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.