- Max Verstappen dominated in the second F1 Monaco Grand Prix 2023 practice, setting the fastest time despite stiff competition from Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Mercedes.
- Sergio Perez faced several challenges, including traffic and over-braking, while Carlos Sainz ended with a damaged suspension after a crash, causing a red flag.
- Other contenders, including Lewis Hamilton, Fernando Alonso, and Esteban Ocon, showed impressive performances, indicating a close competition in the upcoming race.
Things went back to normal in the second F1 Monaco Grand Prix 2023 practice when Max Verstappen set the fastest time. Ferrari, Aston Martin, and Mercedes were confirmed as contenders in a session where Checo Perez faced several difficulties.
Max Verstappen was in the first position at the end of the first 10 minutes using medium rubber. His time of 1m13.985s sent him ahead of Fernando Alonso’s Aston Martin, who was two-tenths of a second behind the two-time champion and separating the two Red Bulls with Sergio Perez in third.
Lewis Hamilton showed that the W14B would be competitive in Monaco when he immediately went to the top by a thousandth of a second ahead of Verstappen. The Dutchman responded immediately to retake the top spot with 1m13.857s.
At Ferrari, things didn’t look quite right in the opening minutes when Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc came close to contact as they were not informed of their track positions.
The pace of the Aston Martin improved as the medium tire found its performance, and Alonso regained second place, just 15 thousandths of a second behind the two-time Red Bull Racing champion, while Lance Stroll moved up to seventh.
Carlos Sainz advanced to third position, but unlike his direct rivals, he did it with the hard compound, only 96 thousandths of a second behind Verstappen. The Alpine of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly were fifth and sixth, while Sergio Perez dropped to eighth.
As the clock approached the opening 20 minutes, Verstappen improved his lap to 1m13.567s, this as Sainz jumped to second just 0.241s behind the Dutchman, with Alonso, Russell, and Hamilton closing out the top five.
Sergio Perez was in eleventh place after having some difficulties with traffic and over-braking. Still, a near-perfect lap catapulted him to second just 81 thousandths of a second behind his Milton Keynes teammate.
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The Aston Martins were the first to switch to soft tires, and immediately Alonso went to the top with a time of 1m12.786s, a half-second advantage over the championship leader. Valtteri Bottas put his Alfa Romeo in third thanks to the red rubber, while Stroll jumped to fourth using the same compound.
Ocon was next to take second, with Russell and Hamilton hogging third and fourth, waiting for the Red Bulls to switch to a red rubber.
Sainz lived at the top momentarily with a time of 1m12.569s just over halfway through the run, just as Alonso was back in second, followed by Leclerc, Hamilton, and Bottas.
Verstappen set a record in his first attempt with the soft tires, but in the second and third sectors, he lost the advantage and moved up to third. Checo Perez moved up to fifth under the same circumstances.
The Dutchman only took a few minutes to take the top spot with a lap of 1m12.462s, which was 0.107s faster than Sainz.
The Spaniard’s luck changed in the final part of his simulation on soft tires. A first impact on the rear at the tunnel’s exit damaged the suspension to lose control of the SF-23 and impact the front end against the wall causing a red flag with less than 17 minutes on the clock.
Leclerc had already taken second position, just 0.65s behind Verstappen. At the same time, Sainz was third, followed by Alonso, Norris, Hamilton, Perez, Bottas, Gasly, and Ocon in the top 10, positions in which he closed the session.