18 hundredths separates the four top drivers

(Motorsport-Total.com) – It felt a bit like it was in the 1990s: The international TV signal repeatedly showed flickering images during the first free training session for the Monaco Grand Prix. “If Heinz Prüller still comments over the phone, everything is the same as before,” joked an Austrian colleague in our editorial office.

Charles Leclerc secured the best time in the first free training session in Monaco


Local hero Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) secured the best time of 1: 14.531 minutes. After this lap, he ran two more intermediate times, but interrupted those laps each time. Behind him stood Sergio Perez (Red Bull), Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

On the subject:
Result 1. free training
F1 live ticker: Voices about training
F1 Live Stream: Analysis at. 19.30

Lots of driving errors with the new cars

Leclerc, Perez and Verstappen have something in common: All three were going to the emergency exit at Sainte Devote. All three incidents remained without significant consequences. Sainz was unharmed at Sainte Devote, but in the final phase he shortened the port harassment after setting the absolute best time in the first sector.

Leclerc on Monaco curse: “Do not believe such a thing”

Charles Leclerc always failed early in five attempts at his home race in Moanco. How is the Ferrari driver doing this time?

In general, it seemed to be a sensitive point for the Ferrari: “Leclerc drove straight more often than through the harassment,” jokes ‘ORF’ commentator Alexander Wurz.

Perez, meanwhile, received 300 euros for driving too fast in the pitlane. AlphaTauri pilot Yuki Tsunoda even had to make a 1,000: He was “shot” with 76.4 instead of the allowed 60 km / h. Only Valtteri Bottas (20./Alfa Romeo) was even faster: His 81.9 km / h also cost 1,000 euros.

Lando Norris (McLaren), Pierre Gasly (AlphaTauri), Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) and George Russell (Mercedes) followed after the two top teams, which were within 0.181 seconds of each other in the top four places.

“A good start” for McLaren, as team manager Andreas Seidl says in an interview with ORF: “One of the best free training sessions for us this year. The car worked very well and the drivers were reasonably happy. Especially this weekend it is important to get off to a good start and break nothing. “

Hamilton: “‘Bounce’ is crazy, man!”

Lewis Hamilton was number ten, 0.968 seconds left. However, he felt the performance following the upward trend in Barcelona as a step backwards: “The ‘bounce’ is crazy, man,” triggered the seven-time world champion during the session – and later he even asked for elbow pads to withstand the pain of the vibrations.

“If it’s fast, he’s getting all the protection he needs,” laughs Mercedes team manager Toto Wolff. Until the second training session, they will “work on the setup to make it a little more comfortable for the drivers. But it looks like our car is fast. Fast, but not to drive.”

Why? “We have a problem with terrain height and ‘bounce’. Often it’s a combination of aero and stiffness. Today it’s just stiffness,” Wolff explains. His compatriot and friend Alexander Wurz says: “It is very interesting how clearly the drivers express that it is a very difficult driving behavior.”

Red Bull has “guinea pigs” better under control

For Red Bull, on the other hand, the “guinea pig” does not appear to be “a disruptive factor”, explains motorsport consultant Helmut Marko in an interview with ‘Sky’: “We are satisfied. Max drove the time in his very first lap with medium-sized tires. It was definitely not the fastest technical option. “

“Then he braked incorrectly in turn 1, had a flat spot, and so we gave up chasing times. I definitely think we’re up there and the car is behaving very, very well on both types of tires. We’re looking forward to it all with self confidence.”

Sebastian Vettel (Aston Martin) was ninth in the start. He was 0.152 seconds faster than his teammate Lance Stroll (12th).

First stop because of Mick Schumacher

Mick Schumacher caused the weekend’s first red flag after nearly 20 minutes of the first free training session. But not with a crash. The Haas pilot got the radio signal that he should please stop changing gears, after which he rolled out at the pit entrance and blocked it.

Initially, there was a suspicion of a gearbox error. The Haas team later tweeted: “Mick got out of the car while the team was working on the problem. We believe it is a bug in MGU-K. It is unlikely that Mick will be able to go out on the track again. ” So it was with the twelve rounds that had been completed up to that point.

Although there were many minor driving errors, McLaren team boss Seidl does not believe the new cars will change Monaco’s driving experience much compared to previous years: “So far there has been nothing unusual on the radio. There have been no major incidents either. Not just with us, but for all drivers. “

“So I believe the new cars will not cause the problem that some foresaw,” Seidl says.

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