Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has gone fastest in both the free practice sessions at Monaco today, setting fastest time in the morning on the P Zero Yellow soft tyre, and then going fastest again in the afternoon, this time using the Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft. His fastest time of 1:14.759 in FP2 was nearly one second faster than the equivalent time last year.
Paul Hembery: With Monaco always being one of the circuits that has the most noticeable degree of track evolution during the weekend throughout the year, it's hard to draw many firm conclusions from the first two free practice sessions, although there is already some idea of the pecking order. So far we're seeing a difference of up to a second per lap between the two compounds, which is in line with our expectations at this point, but we would expect that gap to come down as the weekend goes on. More rubber going onto the track over the weekend also means that the cars will slide less: that in turn slows down the rate of wear and degradation even more – which is never especially high at Monaco anyway. So far, we'd say that the teams are on course to make two stops during the race – one seems very possible too – but we'll have a much better picture after qualifying on Saturday, which is when we can make a more accurate forecast in representative track conditions. We saw today that as usual, traffic will play a key role in setting a quick time at Monaco, but the rapid warm-up time of the supersoft compound allows the cars to get up to speed very quickly and maximise their one-lap pace.
Pirelli fact of the day:
The race has only been won from outside the top three in qualifying on 10 occasions since 1950. On most of these occasions, wet weather intervened to mix up the order. The forecast for Saturday is currently dry. The lowest grid position the Monaco Grand Prix has ever been won from is 14th.
Check out our Thursday gallery, here.