Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets during Friday’s opening free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix, leading the way from McLaren rival Oscar Piastri and team mate George Russell, as F1’s European season continues at pace.

After a thrilling conclusion to last weekend’s action at Imola, the teams swiftly packed up their equipment and then hot-footed it west to another historic venue in the form of Monte Carlo’s streets, which featured on F1’s inaugural calendar back in 1950.

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A tight, twisty barrier-lined circuit with little margin for error, building up confidence is the main aim for drivers through FP1, FP2 and FP3 ahead of arguably the most important qualifying hour of the year, given how difficult it is to overtake on race day.

As such, several drivers spent time in P1 over the first half of the session, with the Ferraris, McLarens and Max Verstappen’s Red Bull consistently lowering the benchmark on a mixture of the hard and medium tyres as they tried to get back into a rhythm.


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