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Monaco Grand Prix: Practice team notes - Pirelli

NEWS STORY
24/05/2024

If it's true that the outcome of the Monaco Grand Prix is pretty much determined by the qualifying order, then Charles Leclerc has already put his name forward, dominating the first day of practice for this the 70th edition of his home race to count for the Drivers' World Championship.

The Monegasque set the fastest time of the day during FP2 in 1'11"278, already quicker than last year's pole time of 1'11"365 set by Max Verstappen. It was impressive to watch the Scuderia Ferrari driver improve on every run, while others seemed to struggle a bit more to find the limit in their cars. While showering praise on the quickest driver on track today, it's only Friday and Monaco qualifying always throws up some surprises, especially as the margin for error is practically non-existent. Furthermore, the fact that five different teams are represented in the top five in FP2, all covered by just 675 thousandths of a second, shows how close the hierarchy is throughout the field. For the record, behind Leclerc are Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes, Fernando Alonso's Aston Martin, the Red Bull of Max Verstappen and Lando Norris in the McLaren.

As is often the case in Monaco free practice, drivers tried to do as many laps as possible to build up confidence dealing with the unique challenges of this track. Between them, the 20 drivers covered 1180 laps, or almost four thousand kilometres, 3,937.66 to be precise. The most popular compound was the C4 (600 laps), followed by the C3 (314) and then the C5 (266).

Simone Berra: "The day on track that's just finished here in Monaco was a very busy one, with two hours of free practice for the Formula 1 teams, while the Formula 2 and Formula 3 categories, for which we are also the sole tyre supplier, put on an exciting show in qualifying. As for Formula 1, free practice did not throw up any great surprises. Here, it's important for the drivers to lap continuously to get into a rhythm and find those last centimetres of track that represent the ideal line through the corners.

"From a purely technical point of view, we saw the track get quicker and quicker with each passing lap and that could also be an important factor in qualifying, because conditions could change significantly from the beginning to the end of each phase of the session. The fact that today's best time is already almost a tenth quicker than last year's pole is a sign of the progress made with this generation of car, given that the tyres have remained pretty much the same as last year's."

Check out our Friday gallery from Monaco here.

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