Nico Rosberg fastest in frenetic opening practice session at Monaco

Nico Rosberg fastest in frenetic opening practice session at Monaco

copyright octane

Nico Rosberg has ended a frenetic opening practice session fastest overall for Mercedes, despite a slow start to proceedings around the Monte-Carlo street circuit. The German driver was followed at the top of the timing sheets by Fernando Alonso in the Ferrari and Romain Grosjean in the Lotus. 

The Formula 1 paddock reconvened in glorious sunshine over the Monte-Carlo street circuit for the opening practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix, with many eagerly anticipating a frenetic weekend ahead. However, the opening practice session of the weekend was slow to get fully underway, as the first 30 minutes witnessed very little track action as the teams and drivers elected to carry out many installation laps.

Initially the Sauber duo of Esteban Gutierrez and Nico Hulkenberg were the first two drivers to take to the Monte-Carlo street circuit, with the former eventually becoming the first driver to set a timed lap with a 01:29.219. The Mexican ace then traded the fastest time with the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo, with the duo eventually working the benchmark down to a 01:19.753 after many laps of swapping fastest times at the top. The battle between Daniel Ricciardo and Esteban Gutierrez was brought to an abrupt conclusion when Felipe Massa stormed to the top with a 01:18.818.

The Brazilian driver then proceeded to improve upon his time at the top, with a 01:17.685 before he dangerously decided to enter the pit-lane by cutting straight across the path of Max Chilton. The Marussia driver was forced to stamp upon the brakes to avoid colliding with Felipe Massa, who’s reign at the top was brought to a conclusion by the Mercedes of Nico Rosberg with a 01:17.005. Fernando Alonso momentarily rose to the top for Ferrari with a 01:16.842, before the German ace stormed back to the top whereas his team-mate Lewis Hamilton ran wide at Turn 1 and luckily avoided the tyre barrier.

Mark Webber also narrowly avoided an incident into Turn 1, as the two-time Monaco Grand Prix winner out-broke himself at Turn 1 and was luckily able to rejoin the circuit. Turn 1 remained a challenge throughout the closing stages of the session, as Adrian Sutil miraculously avoided a large incident as he spun and just kissed the tyre barrier with his rear-wing endplate. The German driver was able to return to the pits under his own steam, after what could well have been a session-ending incident.

Despite the frenetic conclusion to the opening practice session of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, Nico Rosberg managed to remain at the top of the timing sheets for Mercedes with his time of a 01:16.195 remaining unchallenged in the closing stages. The German driver was followed by the Ferrari of Fernando Alonso and the Lotus of Romain Grosjean, who just managed to rise into the top three during the final minutes of the session. The teams and drivers will return to the Monte-Carlo street circuit later in the day, for the second practice session of the weekend.

Pos Driver                Team                   Time      Gap      Laps
 1. Nico Rosberg          Mercedes               1m16.195s           30
 2. Fernando Alonso       Ferrari                1m16.282s + 0.087s  26
 3. Romain Grosjean       Lotus-Renault          1m16.380s + 0.185s  20
 4. Felipe Massa          Ferrari                1m16.394s + 0.199s  22
 5. Lewis Hamilton        Mercedes               1m16.469s + 0.274s  27
 6. Pastor Maldonado      Williams-Renault       1m16.993s + 0.798s  26
 7. Mark Webber           Red Bull-Renault       1m17.020s + 0.825s  26
 8. Jenson Button         McLaren-Mercedes       1m17.129s + 0.934s  28
 9. Sergio Perez          McLaren-Mercedes       1m17.378s + 1.183s  24
10. Sebastian Vettel      Red Bull-Renault       1m17.380s + 1.185s  22
11. Kimi Raikkonen        Lotus-Renault          1m17.509s + 1.314s  25
12. Paul di Resta         Force India-Mercedes   1m17.548s + 1.353s  26
13. Adrian Sutil          Force India-Mercedes   1m17.625s + 1.430s  20
14. Nico Hulkenberg       Sauber-Ferrari         1m18.193s + 1.998s  25
15. Jean-Eric Vergne      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m18.454s + 2.259s  24
16. Esteban Gutierrez     Sauber-Ferrari         1m18.754s + 2.559s  27
17. Valtteri Bottas       Williams-Renault       1m18.830s + 2.635s  27
18. Daniel Ricciardo      Toro Rosso-Ferrari     1m19.067s + 2.872s  24
19. Giedo van der Garde   Caterham-Renault       1m19.203s + 3.008s  20
20. Charles Pic           Caterham-Renault       1m19.438s + 3.243s  27
21. Jules Bianchi         Marussia-Cosworth      1m19.773s + 3.578s  19
22. Max Chilton           Marussia-Cosworth      1m20.225s + 4.030s  20

Picture Copyright © Octane Photographics