Monaco: Practice Sessions

Monaco: Practice Sessions

Fernando Alonso - 2007 Monaco Grand PrixWith the Friday practice sessions being moved to Thursday over the Monaco Grand Prix weekend, today saw action from Formula One around the heralded streets of the tiny Principality on the Northern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. And on the first outing to gauge the grip levels of the circuit, it was McLaren who drew first blood and went first and second fastest, reigning World Champion Fernando Alonso getting the better of his rookie team mate Lewis Hamilton. Fernando managed to set a blistering time in comparison to the other cars, and ended the first 90 minute session almost 0.8s ahead of the sister MP4-22. Of course, the track was improving all the time as more and more rubber was laid, and an accident involving Giancarlo Fisichella and an armco barrier prevented any faster laps in the final moments of the morning.

Nick Heidfeld set a good pace to finish third overall, and despite his rather abrupt meeting with a wall, Fisichella still managed to end the mornings activities in fourth. Mark Webber put his much improved Red Bull in sixth, while the Williams finished in seventh and eleventh for Nico Rosberg and Alex Wurz respectively.

Toyota and Spyker rounded off the timing sheet, Jarno Trulli finishing ahead of his German team mate, and Adrian Sutil finishing ahead of his Dutch partner. Super Aguri ran reasonably well, and were at least on par with the Honda pace. It wasn’t quite the exhilarating session for them, comiong off the back of that well deserved point in Spain, but Takuma Sato managed 14th and Anthony Davidson 18th.

Practice Session One

1. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m16.973s
2. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m17.601s
3. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1m17.616s
4. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1m17.758s
5. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m17.918s
6. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m17.956s
7. Nico Rosberg Williams 1m18.074s
8. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m18.189s
9. Robert Kubica BMW 1m18.675s
10. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1m18.676s
11. Alex Wurz Williams 1m18.869s
12. Scott Speed Toro Rosso 1m18.967s
13. David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m19.095s
14. Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1m19.203s
15. Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1m19.285s
16. Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1m19.321s
17. Jenson Button Honda 1m19.332s
18. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri 1m19.337s
19. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m19.496s
20. Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1m19.799s
21. Adrian Sutil Spyker 1m21.634s
22. Christijan Albers Spyker 1m23.235s

The second of the two practice runs at Monaco went much the same way as the first for pace setter Fernando Alonso. The only real difference this time is that Ferrari found some extra pace and managed to displace Lewis Hamilton down to third with Kimi Raikkonen taking second. Giancarlo Fisichella manged to keep his Renault in the top five, losing only one place from his morning runs. The surprise of session two was Jarno Trulli shooting himself up the tables to finish fourth.

Approximately half way through the second session, British racer Hamilton made an error, possibly his first of the season, and slammed his MP4-22 into the barrier at the dreaded turn one – Ste Devote. The front of the car was beyond immediate repair. Hamilton wasn’t the only driver to have an off though, as Anthony Davidson clipped the barriers in almost the same place as Hamilton, Coulthard clipped a barrier at Loews Hairpin and Ralf Schumacher dropped his Toyota in the second part of the Swimming Pool complex.

Red Bull slipped a small amount, while Honda showed improvement. Heikki Kovalainen is struggling, finishing towards the bottom in both sessions, and Ralf Schumacher cannot seem to hook his car up, despite claiming that things are moving in the right direction earlier in the week. Once again, Spyker propped up the timing sheet, this time Christijan Albers pipped Adrian Sutil to the penultimate place.

Practice Session Two

1. Fernando Alonso McLaren 1m15.940s
2. Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m16.215s
3. Lewis Hamilton McLaren 1m16.296s
4. Jarno Trulli Toyota 1m16.354s
5. Giancarlo Fisichella Renault 1m16.753s
6. Felipe Massa Ferrari 1m16.784s
7. Robert Kubica BMW 1m16.848s
8. Nico Rosberg Williams 1m16.852s
9. Mark Webber Red Bull Racing 1m17.292s
10. David Coulthard Red Bull Racing 1m17.414s
11. Rubens Barrichello Honda 1m17.449s
12. Jenson Button Honda 1m17.457s
13. Takuma Sato Super Aguri 1m17.459s
14. Nick Heidfeld BMW 1m17.486s
15. Alex Wurz Williams 1m17.516s
16. Vitantonio Liuzzi Toro Rosso 1m17.898s
17. Heikki Kovalainen Renault 1m18.086s
18. Scott Speed Toro Rosso 1m18.233s
19. Anthony Davidson Super Aguri 1m18.328s
20. Ralf Schumacher Toyota 1m18.662s
21. Christijan Albers Spyker 1m18.820s
22. Adrian Sutil Spyker 1m19.358s

Formula One, F1, Monaco Grand Prix, Fernando Alonso, McLaren


  • See, that’s what I love about Monaco. It doesn’t matter who you are, the tiniest mistake is all it takes!

    Like the new tables by the way.

  • Hehe. You know what, it caught me out as well, but I won’t mention that! I turned on WP-Cache and it doesn’t always update immediately after one posts a comment, so we all post again, only to find it did work the first time. I’m gonna go turn it off now…

    …Agreed. The tiniest of error, even from the ‘Masters of Monaco’ like Graham Hill, Senna and Schumacher, will result in a painfully expensive meeting with the barrier.

    Thanks for the compliment, just working away at bits and bobs.

  • Yup – classic Monaco mess. Those walls do seem to invite more than their fair share of collisions, but that’s because they are less forgiving than other tracks when it comes to run-off. Many get caught out every year.

    Also, I agree with Chris – the tables are very tidy, and I like the shade of blue used for the alternate rows. Let’s hope people are a bit tidier come tomorrow, otherwise it will be a frustrating qualifying session.

  • Thanks Alianora. The blue was borrowed [ahem] from iTunes. I just checked them in IE6 though and the text size is messed up. I’ll work on that later this evening.

    Thanks for the encouragement guys and gals, I’m slowly mending stuff after the changeover from themes. The calendar page is starting to take shape again, and the circuits pages will be looking spiffy by next week, hopefully.

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