Vettel leads FP2 in Monaco, Merc struggle for pace

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Photo by: www.kymillman.com/f1

Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel led Free Practice 2 in Monaco ahead of this weekend’s Grand Prix and he did so with very little threat from Mercedes as it turns out.

The Silver Arrows were working on nose changes and ran harder compounds after making no dent at the top on Ultra Soft tires leaving many scratching their heads as to what might be the issue.

Some suggested the long wheel-base around the tight streets of Monaco and a weight disadvantage but I tend to think, after leading FP1, that Mercedes may be struggling for pace but only in the sense that they may have been trying out multiple aero trim settings. While usually done in FP1, it is odd, however, to see them swapping aero bits a lot during FP2. I may be wrong here because Mercedes needs to break the 1:12s barrier to have a go at Ferrari. I still think it is in the car, they just need to find the right balance.

Red Bull also ran a T-Wing for the first time this year in FP1 and McLaren’s stand-in for Alonso, Jenson Button managed a respectable 12th. 

Results of FP2:

POS DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m12.720s 38
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m13.207s 0.487s 35
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m13.283s 0.563s 46
4 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Renault 1m13.331s 0.611s 41
5 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso/Renault 1m13.400s 0.680s 43
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m13.486s 0.766s 36
7 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m13.799s 1.079s 45
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m13.873s 1.153s 31
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m13.890s 1.170s 46
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m13.902s 1.182s 39
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Honda 1m13.946s 1.226s 42
12 Jenson Button McLaren/Honda 1m13.981s 1.261s 37
13 Felipe Massa Williams/Mercedes 1m14.003s 1.283s 46
14 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m14.022s 1.302s 44
15 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m14.093s 1.373s 47
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m14.474s 1.754s 27
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m14.870s 2.150s 41
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1m15.616s 2.896s 8
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m15.691s 2.971s 32
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber/Ferrari 1m15.695s 2.975s 37

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jakobusvdl

Wow, Now I wish I’d recorded FP1 & 2. Some unusual results in FP2. Both customer Renault powered teams up the front, and the factory team way down the back.
And after coming to the conclusion that the Sauber must be quite a drivable car based on its decent performance with inexperienced drivers over the first five races, they’re right at the back of the field, hummmmm.
I’ll be tuned in for FP3 and Quali, to find out what’s going on!