|Event: Free Practice 1 and Free Practice 2 (FP1 and FP2)
Date: Thursday, May 25
Location: Circuit de Monaco
Layout: 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn circuit
FP1 Weather: Sunny
FP1 Air Temps: 20.8-22.6 degrees Celsius (69.4-72.7 degrees Fahrenheit)
FP1 Track Temps: 28-38.3 degrees Celsius (82.4-100.9 degrees Fahrenheit)
FP2 Weather: Sunny
FP2 Air Temps: 21.8-24.5 degrees Celsius (71.2-76.1 degrees Fahrenheit)
FP3 Track Temps: 37.2-46.7 degrees Celsius (99-116 degrees Fahrenheit)
Drivers: Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen
Magnussen: 13th quick (1:14.870), 34 laps completed
Grosjean: 15th quick (1:15.321), 33 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes (1:13.425)
Most Laps: Daniel Ricciardo of Red Bull (45 laps)
Magnussen: 9th quick (1:13.890), 46 laps completed
Grosjean: 14th quick (1:14.022), 44 laps completed
Fastest Driver: Sebastian Vettel of Scuderia Ferrari (1:12.720)
Most Laps: Esteban Ocon of Force India (47 laps)
The sixth round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Thursday at Circuit de Monaco as teams prepared for the 75th Monaco Grand Prix Sunday.
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn track allowed drivers to get used to the wider and more powerful generation of Formula One machinery on the historic course that has been used since 1929.
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen began the sun-kissed day on the same program for FP1 – an installation lap on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires followed by two timed runs on brand new sets of Purple ultrasoft tires. The duo wrapped the session with two more stints with their Haas VF-17s outfitted on used ultrasofts.
Magnussen logged 34 laps with his best time coming on his 21st lap – a 1:14.870 that placed him 13th overall. Grosjean tallied 33 laps and secured a best time of 1:15.321 on his 18th lap to put him 15th on the speed chart.
Leading the way in FP1 was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, whose fast lap of 1:13.425 was .196 of a second better than the next quickest time of Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and .107 of a second better than Kimi Räikkönen’s qualifying lap record of 1:13.532 set in 2006 with McLaren, which is widely considered the fastest lap of this Formula One era at Monaco.
Times continued to drop in FP2 with the top-six drivers turning laps under Räikkönen’s 2006 record.
Magnussen bettered his FP1 mark by .98 of a second with a time of 1:13.890 on his 21st lap shod on a set of ultrasofts. And Grosjean also improved, shaving 1.299 seconds off his FP1 time with a 1:14.022 on his 21st tour while also riding on a set of ultrasoft tires. Magnussen ended FP2 ninth overall and Grosjean was 14th. Both drivers ran the same program in FP2, beginning the session on Red supersoft tires before switching to the Purple ultrasofts. The duo returned to the supersofts at the end of FP2 as the team practiced pit stops. Magnussen ended the session with 46 laps and Grosjean topped out with 44 laps completed.
Fastest in FP2 was Vettel, but instead of vying with Mercedes drivers for the top spot, it was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari teammate Räikkönen making up the top-three. Vettel’s quick time of 1:12.720 was .487 of a second faster than Ricciardo and .563 of a second better than Räikkönen. Hamilton, quickest in FP1, was only eighth-fastest in FP2, 1.153 seconds behind Vettel.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 157 laps – 80 by Magnussen and 77 by Grosjean.
“We managed to stay out of trouble. It’s a very tight midfield. We need to get all our sectors together. I think there’s a bit of work we can do on the car to make it better. In general, though, I’m happy with the work everyone’s done. I’m looking forward to Saturday. It’s harder and more challenging to drive here, but it’s more fun.”
“I’m pretty happy with the day. We got everything done that was on our program. The car’s not feeling bad, so I’m looking forward to qualifying on Saturday. It’s very fast here. It feels amazing and it’s really good fun to drive. Let’s hope we can be competitive, as well.”
“It was a pretty good day. If in FP1 and FP2 you bring both cars home without damage, it’s always a good day in Monte Carlo. There’s a very tight midfield as always – it’s even a little bit tighter, which is very interesting. We had a good session. We did a lot of laps and learned a lot. Now we’re soon into qualifying. It will be tight – there were seven cars in less than three tenths (of a second). I think we’re in a good position. We’ll try to do our best to get ready for Saturday.”
Drivers have one more practice session on Saturday (11:00-12:00) before qualifying starts at 14:00. Qualifying consists of three rounds, with the 15 fastest drivers from Q1 moving on to Q2. Then, the 10 fastest drivers from Q2 advance to Q3 where they’ll battle for the pole.