Ferrari offered a bit of a surprise by topping the time sheet on Thursday’s Free Practice sessions.
Red Bull entered the weekend feeling good about their prospects in Monaco but Mercedes and Ferrari both seemed to have very good pace leaving Max Verstappen down in 4th.
The bigger question is if Ferrari is legit in their pace or was there some disparity, such as fuel loads, that found them out front? At first blush one might say that they were on softer tires but the Ferrari’s were setting top times on the harder compounds as well as softs.
- Ferrari was the team to beat in free practice, with Charles Leclerc edging out his team mate Carlos Sainz in the afternoon FP2 session – the only drivers dipping below the 1m12s barrier – while Red Bull’s Sergio Perez topped the time sheets in FP1. They all used the Red soft tire to set their best times, with the softest compound in the range (called ‘C5’) making its 2021 debut at Monaco this weekend.
- Temperatures were warm and dry all day with track temperatures peaking at 45 degrees centigrade during the afternoon FP2 session. This helped the drivers to maintain tire temperature, although as usual finding a gap in the Monaco traffic was a challenge.
- The performance gap between the tire compounds is as expected so far: with around 0.8 seconds between the hard and the medium, and a similar gap between the medium and soft.
|Pos||Name||Car||Best Time||Gap Leader|
|2||Carlos Sainz Jr.||Ferrari||1m11.796s||+0.112s|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull-Honda||1m12.081s||+0.397s|
|8||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull-Honda||1m12.708s||+1.024s|
|9||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m12.746s||+1.062s|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m12.982s||+1.298s|
|11||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m13.065s||+1.381s|
|13||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m13.195s||+1.511s|