t find myself as I hoped. In the end, on this track it all depends on how much you feel the general balance of the car, and what pushes you to dare a little more and to lower the times. In the afternoon we lacked something compared to the Ferraris, we have to find something for tomorrow, but I’m confident ”.
“We were a bit surprised by the gap (compared to the Ferraris) in the FP2 session – confirmed Perez – it was not what we expected. It means that there is still work to be done, in the end what matters is to be ready in Q3 ”.
Verstappen does not appear worried, and neither does the team, Max’s goal is the front row, but the possibility of fighting for pole is not excluded. Ferrari remains the favorite in view of tomorrow’s qualifying, but it is not a step to be taken for granted.
Mick Schumacher, Haas F1 Team
Photo by: Andy Hone / Motorsport Images
Today in the Scuderia garage everything went according to plan, but the unforeseen events that continue to affect the Ferrari-powered teams have caused a bit of alarm (even if no one talks about it). Today both Valtteri Bottas’ and Mick Schumacher’s power units suffered problems, confirming a trend that is certainly not good news for Maranello’s engineers.
All this keeps some apprehension on the reliability front, and for this reason in the paddock there are many who argue that tomorrow Leclerc will be on track with the engine 2 (the one from Barcelona) updated with a new turbo and a new MGU-H, ie the components damaged last Sunday.
The weekend in Monaco instead got off to an uphill start for Mercedes. Arriving in the Principality on the positive wave triggered by the progress of Barcelona, both George Russell and Lewis Hamilton immediately realized that the prospect of being very close to Red Bull and Ferrari is overly optimistic.
As the team looked ahead, McLaren emerged behind them, and in the end Lando Norris was able to present himself as ‘first of the rest’. Hamilton complained at length in both sessions about the continuous jumps suffered inside his car, partly related to the roughness of the asphalt and partly to the problems of the W13, which no longer jumps as in the first four races of the season but is not yet another example of stability.
“It is crazy that in 2022 the resurfaced tracks are not smooth – commented Lewis – today my eyes were coming out of their sockets. We have work to do overnight to try to improve the situation, but as I thought, we are not fast enough to bother Ferrari and Red Bull, our battle will be to try to stay ahead of the McLarens. “
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