Lewis Hamilton in Monaco Practice

Charles Leclerc Outpaces Lewis Hamilton in Monaco Practice, Verstappen Trails in Fourth

Charles Leclerc showcased his mastery of the Monaco circuit, topping the timesheets for Ferrari during Friday’s practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix. The Monegasque driver, relishing the challenge of his home track, clocked an impressive best lap of one minute and 11.278 seconds. This performance put him 0.188 seconds ahead of Lewis Hamilton, who had set the fastest time in the earlier session.

Leclerc expressed satisfaction with his performance, highlighting the importance of confidence and risk-taking on the tight, barrier-lined streets of Monaco. “All in all, we’ve had a good day and I am feeling confident in the car, which is important here for tomorrow and for qualifying,” Leclerc said. “I pushed hard and I think more risk paid off, but in qualifying we will all be on the limit.”

Despite his strong showing in practice, Leclerc remains focused on converting his performance into results, a challenge he has faced in the past. “Till now, we have done a good job, but we have to keep working, stay focused… it’s been a positive first day,” he added. Leclerc also acknowledged the form of Hamilton, who will be joining him at Ferrari next year, as a key competitor. “Lewis has been on it all day today, so we have to maximise here and take pole,” Leclerc stated. “I have had two poles in the past, but without converting them into a result.”

Hamilton, equally satisfied with his day’s work, praised the performance of his Mercedes, describing it as the best he has experienced in two years. “It’s been a good day,” Hamilton beamed. “Definitely the best we’ve had on track and the car feels really positive. I’m enjoying driving the car and the track is amazing.”

Hamilton highlighted the car’s grip and the need to address some balance issues overnight. “The grip is quite good, and though we have some challenges with the balance to fix overnight, it’s looking strong. It’s the best it’s been here for more than two years.”

Fernando Alonso also impressed, securing the third fastest time for Aston Martin. The seasoned driver demonstrated his experience and skill on the demanding Mediterranean street circuit, positioning himself as a strong contender for the weekend.

The practice sessions took place under Monaco’s unpredictable micro-climate, which had threatened rain but ultimately allowed for dry running. The conditions highlighted the importance of adaptability and precision driving, with drivers pushing their limits on the narrow, winding track.

Challenges and Expectations

As the drivers and teams prepare for the crucial qualifying session, the focus remains on optimizing performance and handling the unique demands of the Monaco circuit. The narrow streets and tight corners require a perfect blend of skill, bravery, and strategy.

Leclerc’s home advantage and strong practice performance position him as a favorite for pole position. However, he acknowledges the challenges ahead, especially with the ever-present threat of rain and the intense competition from seasoned drivers like Hamilton and Alonso.

Hamilton’s resurgence and positive feedback on his Mercedes suggest a competitive edge that could disrupt Ferrari’s plans. His satisfaction with the car’s performance and his enjoyment of the track indicate a renewed confidence that could translate into a strong qualifying session and race performance.

Alonso’s consistent performance adds another layer of intrigue to the weekend, as his experience and tactical acumen make him a formidable opponent on any circuit, particularly one as demanding as Monaco.

The Bigger Picture

The Monaco Grand Prix is not just a test of speed but a showcase of precision driving, strategy, and mental fortitude. The practice sessions have set the stage for a thrilling qualifying session, where every millisecond will count.

The drivers will need to navigate the circuit’s infamous hairpin turns, elevation changes, and tunnel section with utmost precision. The smallest mistake can have significant consequences, making Monaco a true test of a driver’s skill and composure.

For Leclerc, a strong performance in qualifying and the race is more than just about personal glory; it’s about delivering a win on home soil and building momentum for the season. For Hamilton, it’s an opportunity to reaffirm his position as one of the sport’s greats and demonstrate that Mercedes is still a force to be reckoned with.

As the teams work overnight to fine-tune their cars, the anticipation builds for what promises to be an exciting and unpredictable Monaco Grand Prix. The streets of Monte Carlo are set to witness a battle of wits, skill, and speed, with Leclerc, Hamilton, and Alonso at the forefront of the action.


Friday’s practice sessions have provided a glimpse into the competitive dynamics at play for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. Charles Leclerc’s impressive performance and Lewis Hamilton’s resurgence promise a thrilling showdown on the streets of Monte Carlo. With Fernando Alonso also in the mix, the stage is set for an electrifying race weekend, where the stakes are high, and every turn could make or break the drivers’ fortunes.

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