The Mercedes drivers traded fastest times throughout the first practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix but it was Lewis Hamilton who ended up on top.
There was little to choose between him and team mate Nico Rosberg, however, as the pair were separated by just three-hundredths of a second at the end of the 90-minute session.
Daniel Ricciardo posted the third-fastest time, just over two-tenths off Hamilton’s best and half a second ahead of the other Red Bull of Sebastian Vettel.
The pair were separated by Fernando Alonso, who went off at Mirabeau in the final moments of the session and had to reverse his Ferrari back onto the circuit.
He wasn’t the only driver to have trouble at that corner. Adrian Sutil spun his Sauber into the barrier with a quarter of an hour remaining.
Earlier on Max Chilton’s session also came to an end at the same corner when he spun, facing against the flow of traffic. He was unable to get his car restarted and so missed out on some valuable practice time.
By the end of the session both Saubers had stopped circulating. Esteban Gutierrez had a heavy lock-up at Sainte Devote and although he managed to keep his car out of the barriers he was not able to rejoin the circuit.
With the risk of rain during the second practice session rising, some teams chose to make an early start on their high-fuel runs at the end of the session.
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Image © Daimler/Hoch Zwei