Rosberg puts Mercedes on top in Monaco

2013 Monaco Grand Prix first practice

Nico Rosberg, Mercedes, Monte-Carlo, Monaco, 2013Nico Rosberg underlined Mercedes’ status as pre-race favourites in Monaco by setting the fastest time in the first practice session.

But Fernando Alonso lapped within a tenth of a second of Rosberg’s best effort and might have beaten it had he not been briefly delayed by Charles Pic on one lap.

Romain Grosjean posted a late improvement to take the third-fastest time off Felipe Massa. The second Ferrari driver had a near-miss with Max Chilton, forcing the Marussia to take evasive action after making a late swerve into the pit lane.

The second Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton was fifth fastest and was one of several drivers to lock up and go straight on at Sainte Devote. Pastor Maldonado gave some encouragement to Williams with the sixth-fastest time.

Last year’s winner Mark Webber was seventh followed by the two McLarens. Jenson Button had a brush with the barriers on one lap but his team told him he’d avoided damaging the car.

The other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel completed the top ten, followed by Kimi Raikkonen. Next were the two Force Indias, with Adrian Sutil fortunate to avoid damaging his car after spinning at Sainte Devote.

Bright and sunny conditions greeted the teams for the first session of the weekend and track temperatures rose as high as 23C.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1’16.195 31
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1’16.282 0.087 27
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1’16.380 0.185 21
4 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1’16.394 0.199 23
5 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’16.469 0.274 28
6 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1’16.993 0.798 27
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull-Renault 1’17.020 0.825 27
8 5 Jenson Button McLaren 1’17.129 0.934 29
9 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1’17.193 0.998 26
10 6 Sergio Perez McLaren 1’17.378 1.183 25
11 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull-Renault 1’17.380 1.185 23
12 7 Kimi Raikkonen Lotus-Renault 1’17.509 1.314 26
13 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1’17.548 1.353 27
14 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1’17.625 1.430 20
15 18 Jean-Eric Vergne Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’18.454 2.259 25
16 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1’18.754 2.559 28
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1’18.830 2.635 28
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1’19.067 2.872 25
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1’19.203 3.008 21
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1’19.438 3.243 28
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1’19.773 3.578 20
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1’20.225 4.030 21

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19 comments on Rosberg puts Mercedes on top in Monaco

  1. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd May 2013, 10:46

    Rosberg seems to be really on a run, would be good if he can keep that up at least until the end of qualifying. Hamilton not quite on it.

    And the Ferrari is right there on pace. Kimi took it a bit slow, not sure how satisfied he is. Vettel will be fast, but not sure about getting the front row here, might even get beaten by Webber again.

  2. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd May 2013, 10:48

    Did Rosberg do that fastest lap of his during a long stint?

    • wsrgo (@wsrgo) said on 23rd May 2013, 10:54

      @bascb Yes, I believe it was a 28 lap stint.

    • AdrianMorse (@adrianmorse) said on 23rd May 2013, 10:55

      @bascb, Most drivers, including Rosberg, set their fastest time on their first proper outing onto the track, which in Rosberg’s case was about 11 laps long (fast laps alternating with cool-down laps).

      On Ferrari, on Friday I often think, “wow, they look quick this weekend”, but then they disappoint in qualifying, so I don’t know how much we can take away from this session. One thing I did notice is that Mercedes seemed ok with tyre degradation (as well as all other teams), so they should be able to avoid another Barcelona fiasco.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 23rd May 2013, 10:50

    Oh, and its nice to see that Maldonado seems on pace this weekend. No hitting any barriers, nor Perez either

  4. F1Omer said on 23rd May 2013, 11:00

    Just to let you all know that you can see Practice ‘Live’ for Free on German Satellite channel Sport1 on Astra 19.2 degrees East Vert polarised, frequency 12,480 mgHz. In between practice sessions they are showing shopping programmes so don’t be put off if you tune in too early for the next session, keep watching and Monaco will be revealed in all its glory.

  5. Stretch (@stretch) said on 23rd May 2013, 11:26

    That helmet camera was great, if perhaps a tad high on the helmet. I can’t recall if there has been a helmet cam this year or not.

  6. Antonio Nartea (@tony031r) said on 23rd May 2013, 11:51

    So which Williams is running which spec there? The gap between the 2 cars is huge and I’m pretty sure the nose of one of those cars was pretty similar to the FW34 one, but I can’t remember which one. Did they revert Bottas’ car to the 2012 spec. or is it Maldonado’s?

  7. Todfod (@todfod) said on 23rd May 2013, 12:10

    Interesting to see Maldonado and Gorsjean flying during this practice sessions.

    Ferrari looking strong race pace wise.. but I doubt we will see either Ferrari on the front row on Saturday.

    I’m betting on Mercedes front row lockout, with Webber and Alonso on the 2nd row

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