Black flags for Haas duo; nervy moment for Vettel

Mark Scott

There were rare black flags for Haas in FP1, but not for reasons relating to Rich Energy. Sebastian Vettel narrowly escapes at Sainte-Devote…

Here is how the first practice day in Monte Carlo unfolded…

The tributes to the late, great Niki Lauda continued to be show. Thank you, indeed.

The weather certainly wasn’t fitting of the glitz and glamour of Monaco. However, you won’t find us complaining if it chucks it down all weekend and spices things up a little.

It was a quiet start to first practice in Monaco…too quiet. There were black flags for the Haas duo Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean.

With rumours circulating it had something to do with running the Rich Energy stag logo, a design ruled to be in breach of copyright last week, Haas confirmed it was relating to issues with telemetry and the radios instead.

And Pierre Gasly almost became the first to go crashing into those famous Monaco walls. He did very well to save it.

Robert Kubica also had a close shave…

Carlos Sainz, meanwhile, missed a big chunk of time in FP1 due to ‘internal PU issues’ with his McLaren. He wasn’t able to set a timed lap.

Carlos Sainz

The black flag drama for Haas was over before FP1, with both drivers back out with 15 minutes left on the clock to get some all-important laps in.

Just 0.072 seconds separated the top three of Lewis Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas. Perhaps giving us an early taster of a Mercedes and Red Bull battle this weekend *crosses fingers*.

Lewis Hamilton PA
FP1: Lewis Hamilton P1 as 0.1s separate top three

FP2 got underway and Albon swiftly pumped in a 1:12.834 – a time that initially proved troublesome for the front runners.

Mercedes bolted on the mediums and began to flex their muscles as Hamilton moved into P1 with Bottas just behind with an hour remaining.

Vettel decided to take that P1 spot for himself as the session moved under the hour mark, but on the softs, the Ferrari man could go only 0.045s faster than Hamilton.

I’ll take that P1 back said Bottas as he recorded a monster 1:11.275 on the softs.

Lewis Hamilton described it as a "dream" day in Monaco after he topped both FP1 and FP2.

McLaren made sure to fulfill their sponsorship commitments to Huski Chocolate.

As the Silver Arrows traded P1 well ahead of the pack, Hamilton went for trip into the run-off at Sainte-Devote.

“I knew we should have done another lap, these brakes are cold,” he told the team.

The Williams pair may have been going into the long runs at the back, but there were a few standouts – namely Gasly in P4 ahead of team-mate Verstappen and Albon was still flying high in P5.

A very close call for Seb who nearly ended his FP2 session in the Sainte-Devote barriers.

Another P1 for Hamilton, Bottas P2, but this time the chasing pack were 0.7s adrift – normal order restored for Mercedes?

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