Vettel Ups the Pace in Monaco as Mercedes Lose Ground

After ceding top spot in the opening practice session in Monaco to Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by just under two tenths of a second, Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel went quickest in the second session, outpacing his main title rival by over a second as Mercedes appeared to lose their way in afternoon.

Vettel’s time of 1:12.720, set on ultrasoft tyres midway through the 90-minute session is the fastest ever lap of the Circuit de Monaco and the four-time champion finished the session 0.487 seconds clear of Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo. Third place went to Kimi Räikkönen in the second Ferrari, with the Finn almost six tenths behind his team-mate.

In the morning session, which had largely clung to championship form, Hamilton had egded Vettel by 0.196s, with team-mate Valtteri Bottas fourth behind Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, but the afternoon Mercedes found the going tougher and Hamilton slumped to eighth place by the time the flag was shown, 1.153s adrift of Vettel. Bottas finished in place 10th, a hundredth of a second behind the Haas of Kevin Magnussen.

With the Mercedes drivers not troubling the top five place, fourth place behind Raikkonen went to Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat. The Russian had been sixth in the morning on supersoft tyres and continued his Italian outfit’s positive start to the weekend when he moved to ultrasofts in session two. He logged a best lap of 1:13.331 to finish six tenths behind Vettel and just under 0.070s ahead of fifth-placed team-mate Carlos Sainz. Max Verstappen was sixth in the second Red Bull, ahead of Force India’s Sergio Perez.

It was a slightly less productive session for Perez’s team-mate, Esteban Ocon. The Frenchman had an early brush with the barriers on the run to Portier. He still managed to complete 47 laps but finished in 15th place.

There was more debilitating trouble for Canada’s Lance Stroll, however. The rookie lost the rear end of his Williams on the way up to Casino Square and hit the barriers hard, breaking the front right suspension. His mishap brought out the red flags and ended his involvement in the session.

It was also a difficult session for Renault. After failing to set a time in the morning due to an ERS issues, Nico Hulkenberg ended the session 17th quickest, more than two seconds off the pace. Team-mate Jolyon Palmer completed only eight laps in the afternoon after he pulled over at Portier with smoke pouring from the back of his car.

After finishing 14th in the morning, returning McLaren driver Jenson Button climbed to P12 in the second session, posting a best time of 1:13.981, which put him just over five hundredths of a second behind 11th-placed team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne.

2017 Monaco Grand Prix – Free Practice 2
1 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:12.720s – 38
2 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:13.207s 0.487s 35
3 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:13.283s 0.563s 46
4 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:13.331s 0.611s 41
5 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:13.400s 0.680s 43
6 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:13.486s 0.766s 36
7 Sergio Perez Force India 1:13.799s 1.079s 45
8 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.873s 1.153s 31
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:13.890s 1.170s 46
10 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:13.902s 1.182s 39
11 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:13.946s 1.226s 42
12 Jenson Button McLaren 1:13.981s 1.261s 37
13 Felipe Massa Williams 1:14.003s 1.283s 46
14 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:14.022s 1.302s 44
15 Esteban Ocon Force India 1:14.093s 1.373s 47
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1:14.474s 1.754s 27
17 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:14.870s 2.150s 41
18 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1:15.616s 2.896s 8
19 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1:15.691s 2.971s 32
20 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber 1:15.695s 2.975s 37


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