Verstappen leads second Monaco practice; Sainz crashes

Max Verstappen edged out Charles Leclerc for top spot in second practice at the Monaco Grand Prix after FP1 leader Carlos Sainz crashed out of the session.

Verstappen set the benchmark late in the soft-tire runs at 1m12.462s, though it was enough to pip Leclerc by only 0.065s. The Red Bull driver’s slender advantage was through the first two sectors, with the Ferrari again the car to beat in the final split.

Sainz was third, 0.107s off the headline time, but crashed shortly after setting his fastest lap. The Spaniard, who was comfortably fastest in the first practice hour, clipped the inside apex exiting the second Swimming Pool chicane and snapped his suspension, which sent him careening into the exit barrier.

The crash triggered a six-minute red flag suspension to collect the stricken car.


Fernando Alonso was an early leader on softs but was fourth at the conclusion of the hour, losing 0.22s to Verstappen despite setting the fastest first-sector time. The Aston Martin driver complained several times of traffic around the lap, with positioning proving difficult in the circuit’s busiest moments.

Lando Norris spent the first 12 minutes of the session in the pits for some setup changes, restricting him to just 18 laps at the end of the session, but he made the most of his limited time to finished fifth and just 0.444s off the pace.

Lewis Hamilton followed in sixth a further 0.054s adrift, with Sergio Perez following in seventh more than half a second down on his leading teammate.

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Valtteri Bottas impressed with eighth in his heavily revised Alfa Romeo car, beating Alpine teammates Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon to complete the top 10.

Lance Stroll and George Russell again lacked the pace of their respective Aston Martin and Mercedes teammates, languishing in 11th and 12th at just over 0.72s off the pace.

Zhou Guanyu was 13th for Alfa Romeo ahead of Haas teammates Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg.

Yuki Tsunoda finished the session 16th and under investigation for speeding in the pit lane; he was less than 0.1s quicker than under-pressure teammate Nyck de Vries.

Rookie Oscar Piastri was 18th in his first grand prix appearance in Monaco, while Alex Albon was 19th, having had time to set just 10 laps after repairs for his late-FP1 crash went deep into the hour. The Thai driver needed a new gearbox, front and rear wing, floor and left-front suspension to make it back on track. His teammate, Williams rookie Logan Sargeant, completed the order in 20th.

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Story originally appeared on Racer