Max Verstappen has set the third-fastest time in the first free practice for the Grand Prix of Monaco.
His teammate, Sergio Pérez at Red Bull, was the fastest on the narrow and winding street circuit. Spaniard Carlos Sainz clocked the second-fastest time in his Ferrari.
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, the Formula 1 world championship leader, was fifth fastest. The differences between them were not very significant. There was half a second between Pérez and Hamilton.
The Mexican drove his fastest lap on soft tires, while Sainz and Verstappen used the slightly slower medium tires. The Monegask Charles Leclerc started his home race with setbacks. After 4 laps, the gearbox of his Ferrari broke down.
Verstappen hopes to be fast in qualifying and to conquer pole position in Monaco, especially on Saturday. Starting from first place in the race is a significant advantage in Monaco because overtaking is hardly possible.
The Limburger has never raced on the podium in the principality, wherever he lives. In the World Cup position, he is second at 14 points from Hamilton.