best time for Checo Pérez followed …

Checo Pérez (Red Bull) was the fastest during the first session, closely followed by Carlos Sainz (Ferrari) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull)

May 20, 2021 (12:45 CET)

Checo Pérez was the fastest during the first session

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Czech Pérezwearing soft tires, he was the fastest during the first free practice session of the Monaco GP. The best time set by the Mexican pilot was 1’12 ”487. Very close he stood Carlos Sainz in the second position, only 1 tenth, the same distance that separated him from the leader to his partner, Max Verstappen. Both Sainz and Verstappen wore the medium tires. Fourth qualified Pierre Gasly (Alpha Tauri) on soft tires, ahead of the two Mercedes drivers: Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas. Fernando Alonso (Alpine), who suffered an incident by hitting the protective fences and breaking his front wing, finally qualified in thirteenth position.

The first free practice session began in sunny weather and an ambient temperature of 20 degrees and 38 degrees on the asphalt. Soon Carlos Sainz, wearing a medium Pirelli, placed first (1’13 ”639), with Lewis Hamilton and some tough in second position. Sainz’s partner, Charles Leclerc, the only Monegasque rider on the grid, he was not so lucky, since he could only do 3 laps when he returned to his garage with mechanical problems, they had to fit him a new gearbox, his session had ended prematurely.

Charles Leclerc could only do 3 laps in FP1 due to a broken gearbox in his FerrariCharles Leclerc could only do 3 laps in FP1 due to a broken gearbox in his Ferrari

About the middle of the session, Fernando Alonso He “touched” one of the protective fences with the front left of his Alpine A521, and broke its front wing. He returned slowly to the pits to place a new wing, while the “virtual safety car” sign appeared, to pick up the pieces that had fallen on the asphalt.

Alonso broke the front wing during FP1Alonso broke the front wing during FP1

After the first half hour, Verstappen had become the new qualifying leader with Sainz second ahead of Hamilton, Pérez, Norris, Gasly… Until Bottas, with a new set of medium tires, set the best time. Hamilton also placed some “yellows” and climbed to the first position.

Alonso went out again with his new front wing, and at the Ste Devote corner he had to take the loophole. Meanwhile, Gasly, with soft tires, set the best time (1’12 ”929). By your side Carlos Sainz, who had moved up to second position on another set of medium tires, had to return to the pits after brushing against the protectionsYes, to have his Ferrari checked, and it was in perfect shape.

With 15 minutes remaining, the two Red Bull riders were in the top two positions: Verstappen with the best time (1’12 ”648) wearing medium rubbers, and Pérez with soft ones 1 tenth behind his teammate. Until the Mexican was 70 thousandths faster than Verstappen and placed first, and Sainz climbed to second place ahead of Verstappen, with the same compound as that of Red Bull.

With 2 minutes to go, Verstappen and Sainz had a “scuffle” on the track, it seemed that they were in the race, but no, it was only FP1, and Sainz knew how to withstand the attacks of the Dutchman.

The session ended with Checo Pérez placed first, followed by Carlos Sainz, Max Verstappen third, followed by Gasly, Hamilton, Bottas, Norris, Vettel… with Fernando Alonso 13th.

FP2 will start at 3pm (CET).


1 Sergio Perez Red Bull 36v 1’12.487
2 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 32 1’12.606 0.1193 Max Verstappen Red Bull 39 1’12.648 0.161 4 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 37 1’12.929 0.442 5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 34 1’12.995 0.508 6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 36 1’13.131 0.644 7 Lando Norris McLaren 31 1’13.236 0.749 8 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 33 1’13.732 1.245 9 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 39 1’13.746 1.259 10 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 31 1’14.08 1.594 11 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 33 1’14.090 1.603 12 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 27 1’14.106 1.619
13 Fernando Alonso Alpine 37 1’14.205 1.71814 Nicholas Latifi Williams 41 1’14,268 1,781 15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 36 1’14,281 1,794 16 Esteban Ocon Alpine 37 1’14,320 1,833 17 Nikita Mazepin Haas 33 1’14,616 2,129 18 Mick Schumacher Haas 35 1’14,801 2,314 19 George Russell Williams 35 1’14,840 2,353 20 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 4 1’19,618 7,131

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