Leclerc makes a quick start to the Monaco race weekend | race news

MONACO: Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc set the fastest lap in Friday’s first practice session for his home Monaco Grand Prix, while Red Bull’s Formula One leader Max Verstappen finished fourth and Mercedes suffered fresh impact problems.
The 24-year-old Monegasse set a best time of one minute and 14.531 seconds on a hot and sunny afternoon in the Mediterranean principality.
Red Bull’s Sergio Perez was second fastest, 0.039s off the pace, with Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz third and 0.070s slower than his teammate.
Verstappen, last year’s winner on the street circuit, was 0.181 seconds slower than his title rival.
Leclerc, who clinched pole position at Monaco in 2021 but was unable to start the race due to a driveshaft problem, is six points behind Verstappen after retiring at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix but hopes to finish the race on Sunday regain leadership.
Lando Norris was fifth for McLaren after recovering from tonsillitis this week, while AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly was sixth.
George Russell was the fastest Mercedes driver in eighth place, while seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton was only 10th fastest and complained that his car bounced again.
“It’s so bouncy out here man I’m losing my mind,” said the Brit.
“I need elbow pads in this cockpit, it bounces so much.”
Mercedes boss Toto Wolff had warned earlier in the week that the seventh race of the 22-lap season could be difficult for his team.
“Monaco hasn’t always been our happiest track and slow corners haven’t been our forte this season, as we saw at Barcelona,” he said, referring to the final race in Spain last weekend.
Mick Schumacher stopped his Haas on track with a gearbox problem, while Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas was unable to complete a lap due to technical problems. The Finn was also fined for speeding in the pit lane.

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