Alonso fastest in Monaco first practice

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Two-time Monaco winner Alonso was fastest in first practice
Two-time Monaco winner Alonso was fastest in first practice

Fernando Alonso put Ferrari on top in the first practice session ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix.

But Red Bull showed they aren’t far off the pace, with Sebastian Vettel lapping within one tenth of a second of Alonso’s time.

The McLaren drivers exchanged fastest times in the early moment of practice before being pegged back by Felipe Massa’s Ferrari.

Fernando Alonso had a sideways moment at the Anthony Noghes corner early in the session. But when he came out later on he progressively moved his fastest time out of the reach of his rivals – ending up half a second faster than Robert Kubica.

The Red Bull drivers waited until the second half before getting down to business, as did the Force India drivers.

It wasn’t until the last ten minutes that Sebastian Vettel showed his hand, getting within a tenth of a second of Alonso’s time.

Karun Chandhok only managed six laps before spinning the HRT at Massenet. He touched the barrier and his session ended there.

Another driver who did very little running was Nico Rosberg, who spent much of the session in the pits while the Mercedes mechanics worked on a problem on his car.

The track was busiest at the end of the session with 22 cars lapping at once, giving a taste of the difficulties to come in qualifying.

Kamui Kobayashi ended his first F1 practice at Monaco limping into the pits with bent suspension and no front wing. The damage was caused when he cut across the kerb at the swimming pool and hit the barrier on the outside of the corner.

Pos. Car Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 8 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’15.927 32
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’16.000 0.073 27
3 11 Robert Kubica Renault 1’16.016 0.089 28
4 6 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’16.382 0.455 25
5 7 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.517 0.590 30
6 3 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’16.589 0.662 21
7 2 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.647 0.720 32
8 1 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.692 0.765 30
9 14 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’16.805 0.878 23
10 16 Sebastien Buemi Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’16.857 0.930 31
11 4 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.149 1.222 15
12 9 Rubens Barrichello Williams-Cosworth 1’17.331 1.404 28
13 15 Vitantonio Liuzzi Force India-Mercedes 1’17.704 1.777 27
14 12 Vitaly Petrov Renault 1’17.718 1.791 39
15 17 Jaime Alguersuari Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’17.991 2.064 37
16 10 Nico H???lkenberg Williams-Cosworth 1’18.397 2.470 39
17 22 Pedro de la Rosa Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.434 2.507 38
18 23 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.547 2.620 32
19 24 Timo Glock Virgin-Cosworth 1’19.527 3.600 24
20 19 Heikki Kovalainen Lotus-Cosworth 1’19.606 3.679 32
21 18 Jarno Trulli Lotus-Cosworth 1’19.902 3.975 31
22 25 Lucas di Grassi Virgin-Cosworth 1’20.566 4.639 18
23 21 Bruno Senna HRT-Cosworth 1’21.688 5.761 28
24 20 Karun Chandhok HRT-Cosworth 1’21.853 5.926 6

2010 Monaco Grand Prix

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48 comments on “Alonso fastest in Monaco first practice”

  1. Fastest in Monaco first practice is YOU keith, not Alonso!!!!

    1. I’ve had a bit of practice :-)

    2. You can say that again IDR :)!!!! Keith you are the fastest by far!

      1. damonsmedley
        13th May 2010, 11:07

        Umm… as always!

  2. Accidental Mick
    13th May 2010, 10:44

    That is truly impresive, Keith – the speed with which you got this article up.

  3. Mercedes not doing many laps – any particular reason for that?

    1. They were trying to correct some understeer i presume…they’ve always had that problem this year…plus both drivers are using different wheelbases… so setups can be difficult to compare between the two since the cars are different

      1. As far as I know both drivers use a short-wheelbase version of the car.

      2. I understood both are using the original, shorter, wheelbase for Monaco. So maybe a different problem for Nico.

        1. They are not using the “original” front suspension (wheelbase), but a Monaco specific one-off.

          1. I thought it was the original wheelbase, merged with the updated aero package.

    2. rosberg “Another driver who did very little running was Nico Rosberg, who spent much of the session in the pits while the Mercedes mechanics worked on a problem on his car.” i heard on bbc live coverage that it was a upright issue

  4. Am i the only one psyched about Renault being at pace of Ferrari’s and Bulls ?

    1. YES! I guess everyone over here in Poland is psyched about it. ;)

      I don’t know whether it is Renault being on par with Ferrari’s and RBR’s or Robert being on par with them, though.

      1. damonsmedley
        13th May 2010, 11:10

        If it rains, I reckon Robert Kubica will have an equal chance at winning as anyone! Go Robert!

    2. Interestingly Robert noted before this session, that he is a bit worried, as Renault did not bring any new wings made especially for Monaco.

      From the times so far, i think it is safe to say they know what they are doing.

  5. The first practice just shows how inadequate the Monaco street circuit is. Too narrow, too unsafe and just not enough room to swing a KERS system. This circuit was inadequate years ago.

    Let’s hope there’s not a crash or half the field will suffer.

    1. “The first practice just shows how inadequate the Monaco street circuit is.”
      – And that’s why we love it so much!!! Hey!!

      1. the-muffin-man
        13th May 2010, 11:16

        Yep – I love it too, probably my favourite GP after Spa. I could just watch one well driven car going around and around!!

      2. Now compare it to the most beautifull track in the world, Spa.
        They had to close untill they made sure the pitlane and chicane were more safe because they weren’t safe enough.
        There is no place on earth more unsafe than the Monaco pitlane :s

        But it’s like they say, money talks

    2. Monaco is an amazing circuit, just amazing – yes there is a problem for overtaking, but it is still hugely exciting and incredibly difficult to drive around. The speeds are not very high in comparison to most circuits, as a result it is not too unsafe.

      1. I agree. There is room on the F1 calendar for all kinds of tracks. They don’t need to be overtaking-fests if they are challenging to the drivers – which Monaco certainly is.

  6. And yet again, Felipe is slower than Kubika!!! Come on Felipe!! buck up!!

    1. I had to leave for the last part of practice -I saw Massa out earlier but did he go out again to post a time or did he stay in pits? The track gets quicker all through the weekend so I’m not too fussed about times but Ferrari seem good

      1. I think he did go out in the end, but nobody was able to improve much because of traffic and the yellow flag in the dying seconds of the session. So don’t give up hope Steph!

        1. Thanks very much BasCB :)

          1. Mass was improving in the last minute with the fastest 2º sector but the yellow flags came.

  7. it’s just a practice, chill out ;-)

  8. Am I the only one who is wondering why they moved practice to Thursday?

    1. Its always been that way, friday is marketday in Monaco ;)

    2. Ned Flanders
      13th May 2010, 11:23

      Practice is always on Thursday in Monaco

  9. monaco practice is always on a thursday. i think the friday of the GP weekend is always a public holiday

    1. market day on friday, i see

  10. Both Glock and Heikki have good pace, Jarno only a little behind. I suppose experience counts in FP1 in Monaco, as all Rookies bar Kobayashi are almost a second slower than their teammates. De la Rosa might count as a Rookie here as well he was a long time ago.

    If not for hitting the barriers, Chandhok was doing pretty good compared to Senna and the other cars. His time was set when the fastest times were about 1.17.

    1. fastest GP2 time in practice 1m20.476s
      faster than di grassi, chandhok and senna

      1. lmao… that shows two things..

        A) that the new teams are still a long way off


        B) that aero and outright power count for very little at this track, it’s driver experience/skill/bravery, coupled with pure mechanical grip that gives the very fastest times.

  11. hey keith, where are you staying? your usual suite at the hotel de paris, or take the yacht?

    1. You must have me confused with some other Keith :-)

  12. Knew I would miss a crash, I’m going to have to watch iPlayer later then. I did ask in the docs waiting room whether they would put the TV on F1 practice instead of just playing the same stupid healthy eating, 5 fruit a day advert but I didn’t get the result I was hoping for :P :(

  13. Great to see Fernando topping the time sheets for the first time since the practice sessions in Bahrain.

    Im expecting a close quali for pole between Sebastian, Fernando , Mark and Lewis. But I think Alonso should dominate this weekend if its dry.

  14. Red Bull definitely have the car for Monaco. I don’t expect Ferrari are doing as well as they seem to be. I do feel it will be really close and probably come down to lap traffic blocking good runs. Vettel and Webber have a 90% chance to be on pole. Once we get to faster tracks I think we will see Ferrari and Mclaren running out front.

  15. Ferrari surprising me, it was not long ago since they had a problem with race pace, but after the Ferrari engine has fixed a sudden they are very fast which makes me suspect that Ferrari cheating the FIA supports the Ferrari not surprising with me, because you know it what I’m talking about.

    1. Maybe the explanation is in here:

      12 hp is not bad for a reliability update.

    2. Mercedes have updated their engine to “improve reliability” several times over the past couple of years. Each update has accidentally provided a boost in horsepower too. Why is this only a problem when Ferrari do it?

    3. BeyondThePale
      13th May 2010, 14:09

      Yeah sure. Only McLaren has a right to win. If anyone else does, they have to be cheating.

    4. So Renault do it (for themselves and Red Bull), and Mercedes do it (for themselves, Brawn, Mclaren and Force India) and it’s fine, but if Ferrari do it, then they’re cheating? Typical.

  16. I’m probably late to the party here but I’ve just discovered the excellent data about the cars available on the McLaren website

    It shows the car data and pit talk during practice and I imagine qualifying and the race.

  17. Nice to see Kubica out there, I wouldn’t be surprise to see him out there on the top 5 come raceday. Nico’s bad luck continues as he will lose crucial laps by sitting in the pit, I hope his car come good in the weekend.
    Ferrari’s look strong nut this is nothing as I said before the race may be won on Saturday.

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