Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso data: Could two legends shake up Monaco pecking order?

Pablo Hidalgo
Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

What are the chances of Lewis Hamilton or Fernando Alonso taking pole position after their strong Friday at the Monaco Grand Prix?

While Charles Leclerc topped the times on Friday in Monaco, it was the veterans Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who proved his nearest rivals.

Charles Leclerc was the star of the day in Free Practice for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix, with a time almost two-tenths quicker than anyone else in FP2. But two of the grid’s most venerated names returned to the top at a circuit where hands and experience are more valuable.

What does Friday’s data reveal for Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso?

Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were P2 and P3, respectively, in the second practice session in Monte Carlo.

The Mercedes driver completed a very strong Friday, while Fernando Alonso chased away the ghosts of a nightmare weekend in Imola.

The Mercedes had its lights and shadows. On Hamilton’s side, the car looked competitive, while its behaviour was on the contrary for George Russell – who complained about braking vibration at Turn 11, the Nouvelle Chicane, at the exit of the tunnel. This required some changes to his car’s set-up.

Aston Martin was back on track as well after its headscratcher of a weekend at Imola.

The team is using the old specification AMR24 front wing, but has kept the rear wing from Imola with more downforce. And so far, the feeling is good.

Alonso admitted that the car is still a bit nervous at the rear end, but he is satisfied overall.

What has changed to make this happen? Just the fact that today was a day of pushing the limits, where the two most experienced drivers on the grid are already experts in the field. 

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It is also true that both Mercedes and Aston Martin have been looking forward to Monaco because the track plays to the strengths of both cars in that the circuit rewards those with good slow corner abilities, good mechanical grip, and no high-speed corners or long straights.

But Ferrari and Red Bull are ahead and, when the last tenth of a second is squeezed, this should be a given. 

As we see, Ferrari had almost three-tenths more to extract, while McLaren is the big question mark.

Mercedes was close to its ideal lap time so that indicates that, on Saturday, their improvement should be smaller compared to the rest. Alonso also has a tenth under its sleeve to make Aston Martin dream of being in a very good position for tomorrow in qualifying.


With 9 World Championships between them, it is clear that the hands of Hamilton and Alonso can be decisive tomorrow to put their cars in a position that does not really belong to them by pure performance.

So far, the sensations are positive and the expectations are high. But what we’ve seen today is a clear indicator that we shouldn’t be surprised if we can see both Lewis and Fernando fighting with a McLaren or a Red Bull for top five positions.

McLaren are hiding their cards, but they should be in the fight

The question that remains to be answered is where McLaren really stands, after two very strong weekends in Miami and Imola.

The papaya team – this time with a special Senna livery – did not use the soft tyre and we can’t evaluate its real potential for tomorrow. FP3 will give us much more valuable information before qualifying.

But it is clear that they should be in the mix with Ferrari and Red Bull in the fight for pole position. Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri can also make a difference at the wheel to close the gap to their rivals.