Alonso tops shortened practice session in Monaco

2012 Monaco Grand Prix first practice

Fernando Alonso, Monaco, Ferrari, 2012Fernando Alonso was quickest in the first practice at Monaco after the session was stopped early.

A massive engine failure for Heikki Kovalainen in the tunnel meant practice was halted with nine minutes left to run.

Sergio Perez (pictured) ended the session third fastest behind Romain Grosjean.

The session had begun in bright sunshine with the two Toro Rosso drivers first to put some serious laps in. Jean-Eric Vergne edged team mate Daniel Ricciardo by a tenth of a second.

Grosjean and Michael Schumacher were next to trade fastest times, the Lotus driver ending up on top.

As usual in Monaco drivers continued to find improvements as the track cleaned up throughout the session.

Hamilton and Grosjean took turns at the top of the times but it was Alonso who ended the session on top with a lap of 1’16.265 in his Ferrari.

Jenson Button, McLaren, Monaco, 2012With ten minutes to go the session came to an early end when Kovalainen suffered a massive engine failure while passing through the tunnel. The Caterham came to a stop shortly after the exit.

The session was quickly red-flagged as the following cars had to crawl through the cloud of smoke in the tunnel. With a slick of oil left on the racing line, race control decided not to restart practice.

Perez had just gone third-fastest for Sauber behind Grosjean. Hamilton was fourth ahead of Spanish Grand Prix winner Pastor Maldonado.

Felipe Massa, Kamui Kobayashi, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg completed the top ten, all covered by less than a second.

Schumacher was 11th after picking up front wing and wheel hub damage when he glanced the barrier at the inside of the Swimming Pool chicane with the right-hand side of his car. That ended his session early for Mercedes.

However Kimi Raikkonen didn’t even set a time. After returning from his installation lap he was once again unhappy with the steering on his Lotus, and the team set about making a lengthy change which was not completed before the end of the session.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 5 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.265 22
2 10 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’16.630 0.365 17
3 15 Sergio Perez Sauber-Ferrari 1’16.711 0.446 19
4 4 Lewis Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1’16.747 0.482 12
5 18 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’16.760 0.495 20
6 6 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.843 0.578 19
7 14 Kamui Kobayashi Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.038 0.773 21
8 3 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1’17.190 0.925 13
9 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’17.222 0.957 14
10 8 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’17.261 0.996 18
11 7 Michael Schumacher Mercedes 1’17.413 1.148 14
12 12 Nico Hulkenberg Force India-Mercedes 1’17.631 1.366 18
13 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’18.106 1.841 14
14 17 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.209 1.944 25
15 16 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.252 1.987 28
16 11 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’18.302 2.037 16
17 19 Bruno Senna Williams-Renault 1’18.617 2.352 20
18 20 Heikki Kovalainen Caterham-Renault 1’19.039 2.774 20
19 21 Vitaly Petrov Caterham-Renault 1’19.341 3.076 16
20 23 Narain Karthikeyan HRT-Cosworth 1’20.838 4.573 26
21 25 Charles Pic Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.895 4.630 18
22 24 Timo Glock Marussia-Cosworth 1’21.638 5.373 9
23 22 Pedro de la Rosa HRT-Cosworth 1’22.423 6.158 15
24 9 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault No time 1

2012 Monaco Grand Prix

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54 comments on Alonso tops shortened practice session in Monaco

  1. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 24th May 2012, 13:18

    As much as I want to, I’m not going to read too much into the top 10 being split by 1s. Any hint of rain and the teams are sure to go banzai for a dry session to maximise likely reflective race running. Plus, a lot can happen in 9 minutes.

  2. Prof Kirk (@prof-kirk) said on 24th May 2012, 14:13

    I’m probably the only person silly enough to click on the First image of Fernando thinking it was a video.

    anyway…

    I’ll be cheering for Lotus and Sauber, ideally I would like Romain Grosjean to win this event, French Driver winning the closest thing France has to a French GP, then making it 6 different drivers and teams to win a race, that would be a cracking result.

  3. Paulocreed (@paulocreed) said on 24th May 2012, 15:01

    Speaking of which, I don’t hear Vitaly complaining about the safety of the barriers being too close throughout the whole track.

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