• 23000+ Members! Dear Guest, join the community on the official RD Discord server today.   learn more

Monaco GP: Hamilton tops FP1 on the streets of Monte Carlo

Seb Scott

Formula 1 Reporter
Feb 12, 2015
Lewis Hamilton Monaco.jpg

FP1 kickstarted the sixth round of the Formula One World Championship today on the streets of Monaco. Overnight rain meant that the circuit was very green, with a distinct lack of rubber and a rather damp track resulting in a rather uneventful opening session.

Lewis Hamilton topped the session completing a colossal 49 laps, although teammate Nico Rosberg was only ninth fastest. The reason behind this was that Rosberg offset his running, in order to obtain a clear track to cash in on some laps before the rest of the field would come out, making it more difficult to gather useful running data, as being held up by slower cars really does skew data for everybody. The trade off with running earlier on a green track means there is hardly any rubber down to provide mechanical grip for the cars in corners, pace at Monaco is heavily dependent on mechanical grip more so than aerodynamic due to it’s low speed.

Rosberg did come close to what could've been a red flag incident after making contact with the barrier through the swimming pool chicane, remarkably only scratching the front wing endplate on his Mercedes. These plastic looking front wings are incredibly strong and are able to withstand bone snapping impacts with little to no damage.

Sebastian Vettel came close to writing his SF15-T off on the exit of Casino square mid way through the session. The German driver exited the off camber downhill corner with a very loose back end, but was able to bring it back displaying masterful driving skills which arguably a couple of years earlier could have spelt disaster for him and his weekend.

Jenson Button had limited running in the session - due to an electrical issue - only completing 15 laps in comparison to Fernando Alonso in the sister McLaren who completed 28 laps. Alonso was 11th fastest with Jenson 12th means it is yet again a weekend filled with promise for the McLaren team provided they are to have a clean weekend.

Drivers were keen to test the limits of their V6 hybrids this morning, with a lot of yellow flags being shown in sector one due to gauging the braking point going into turn one combined with a lack of rubber down in the braking zone.

It wasn't just braking into turn one that proved a challenge either this morning with a lot of complaints over team radio concerning tyre temperatures especially in the fronts.

The next Free Practice session will take place at 14:00 local time and 12:00 GMT.
  1. Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 18.750s 49 laps
  2. Max Verstappen NED Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 18.899s 42 laps
  3. Daniel Ricciardo AUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 19.086s 27 laps
  4. Sebastian Vettel GER Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 19.134s 31 laps
  5. Carlos Sainz Jr ESP Toro Rosso-Renault 1m 19.245s 40 laps
  6. Pastor Maldonado VEN Lotus-Mercedes 1m 19.454s 35 laps
  7. Daniil Kvyat RUS Red Bull-Renault 1m 19.520s 33 laps
  8. Kimi Raikkonen FIN Ferrari-Ferrari 1m 19.679s 31 laps
  9. Nico Rosberg GER Mercedes-Mercedes 1m 19.762s 47 laps
  10. Felipe Massa BRZ Williams-Mercedes 1m 19.766s 32 laps
  11. Fernando Alonso ESP McLaren-Honda 1m 19.791s 28 laps
  12. Jenson Button GBR McLaren-Honda 1m 20.202s 15 laps
  13. Romain Grosjean FRA Lotus-Mercedes 1m 20.274s 34 laps
  14. Sergio Perez MEX Force India-Mercedes 1m 20.619s 35 laps
  15. Nico Hulkenberg GER Force India-Mercedes 1m 20.784s 34 laps
  16. Felipe Nasr BRZ Sauber-Ferrari 1m 20.857s 24 laps
  17. Valtteri Bottas FIN Williams-Mercedes 1m 20.917s 36 laps
  18. Marcus Ericsson SWE Sauber-Ferrari 1m 21.219s 25 laps
  19. Will Stevens GBR Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 23.234s 28 laps
  20. Roberto Merhi ESP Manor Marussia-Ferrari 1m 23.404s 31 laps

Bram Hengeveld

RaceDepartment Founder
Staff member
Dec 26, 2006
Now I am really impressed by Max Verstappen. No experience whatsoever on this track and after 42 laps putting a P2 time down.

I know its just free practice 1 but still a strong signal.

Praying for rain the rest of the weekend :)


Sep 23, 2013
Looks like Renault have decided to change the oil and plugs for this weekend as well.


Simracer since 99 / 3D Engineer & Game Developer
Oct 14, 2012
To add on Bram's comment,
Some funny maybe ridiculous or superstitious or whatever you wanna call this opinion :D BUT
1st Ayrton Senna is the most successful driver around the Streets of Monaco with 6 wins
2nd Max Verstappen is a guy who, no matter how much i don't want to believe in his skills at his 17 years of age and what message that might bring in the motorsport which has nothing to do with what i wanted to say, watching one video of the way he drives, he indeed has some alike's with Senna style AND lastly
3rd Ayrton Senna during his karting days was referred to as "The no.42" and his girlfriend as "the girlfriend of the no.42" cause he was so fast and with shy personality so that all knew him by his number.

Now what all of this has to do with anything you might wonder lol :D , like i said funny ridiculous, superstitious or whatever my point you say is, Max drove in his first ever practice at Monaco 42 laps :whistling:

Interesting ... just like this one. In a race Roland Ratzenberger died at the corner Villeneuve in Imola and the last driver before him to lose his life in F1 car during race was Riccardo Paletti, who died at the circuit of Montreal, Gilles Villeneuve and the driver before them both to lose life in race was Gilles Villeneuve himself.


Feb 9, 2015
Modern F1 looks always more like playing at PlayStation.
With all respect for young Verstappen, but Senna' F1 was another sport.

Qazdar Karim

Mar 1, 2013
Modern F1 looks always more like playing at PlayStation.
With all respect for young Verstappen, but Senna' F1 was another sport.
I keep saying this in every forum :D if you remove the g force effects, what's left is not as difficult to drive as some people might imagine! ofcourse, it needs some practice :)

But those late 80's early 90's cars are a different story :D


Simracer since 99 / 3D Engineer & Game Developer
Oct 14, 2012
I think we are underestimating the complexity of these cars due to the low sound. They don't seem to be those beasts that make you deaf. When they are.