FP1: Leclerc leads opening Monaco practice as top three split by just 0.07s
Home favourite Charles Leclerc finished just ahead of Sergio Perez and Carlos Sainz to set the quickest time in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.
The Monegasque Ferrari driver, who trails championship leader Max Verstappen by six points heading into this weekend, clocked a 1m14.531s on the medium tyres, to end up 0.039s clear of his Red Bull rival.
Sainz was 0.07s behind his team mate Leclerc in third around the streets of Monte Carlo, with Verstappen fourth, the top four drivers separated by just 0.181s.
McLaren’s Lando Norris was given an exemption to miss the Friday morning press conference on medical grounds to ensure he can focus on recovering from tonsillitis.
The Briton – who finished on the podium in Monaco last year – delivered some strong pace from the off to end up best of the rest in fifth, a tenth clear of McLaren team mate Daniel Ricciardo (P7) with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly in between for P6.
FORMULA 1 GRAND PRIX DE MONACO 2022
Practice 1 results
|1 Charles Leclerc LEC Ferrari||1:14.531|
|2 Sergio Perez PER Red Bull Racing||+0.039s|
|3 Carlos Sainz SAI Ferrari||+0.070s|
|4 Max Verstappen VER Red Bull Racing||+0.181s|
|5 Lando Norris NOR McLaren||+0.525s|
George Russell was the leading Mercedes in eighth, ahead of Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, with seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton closing out the top 10 as temperatures hit a sweltering 32 degrees C.
Yuki Tsunoda was 11th, a fraction ahead of Lance Stroll, with Fernando Alonso the top Alpine in P13, the French team anticipating a difficult weekend on this low-speed circuit.
Kevin Magnussen, 14th, was one of several drivers to have a moment at the Swimming Pool section, with his Haas team mate Mick Schumacher (P19) bringing out the red flag when he stopped and blocked the pit exit with a suspected gearbox issue.
Alex Albon was 15th, ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon, Alfa Romeo's Zhou Guanyu and Nicholas Latifi in 18th for Williams.
Valtteri Bottas was the only driver not to set a lap time, the Finn spending most of the session in the garage after his Alfa Romeo team removed the rear end of the car to investigate a technical issue.
Second practice for the Monaco Grand Prix takes place at 1700 local time.