2024 Monaco GP FP1: Hamilton Tops First Practice in Monaco

Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheet at the end of the first practice session with Oscar Piastri in second with George Russell third.


By Ben Bush
Updated on May 25, 2024

Lewis Hamilton Mercedes FP1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix
Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes goes fastest in FP1 for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton led the timesheets during Friday’s opening free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, outperforming McLaren’s Oscar Piastri and his Mercedes teammate George Russell as the F1 European season maintains its fast pace.

Following an exciting conclusion to last weekend’s event at Imola, the teams quickly packed up and moved to the historic Monte Carlo circuit, a staple on the F1 calendar since its inaugural season in 1950.

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Known for its tight, twisty, barrier-lined layout with minimal margin for error, building confidence is the main objective for drivers through FP1, FP2, and FP3, ahead of what is arguably the most crucial qualifying session of the year, given the difficulty of overtaking on race day.

Consequently, several drivers occupied the P1 position during the first half of the session, with Ferraris, McLarens, and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull frequently lowering the benchmark on a mix of hard and medium tyres as they worked to find their rhythm.

However, Verstappen, who had anticipated a “more difficult” weekend, found his RB20 to be on a “knife edge” during the opening runs. Replays showed him coming perilously close to the barriers at Sainte Devote, Tabac, and the Piscine complex.

With around 15 minutes remaining, Zhou Guanyu experienced a more severe incident when his Kick Sauber lost control at Sainte Devote, hitting the wall and scattering debris across the track. Charles Leclerc dramatically drove over some of this debris, taking it with him.

This stoppage interrupted a series of efforts on the soft tyres. Hamilton’s timed lap came at the perfect moment, allowing the seven-time world champion to clock a 1m 12.169s, finishing 0.029s ahead of Piastri, who appeared to ease off near the line.

Russell was a tenth further back in third, followed by Lando Norris in the other McLaren. Home favourite Leclerc, after undergoing floor checks in the garage, rounded out the top five with his best time set on medium tyres.

Aston Martin and Red Bull followed in formation, occupying positions six to nine. Fernando Alonso edged out his teammate Lance Stroll, while the in-form Yuki Tsunoda narrowly outpaced Daniel Ricciardo. Carlos Sainz completed the top ten in his Ferrari.

Red Bull faced a challenging session with more radio complaints from reigning world champion Verstappen and a puncture for Sergio Perez, resulting in P11 and P12 respectively on medium tyres. They were followed by the Kick Sauber of Valtteri Bottas and the Williams and Haas cars.

Alpine had a tricky opening hour of practice. Esteban Ocon complained of severe bouncing, and Pierre Gasly spent most of the session in the garage due to power unit issues, leaving them P18 and P20 on the timing screen, split by Zhou.

Monaco GP FP1 Results

2024 Monaco Grand Prix FP1, 24 May 2024

144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.16935
281Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes1:12.198+0.029s31
363George RussellMercedes1:12.295+0.126s35
44Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes1:12.396+0.227s33
516Charles LeclercFerrari1:12.397+0.228s33
614Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.775+0.606s26
718Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.789+0.620s25
822Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT1:12.875+0.706s34
93Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT1:12.901+0.732s36
1055Carlos SainzFerrari1:12.954+0.785s35
111Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:12.984+0.815s29
1211Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:13.229+1.060s29
1377Valtteri BottasKick Sauber Ferrari1:13.248+1.079s28
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:13.390+1.221s33
1523Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:13.425+1.256s34
1627Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:13.576+1.407s34
172Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:14.150+1.981s36
1831Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:14.159+1.990s33
1924Zhou GuanyuKick Sauber Ferrari1:14.570+2.401s29
2010Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:15.574+3.405s10

Source: formula1.com

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Ben Bush

Ben is our chief editor specialising in F1 from the 1990s to the modern era. Ben has been following Formula 1 since 1986 and is an avid researcher who loves understanding the technology that makes it one of the most exciting motorsport on the planet. He listens to podcasts about F1 on a daily basis, and enjoys reading books from the inspirational Adrian Newey to former F1 drivers.

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