Carlos Sainz fastest for Ferrari in opening practice at Monaco GP; Fernando Alonso second for Aston Martin as Lewis Hamilton takes third in the updated Mercedes; Max Verstappen struggles to finish sixth as Red Bull struggles; watch Practice Two live on Sky Sports F1 from 3.45pm on Friday
Last update: 05/26/23 1:48 p.m.
Alex Albon destroys his car at the first corner which signals the FP1 red flag and ends the session
Carlos Sainz dominated early Monaco Grand Prix practice for Ferrari, with Lewis Hamilton taking an impressive third as Mercedes launched major improvements.
Fernando Alonso took second place for Aston Martin, while world championship leader Max Verstappen could only manage sixth as Red Bull struggled on Formula 1’s most famous circuit.
The Dutchman’s team-mate Sergio Perez finished fourth, boosting rivals Red Bull’s hopes of ending the defending constructors’ five-game winning streak to start the season.
Charles Leclerc, who has taken pole for Ferrari for the past two years in his home race, finished fifth.
Sky F1’s Ted Kravitz explains how Mercedes have adapted their car and the potential impact of their upgrades at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix
Mercedes, whose W14 hit the track for the first time with long-awaited upgrades, will be buoyed by third-place Hamilton, but seven-time world champion George Russell’s team-mate struggled to finish 15th.
As is always the case on the breathtaking and high-risk street circuit, there were dramas and incidents, with several drivers escaping contact with the barriers before collisions of Nico Hulkenberg and Alex Albon caused red flags .
This latest incident, a heavy shunt for Albon at the first Sainte Devote corner, saw the session come to an early end with three minutes left on the clock when it happened.