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FP1: Sainz sets the pace ahead of Alonso and Hamilton in opening practice session in Monaco

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MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari SF-23 on track during

Carlos Sainz and Ferrari made a fast start to their Monaco Grand Prix weekend, as the Spaniard led the way in the first practice session in Monte Carlo, setting the pace ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton.

In a busy session in which the drivers and their teams looked to get up to speed and in tune with the circuit, it was Sainz who set the early pace on the medium tyre with a time of 1m 14.251s, to lead his team mate Charles Leclerc and Alonso.

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Hamilton then vaulted to the top of the timesheets before Haas’s Nico Hulkenberg collided with the wall at Turn 13, damaging his left-rear tyre, and while he was able to make it back to the garage, the session was briefly red flagged as they were forced to fix the barrier.

Upon resumption of the session, the fast laps began to come in from the drivers, with Sainz going even faster on the medium tyre with a time of 1m 13.372s, to lead Alonso by 0.338s.

Monaco 2023

Practice 1 results

PositionTeam NameTime
1SAI1:13.372
2ALO+0.338s
3HAM+0.663s
4PER+0.666s
5LEC+0.721s
View Full Results

Three-time winner in Monte Carlo, Hamilton looked comfortable in the upgraded W14, with his fastest time good enough for third, ahead of last year’s winner Sergio Perez in fourth for Red Bull.

Home favourite Leclerc was fifth fastest for Ferrari, while championship leader Max Verstappen had a disjointed session, complaining of bottoming and rear end issues on his RB19, although he still set a time good enough for sixth.

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Lando Norris – sporting the one-off 'Triple Crown' livery on his McLaren – was seventh quickest, ahead of the Alpine of Esteban Ocon and the other Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

Alex Albon was 10th fastest for Williams, although it was a bad end to the session for the Thai racer, as he crashed into the barriers on the exit of Turn 1, bringing an early end to proceedings in the opening hour.

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Valtteri Bottas was 11th fastest for Alfa Romeo, while Kevin Magnussen was 12th quickest for Haas in their 150th Grand Prix weekend in Formula 1.

Yuki Tsunoda was 13th quickest for AlphaTauri, ahead of his former team mate Pierre Gasly, and the other Mercedes of George Russell, in 15th, with the Briton complaining of brake and tyres issues on his upgraded W14.

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Nyck de Vries was 16th fastest, ahead of his fellow rookies Oscar Piastri and Logan Sargeant, in the McLaren and Williams respectively, with Zhou Guanyu in 19th, and Nico Hulkenberg at the bottom of the field.

Join us again at 1700 local time for the second practice session at this weekend's Monaco Grand Prix.

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