24 MAY 2018
First Practice Session: 1:12.126 Position: 1, Laps: 36
Second Practice Session: 1:11.841 Position: 1, Laps: 33
“This is a place I always love driving. It helps when you’re fast but regardless it’s just so much fun driving an F1 car around here. Having the hypersoft tyre gives us that little bit more grip and it’s pretty cool to be breaking lap records. I’m glad that was the fastest lap that anyone has ever done as it felt so quick, but I think on Saturday we will go even quicker again.  Some parts of the track are just amazing, Tabac and Turn 12 in particular are a lot of fun. The intention this weekend is to try and win and be dominant. Both cars today ran really well in the sessions and Max and I were fighting for the top spot all day. I think come Qualifying the others will turn it up and I’m sure it will tighten up as you never know what the other teams are doing, but all we could do today was try and top the times, which is what we have done.”
First Practice session: 1:12.280 Position: 2, Laps: 25
Second Practice Session: 1:12.035 Position: 2, Laps: 41
“Today’s performance was good and the car seems to be working really well around here. It actually felt easy to drive with not too many setup issues which is nice, especially on a street circuit. We have a great car but it struggles when we have long straights, you can see as soon as we come here where the straights are not too long we have good pace. We still have to improve but throughout the entire lap we seem competitive, I didn’t quite manage to link all the sectors together but it’s only Thursday. The hypersofts seem to have a lot of grip and they appear to suit the car so this is encouraging for Qualifying. Again, the other teams’ engine modes will make a difference on Saturday but I think we can be a real challenger regardless and put ourselves in the best position to achieve a victory on race day.”
We request the pleasure of your company… or maybe not
Monaco – F1’s Jewel in the Crowntm, grand prix racing’s glamour gulch, and a place defined by the notion of ‘so many invitations, so little time’. Be careful, though, as one social faux pas too many will lead to those invitations drying up quicker than a Hollywood starlet in rehab. So, pay heed to our list of party no-nos and you’ll stay in pole position on everyone’s guest list.
1.   Don’t outstay you’re welcome – if you find yourself seeking a late drink and the bartender is telling you that all that remains is coconut liqueur and something from darkest Borneo made out of tree bark and saliva, then that’s God’s way of telling you it’s time to go home.
2. Don’t forget the details – It’s all very well saying you’re just setting foot on a yacht for a quick cocktail before moving on to the next, much better, party, but when the yacht casts off for the heavily trailed four-hour cruise along the coast and all you’ve got for company is an ‘interesting’ party of bolt salesmen from God knows where, you’ll only have yourself to blame. Read the small print.
3. Don’t go blind – Ladies, when that work colleague you’ve always considered to be somewhere between Shrek in a badly pressed safari suit and Hannibal Lecter with poorer table manners suddenly begins to look like a cross between Chris Hemsworth and a young Brad Pitt, that’s your cue to leave. It might be Monaco, but there’s such a thing as Cristal goggles too.
4. Don’t covet – thy neighbour’s shoes. Tempting though it may be to trade those Nine Wests for a pair of Christian Louboutins, you don’t know where they’ve been or even met the previous owner’s chiropodist.
5. Don’t double dip – The crime of all canapé-based menu crimes. Should there be sticks of anything vegetal coupled with a bowl of puréed stuff then the rule is one dip per stick. Anything else will mark you out as being not only uncouth but probably contagious.
6. Don’t dip and drip – A subject close to our hearts here at the swimming-pool enriched Energy Station. If the party gets completely wild and people start jumping in the pool, it is not – we repeat, NOT – an excuse to avoid the long queues for the on-board bathrooms. That beatific look of relief is a dead giveaway – as are the ammonia-sensitive dyes we’ll be putting in there.