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Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull, Monaco, 2016, Getty
(Photo: Red Bull)

Daniel Ricciardo Dominates Opening Practices at Monaco

Daniel Ricciardo dominated Friday’s Formula 1 practice in the streets of Monte Carlo, as he led his Red Bull team to a 1-2 finish in both sessions, posting a new track record in the afternoon with a 1:11:841 fastest time ahead of Max Verstappen in preparation for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix.

Sebastian Vettel was third.

For both Red Bull pilots, it is the first time that they finished higher than fourth in any practice or qualifying disciplines this season.

Ricciardo, who set the record time toward the conclusion of the final Friday session, finished 0.194 seconds ahead of his teammate.

For Vettel, it was even more of a gap, as the German could not get any further than 0.572 seconds behind. It poses the question of whether Ferrari and Mercedes, who finished Lewis Hamilton in fourth overall, could make up the difference in Saturday qualifying.

The afternoon was not with out some incidents, as Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley brushed the wall late in the period but without any severe damage. In addition, with a little more than an hour remaining in the last session, the manhole cover leading up the hill from Saint Devote came loose, prompting the race officials to issue a red flag, which delayed the session for five minutes while the marshals secured the cover back into place.

In the opening session, Ricciardo was once again the fastest in the bunch, but it did not start well for the Australian, who clipped the wall midway through the session, while Verstappen went straight ahead at the first corner, missing his breaking point. Verstappen immediately put his car into reverse and continued onto the track, prompting race officials to investigate the situation to see if the Dutchman executed the move under proper rules.

Kimi Raikkonen took fifth in his Ferrari, while Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas finished sixth. Nico Hulkenberg, fresh with a new aero upgrade on his Renault, took a promising seventh, while McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso, took eighth and ninth places, respectively. Carlos Sainz Jr. completed the top 10 in the second Renault.

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About Mark Gero

Mark Gero
Mark is a motorsports journalist specializing in the field for the last 16 years in Formula 1 with experience in covering team launches, feature stories and race weekends during the season. In addition, Mark covers the World Endurance Championship, which includes the 24 Hours of Lemans. He also speaks French up to an intermediate level, with a basic understanding of German. Have worked for agencies as Racing Information Service News, Racing Nation, Fansided, the Munich Eye Newspaper in Munich, Germany, and Autoweek magazine. Mark is also a knowledgeable Formula 1 driver after graduating from both the F1 International and AGS racing academies.

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5 comments

  1. Not to take sides in the debate about a misstatement by the author of this column but ——. Yes he made a mistake, which was compounded by the editor not catching it. BUT, the article contained a decent amount of facts, far more than the boilerplate which passes for news in the roundy round world these days. So I for one wont get too excited about this. I’m more interested in whether Mercedes “party mode” or the closing of another loophole on oil burning by “supposedly Ferrari” will overcome the Red Bull’s chassis.

  2. This is probably the Bulls best chance at a pole, or perhaps even a front row lockout. Then even though the Ferrari’s apparently have a better race pace passing is virtually impossibel, so.

  3. Interesting! I’m reading this story at 2212 on Thursday. Monaco is 0412, Friday. So, how is it possible for anyone to dominate “Friday practice in Monaco” before the sun has even risen on Friday, 25 May in Monaco? This site is losing credibility by the day.

    • Mark Gero

      No we are not losing creditability, just a bad error. Normally, Friday practice is held on Friday, except in Monaco, which it is held on Thursday. Bad error. My bad. Funny, the editors should have caught that.

      • Sir, respectfully, professional writers do lose a bit of credibility when gross errors in writing are made. I’m no professional writer, I’m just a dumb hick who reads this site and I’ll leave my thoughts about credibility to myself. Accuracy is important and you’re right, the editors should have caught it but, the fact is, they didn’t.

        What I do know is this, my university has one of the top rated journalism schools in the country and this would never have flown in that environment and it shouldn’t in this environment.