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  1. #371
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    Toto Wolff ‘angry’ but Mercedes W15 F1 car has architecture to catch Red Bull.
    Toto Wolff admits he is “angry” at Mercedes’ current competitive state but believes the team’s 2024 F1 car now has the architectural baseline needed to catch Red Bull.
    20 May 2024
    Lewis Larkam

    Mercedes have introduced upgrades at the last two races in Miami and Imola in a bid to cure their struggles to strike a balance between performance in high-speed and low-speed corners, a major weakness of the inconsistent W15.

    Mercedes finished over 35 seconds adrift of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, who claimed his fifth win in seven races. “I think we never had such clear indications like we’ve had in the last few races where we really saw that the car was either going really fast in the high speed or in the low speed, but never both of them together,” Wolff told media including at Imola. “That’s something that we are able now to slowly dial out.”

    Wolff conceded Mercedes’ current level of performance is simply “not good enough” but stressed the eight-time constructors’ world champions are now on the right path after two seasons of “zig-zagging”. “I don’t know how often I used the stable platform, I think a stable platform is a car where you know which development direction to take,” he explained. “Where you think you can be in the best performance, and that has been the zig-zagging over those last years, and there have been these false dawns absolutely.


    Toto Wolff gets brutal with Mercedes staff after being raided by Ferrari
    Toto Wolff has made some frank comments about his staff roster following a string of key departures.
    May 19, 2024
    Harry Smith
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Toto Wolff has seen key members of his team depart for Ferrari. Toto Wolff has suggested that some members of his staff ‘had to go’ amidst a series of key departures. Jerome d’Ambrosio and Loic Serra both completed moves to Ferrari ahead of the Emilia Romagna Grand Prix.

    Speaking to Sky Sports F1 about the high turnover of staff in recent months, Wolff said: “We’re in a really good spot because we had eight consecutive championships and then it started to deteriorate and part of that is also human component.

    “And I think how it’s shaping up now some wanted to go, some we had to go, and in the same time we’re adding fresh joiners. All of that with the leadership of James [Allison], who does so well, he’s such an inspiration for the team, that I feel we’re in an upward trajectory with the motivation, the energy and the competence.”


    Toto Wolff’s ‘some had to go’ response to Mercedes losing key personnel
    19 May 2024
    Michelle Foster

    Losing Loïc Serra and Jerome d’Ambrosio to Ferrari, Toto Wolff isn’t worried about the loss of key personnel as he insists some people “had to go” as Mercedes bring in others.

    Mercedes have struggled in Formula 1’s ground-effect aerodynamic era with just one since the beginning of 2022 while this season, even with a heavily-revised W15, neither Lewis Hamilton nor George Russell have stepped onto a Grand Prix podium yet.

    On Friday, the team also confirmed the departure of chief aerodynamicist Gioacchino Vino, who has officially begun his six months of gardening leave. His next destination has yet to be confirmed. But despite losing three key people, Mercedes motorsport boss Wolff insists the Brackley squad are in a “good spot” as they’re also recruiting “fresh” personnel.

    ‘Some had to go’;

    Mercedes’ “small step forward” not reflected in Imola result – Wolff
    20th May 2024
    Written by Keith Collantine

    Mercedes made some progress with their W15 at Imola but it wasn’t reflected in their drivers’ finishing positions, said team principal Toto Wolff. Wolff said the changes have improved the car’s performance, but as their closest rivals McLaren and Ferrari also found gains with their cars, the effect was masked.

    “It’s not possible to see it in terms of the result, but we have taken a small step forward this weekend,” said Wolff. “Our closest competitors have also done so recently, but we have closed the gap to the front a little.” Hamilton finished 35 seconds off race winner Max Verstappen at the end of 63 laps without a Safety Car appearance. In the last race completed under green flag conditions, at Suzuka, the first Mercedes home was 48 seconds behind the winner.

    “We still have a lot of work to do and of course, we are all frustrated finishing P6 and P7,” Wolff continued. “There is more to come though and it is all about making incremental gains. These are what we need to keep delivering if we are to get ourselves in the fight with the three teams ahead of us.”

    “Small step forward”;

    Lewis Hamilton offers concerning Mercedes update as Toto Wolff set for more pain
    Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have endured a frustrating start to the 2024 campaign, and their pain is projected to continue.
    May 21, 2024
    By Harry Smith
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Lewis Hamilton has admitted that the upgrades currently in the Mercedes pipeline are not enough to close the gap to Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren. The Silver Arrows are currently languishing down in P4 in the Constructors’ Championship and were in a different league to their rivals in Imola. Discussing his performance at the Emilia Romagna GP, Hamilton said:

    “I think my pace in the second stint was comparable to the guys that are out towards the front. But I think we’re still lacking two or three tenths.” Bridging that gap may prove difficult, “That I cannot tell you,” he replied when asked if Mercedes could catch the top three teams. “I don’t have… that deficit, like I said George [was] five-tenths off yesterday and in the race probably three or four tenths. That’s not in the wind tunnel at the moment development-wise.”

    However, according to Hamilton, these changes had little effect on his team’s performance. “Not a big difference,” he revealed after the chequered flag in Imola. “Small steps, but very very small.” In fact, the performance gain from Mercedes’ upgrades was so incremental that Ferrari team principal Fred Vasseur poked fun at them. Asked by Motorsport Italy whether or not they were closer to challenging his team, he replied: “The Mercedes? They were 28 seconds behind Charles at the end of the race, so yes, I think they got a little closer."

    ‘Not in the wind tunnel’;

    Peter Windsor disagrees with Toto Wolff comment after Hamilton and Russell struggles
    Mercedes endured another frustrating Grand Prix at Imola on Sunday as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell finished sixth and seventh respectively, and Peter Windsor has had his say
    20 May 2024
    By Harry Brent Senior Sports Writer
    The Mirror

    Toto Wolff has been slammed by ex-Formula 1 team boss Peter Windsor who claims that Mercedes have made "no progress at all". Sharing his thoughts via his YouTube channel, the 72-year-old suggested that Hamilton and Russell's similar lap times to Yuki Tsunoda indicate very little progress being made at Mercedes in the past year, reports the Express.

    He pointed towards other teams, commenting: "McLaren are proving their worth, Ferrari have improved a lot last year". He went on to criticise Mercedes' assertions of progress: "It's only Mercedes really who keep saying, 'Yeah we've improved a lot with small bits here and small bits there', then it's one step forward, half a step back.”

    "And in case of qualifying, Toto Wolff saying we're right up there, we're only half a second away from the poll shows the sort of improvements that we're making. And yet at the same time, the two Mercedes [drivers were] split by Yuki Tsunoda in the second B team Red Bull car, which isn't progress at all."

    ‘Assertions of progress!!!’;

    Toto Wolff explains why George Russell’s team order request was rejected at Imola
    Toto Wolff addresses why Mercedes didn't accept George Russell's request to adopt team orders at Imola.
    19 May 2024
    Connor McDonagh

    Russell was the only driver inside the top 10 to complete the race on a two-stop strategy. As a result, Russell dropped behind Hamilton on track as Mercedes switched their drivers. When pitting, Russell inquired whether Mercedes would tell Hamilton to give P6 back at the end of the race given that the former had run ahead for the majority of it.

    Explaining the situation at the end of the race, Wolff said that Russell’s second pit stop was a “safety call”. “We haven’t spoken,” Wolff said. “His lap times were getting slower and slower. Our forecast, at the time, said he wouldn’t make it to the end. “We didn’t want to lose the position to Perez. So that was the call.”

    “The forecast was three or four laps short, to make it.” If Russell hadn’t made a second stop, Wolff feels that Hamilton would have beaten him anyway. “Lewis would have probably taken him, anyway,” he added. “The point is, we are racing for P6 and P7. We, at least, wanted to keep the Red Bull behind. It was a safety call.”

    “Safety call”;

  2. #372
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    The most open Monaco in years? Eight talking points for the 2024 Monaco GP.
    With Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari all within eight seconds at the end of a race without Safety Cars last weekend, there could be many contenders for the most prestigious win on the calendar this weekend.
    22nd May 2024, 7:16
    Written by Will Wood

    Most open Monaco in years? For the team who have produced the fastest cars in the field in recent years, Red Bull have also been the strongest around the slowest circuit on the calendar too. “Monaco is completely different,” he said after Imola. “It was incredibly close and Monaco is always very hectic. You need to really nail all of qualifying to get a lap together there, get the tyres to work as well when it matters, it’s always very tricky. Monaco is very special, I would say, in that sense.”

    Leclerc’s overdue home podium. Beyond Red Bull and Ferrari, there will be special focus on Ferrari – as there so often is – this weekend. Not only because of the team’s enduring popularity, but because it is Charles Leclerc’s home grand prix.

    Verstappen seeks record-breaking pole. Verstappen narrowly claimed pole position at Imola last week, heading Norris by just seven hundredths of a second (after a penalty relegated Piastri from second).

    ‘Perez under pressure? Aston Martin’s halted momentum. Alpine animosity? Yachting and blocking. Losing its lustre?’;

    Why is Monaco different? 2024 Monaco GP Preview
    ‎May‎ ‎22‎, ‎2024‎ ‎10‎:‎28‎ ‎PM

    Everything about Monaco is different. Yes, it is. It's not just the race distance or the circuit length, but even the podium ceremony. Did you know that in Monaco the trophies are handed out before the national anthem? At the other circuits, it is the other way around. Yes, keep an eye out for this one.

    For the teams and drivers, the challenge of Monaco is what excites them. Qualifying is key and "track position" is everything around the streets of Monaco. In the race, it is more about not ceding track position to your rival than finishing the race in the shortest possible race time.

    For the teams, Monaco is logistical challenge given the smaller confines to work within. Upgrades are the name of the game, but the "confidence" in the cockpit is what the teams will help their drivers chase in Monaco.

    ‘Why is Monaco different?’;

    2024 Monaco Grand Prix: Preview and Predictions
    May 22, 2024
    By Joe Briley
    The Checkered Flag

    The diamond of the Formula 1 calendar returns this weekend, as the drivers head to the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. The race weekend comes at arguably the most important time of the season, Verstappen and Oracle Red Bull Racing have been pushed to the limit over the past two race weekends, and if we are to see a battle for either championship, it has to continue around Monaco.

    If the last two races are used as evidence, the gap between Red Bull and both McLaren F1 Team and Scuderia Ferrari has drastically closed but on a different type of circuit, we’ll see if this trend continues.

    Monaco can deliver some freak results. Think back to the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix, which saw Fernando Alonso almost take pole position and the win while Esteban Ocon and BWT Alpine F1 Team claimed a podium and this weekend the battle should be really interesting with at least five different drivers battling it out at the front.

    ‘Oscar Piastri and Carlos Sainz Jr., Sergio Pérez, Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 Team, McLaren F1 Team’;

    Toto Wolff gives clear instructions to Lewis Hamilton and George Russell for Monaco GP
    Mercedes' status as the fourth-fastest team in Formula 1 right now was cemented last weekend in Imola as Lewis Hamilton and George Russell were left unable to compete
    11:17 Wed, 22 May 2024
    By Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    The Austrian said: "The small step forward we took in Imola was encouraging. The team has worked incredibly hard to bring our recent updates to the track, and it was a clear performance gain. That being said, others have improved too

    "We are still a step behind the front three teams therefore, and there is plenty of work still to do. Nevertheless, we have a clear direction and developments in the pipeline. We have a more solid platform to build on now and we are confident that, in time, we can get ourselves into the pack ahead.”

    "That work continues this weekend in Monaco. It is a unique circuit and a fantastic challenge for the team and drivers. It is always hard to predict expected performance, but we will look to execute a clean weekend and maximise the car we have."

    ‘Clear instructions’;

    McLaren Monaco GP setup and why Lando Norris thinks they will be competitive
    McLaren are beginning to close the gap on Red Bull - and Lando Norris expects the team to be quicker at the next race in Monaco
    22 May 2024
    Joe Krishnan
    Total Motorsport

    “We have a couple of changes for Monaco, like I’m sure everyone does and you set up the car completely differently to what you would set up the car here, so I don’t think it correlates exactly the same,” Norris told the written press in Imola, including

    “When we just set the car up for slow speed, we’re better. But when you have to set it up for high speed, it means we don’t have [pace in] slow speed [corners]. That’s when we make the most of our strengths, which is high-medium [speed circuits] and we take the hit in slow speed.”

    “We have some little things and even the upgrade we had last weekend helped us a little bit move in the right direction. But my worst corner on track today was was Turn 14 to 15, the slowest part of the circuit, and that’s where I was losing most of my time still. So we still have that as a weakness and we know that we’re working on it.”

    ‘Beginning to close the gap’;

    Marko predicts Red Bull difficulties around Monaco
    Red Bull is gunning for a fourth straight win around the streets of Monaco - but Helmut Marko believes it could run into challenges.
    23 May 2024, 6:30AM
    Fergal Walsh

    With Red Bull aiming for its fourth consecutive win at Monaco this weekend, Marko has predicted a difficult event ahead for his team. "We definitely need to rise up to the challenge of McLaren," Marko stated to De Telegraaf.

    “Now we go to Monaco and there, it's pretty much all about qualifying. I think that will be the most difficult race so far for us, also because of the bumps and kerbs there. I also expect a lot from Ferrari there and especially Charles Leclerc."


    Ferrari duo divided on Monaco GP chances with SF-24 ‘not optimised’ for Monte Carlo
    22 May 2024 4:30 PM
    Henry Valantine

    Leclerc said ahead of the weekend. “The good thing is that everything we expected from those upgrades [in Imola], we had it. In terms of data, it did exactly what it was supposed to do, which is always a good thing. For some reason, we had a slightly different power strategy compared to McLaren and Red Bull in Imola qualifying, and we lost everything on the run down to Turn Two. Max, on top of that, had the slipstream. But this is something we’ll have to look into, because especially on a track like this, track position is absolutely everything.

    As for Sainz, while he thinks Ferrari are a good match for the other top teams in race trim, he believes Red Bull and McLaren “have a bit more” in qualifying. At a circuit as tight as Monaco, that would hamper the Scuderia in the race – and he feels the current car is better-suited to circuits with more medium and high-speed corners compared to the narrow, twisting nature of Monte Carlo.

    When asked about his prospects for Monaco specifically, he added: “[It’s] all about quali, so we’ll have a look at what we can do there. This package is not optimised for Monaco, it’s more medium-high speed tracks, so I don’t expect nothing huge. What we need to make sure on our side is that we get into the detail of what we saw [on Saturday] on my side of the garage, and have a good look at what it could have been.”

    ‘SF-24 ‘not optimised’ for Monte Carlo’;

  3. #373
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    Is this the year Leclerc gets to end his Monaco 'jinx'?
    The 26-year-old has yet to stand on his home podium in five attempts, four with Ferrari, but he can end that 'jinx' on Sunday.
    May 23, 2024, 08:25 PM
    The Straits Times

    MONACO - Since the start of the championship in 1950, Formula One has not had a home winner of its showcase Monaco Grand Prix and Charles Leclerc has enjoyed little luck in the principality since he joined Ferrari in 2019.

    "Monaco is very special for me. True that it hasn't been the most successful race for me until now," Leclerc said after finishing third in last weekend's Emilia Romagna Grand Prix at Imola.

    "However, the pace was always there and that gives me the confidence that it will be the case this year too. However, Monaco is so specific that we need to start a little bit from a blank page. Free practice is super, super important to build the pace little by little. But I'm confident we'll be strong."

    ‘Can end that 'jinx' on Sunday’;

    Leclerc expects to be “in the mix” for third Monaco GP pole
    23rd May 2024, 14:45
    Written by Keith Collantine

    Charles Leclerc expects he will have the chance to take his third pole position in four years at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. But the Ferrari driver, who has never finished on the podium at his home round, wants nothing less than a victory in a race where he has often suffered misfortune.

    “The win is what we need to target,” said Leclerc. “We’ve seen in the last few races that Red Bull, McLaren and ourselves are pretty close in qualifying and we know how important is qualifying here. So we’ll have to put everything together and if we’re on pole, then that will give us good chances to get what we want, which is which is a win.”

    “In the mix”;

    Early Monaco GP predictions: The favourite, two teams in the mix and a potential dark horse
    23 May 2024 4:00 PM
    Uros Radovanovic

    Monaco is not just another race on the calendar; it’s a spectacle, a tradition, and perhaps the most unique challenge of the season. Despite its many quirks and challenges, this legendary street circuit has remained a staple in the Formula 1 world, drawing in massive crowds to witness the glamour and drama unfold in the heart of this stunning city.

    The absolute favourite in this segment is certainly Red Bull, from whom we have seen in previous races how they use a more aggressive aero package compared to other teams. Their high efficiency in overall aerodynamics allows them to do this without excessive drag loss or maximum speed.

    However, Ferrari and McLaren can mix things up. Additionally, there’s the Aston Martin team, which was very close to winning at this venue last year. All in all, we can expect a very interesting battle in Monaco.

    ‘The favourite, two teams in the mix and a potential dark horse’;

    Russell expects stronger weekend in Monaco as track will hide car’s weaknesses
    23rd May 2024, 15:26
    Written by Keith Collantine

    “We’ve known all season that we struggle to balance high-to-low speed,” he explained. “We can either get it quite competitive in low speed and we struggle at high speed or vice-versa. So we are hoping that with relatively consistent corner speeds at this circuit, that we should be slightly more competitive.”

    Mercedes have also made improvements to its W15 through the upgrades introduced last weekend and at the previous round in Miami, he added. “The car is definitely more balanced through through the lap now. “We were struggling a lot at the start to balancing the high to low speed corners, and I think it we have made progress. When you look at the gap to Red Bull, when you look at the gap to the rest of the midfield, we have moved forward.”

    “But I do think it’s fair to say Ferrari and McLaren have move forward at the same rate. So we need to keep them working, bringing those upgrades to the car. The whole team are working flat-out right now to bring those upgrades as quick as possible.”

    ‘Stronger weekend in Monaco’;

    Piastri feels McLaren are 'definitely in with a shout' for victory in Monaco GP
    23rd May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Although he says his team McLaren are "not getting ahead of ourselves", Oscar Piastri suggests they have a good chance to win this weekend's Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

    'Definitely in with a shout';

    Bottas: 'We've got all Friday' to 'find that speed for a single lap' in Monaco GP qualifying
    23rd May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Valtteri Bottas discusses what the Kick Sauber team need to do to compete in qualifying for this weekend's Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix.

    'We've got all Friday';

    Record-chasing Max Verstappen seeks qualified success at Monaco Grand Prix
    May 23, 2024, 07:32 PM
    The Straits Times

    Verstappen knows he is in a fight at every race now and that he will need to do it again on May 25 on the narrow and unforgiving barrier-lined streets of the Mediterranean principality, where qualifying has more influence than anywhere else on the Formula One calendar.

    “It is so unique. Completely different,” he said. “It was incredibly close at Imola and at Monaco it is always very hectic. You need to really nail it in qualifying to get a lap together, to get the tyres to work and it is always very tricky. Monaco is so very special and a special challenge.”

    “Monaco is so specific that we need to start a little bit from a blank page,” said Leclerc. “Free practice is super, super important to build the pace little by little, but I am confident we will be strong. It’s very special for me, of course, even though it hasn’t been a successful place for me.”

    ‘In a fight at every race now’;

  4. #374
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    Ferrari will be “the ones to beat” in Monaco – Perez.
    Despite his Red Bull team mate Max Verstappenwinning last weekend’s Emilia-Romagna Grand Prix ahead of McLaren’s Lando Norris, Sergio Perez expects that Ferrari will be favourites for victory in Monaco this weekend.
    24th May 2024, 0:01
    Written by Will Wood

    In the round-up: Sergio Perez names Ferrari the favourites for this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix. “I expect a very fast Ferrari,” Perez told the official F1 channel. “I think they will be the fastest. They’ll be the ones to beat.”

    “I think if we are able to get a perfect Q3, we can give them a run. Also McLaren will be very strong, and you never know all the other teams. I think it’s going to be very close in between a lot of cars. There will be some surprises with few other cars because Monaco’s characteristics are very different to anything else. Given how close the margins have been I think in qualifying you can have a couple of cars up there.”

    ‘Ferrari will be favourites for victory in Monaco this weekend’;

    F1 - 2024 Monaco Grand Prix - Thursday Press Conference Transcript
    FIA (Press Release)

    Q: Charles, let's start with you. Home turf, how confident are you feeling coming into the weekend? Charles LECLERC: I'm feeling good. Obviously, it's always a very special feeling, the Monaco week. I think it is for all the drivers, but for me specifically, having grown up here, it’s extra special, so I'm really looking forward to it. We've always been competitive here, so I hope it will be just the same this weekend. However, the finality of the weekend hasn't ever been the one I wanted, which we have worked on a lot. We've done our preparation in the best possible way. I hope that this weekend will be the good one.

    Q: Max, coming to you now. It was a brilliant win on Sunday for you at Imola, but it wasn't a smooth weekend for you and the team. Any concerns that you're going to have similar issues this weekend? Max VERSTAPPEN: It's a completely different track. I think, looking at the track layout, it's probably not going to be our best track, just because our car normally struggles a bit over bumps and kerbs. We did work on it a bit compared to last year. I think so far, on most of the tracks that we've been to, our low-speed performance has improved a little bit. But I don't think this is going to be a very easy weekend. But I think Monaco never is very straightforward, even when you are supposed to have the best car. Monaco is a very tricky track to get everything to work, get the tyres to work, in a quali lap, for example, red flags, there's always a lot of disruption and a lot of things can go right, but also a lot of things can go wrong. So yeah, we just need to be on it.

    Q: Yuki, coming to you, things are going well for you. You've scored points in four of the last five races. How do you assess your performance so far this year? Yuki TSUNODA: Yeah, feeling good for sure. The team also helped me for sure. The car performance this year, is very consistent, easy to adapt as well. So generally, initially already from FP1, we have good pace. So yeah, very happy, as a team, as well to keep being able to extract performance [like in] previous races and so far enjoying as well.

    ‘DRIVERS – Esteban OCON (Alpine), Yuki TSUNODA (RB), George RUSSELL (Mercedes), Max VERSTAPPEN (Red Bull Racing), Alex ALBON (Williams), Charles LECLERC (Ferrari)’;

    F1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix: Race preview, burning questions, Oscar Piastri chances, Charles Leclerc home hoodoo, Monte Carlo
    21:02 Thu, 23 May 2024.
    Fox Sports (Australia)

    CAN LECLERC FINALLY BREAK HIS HOME-RACE HOODOO? There’s no such thing as curses in sport — except when you’re talking about Charles Leclerc and his home grand prix. The Monegasque’s run of bad luck at the Monaco Grand Prix is colossal.
    In 2018, racing for Alfa Romeo, he suffered a brake failure late in the race and was classified 18th.
    In 2019, his first year with Ferrari, he topped third practice and was on course for pole when a tactical blunder saw him knocked out in Q1. He crashed out of the race in his eagerness to recover ground.

    In 2021 he took pole but suffered a gearbox failure on his way to the starting grid. The non-start was linked to damage from a Q3 crash not picked up by the team in pre-race checks.
    In 2022 he scored pole again, but the usually unimpeachable power of a P1 start in Monte Carlo was undone by a comical series of strategy errors that dropped him off the podium to fourth.
    Last year he qualified a competitive third but was penalised three places on the grid after the team failed to prevent him impeding Lando Norris during Q3. He started and finished sixth.

    But his bad luck runs even deeper than that. Leclerc dominated the 2017 Formula 2 championship and took pole for the Monte Carlo round but was forced to retire following a botched pit stop in the feature race. Regulations meant he then started the sprint race in 17th, from which he also retired with electrical problems. And it goes beyond competitive appearances too. In 2022 he was taking part in a demonstration parade in Niki Lauda’s 1974 Ferrari 312B3 when it suffered a brake failure and he crashed into the barriers at Rascasse. What does fate have in store for him this year?


    WEEKEND WARM-UP: Can McLaren and Ferrari continue to challenge Red Bull as F1 arrives in Monaco?
    22:39 Thu, 23 May 2024.
    Formula One - Official Site

    The iconic Monaco Grand Prix is the next stop on the 2024 Formula 1 calendar, but who will master the streets of Monte Carlo amid an increasingly close battle at the front?

    Max Verstappen might have returned to winning ways last time out in Imola, but it was far from straightforward for the Red Bull driver, with Lando Norris coming agonisingly close to stealing victory in the latter stages of the race.

    Will McLaren continue to pose a threat this weekend? And can Ferrari also get in on the action as Charles Leclerc searches for his first podium in his home event? There is also plenty to discuss in terms of off-track news, as speculation persists over the driver market. Who could be the next to confirm their destination for 2025?

    ‘F1 arrives in Monaco’;

    First pictures from the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix weekend
    23rd May 2024, 11:39
    Written by Keith Collantine

    ‘Pictures from the build-up to the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix at Monaco where McLaren have shown off their special Ayrton Senna livery for this weekend’s race’;

    Monaco Grand Prix: UK Schedule, where to watch Practice, Qualifying and Grand Prix for Formula One's most historic, prestigious and iconic circuit on the racing calendar
    • Formula 1's returns to Europe for the eight race weekend of the 2024 season
    • Monaco is the most prestigious circuit on the F1 calendar and has produced some iconic moments over the years
    • Max Verstappen won the 2023 Monaco GP followed by Fernando Alonso in second and Esteban Ocon finishing third
    23 May 2024
    By Kim Morrissey

    Monaco Grand Prix - Schedule
    Friday, May 24
    • Practice One: 12:30pm to 1:30pm
    • Practice Two: 4pm to 5pm
    Saturday, May 25
    • Practice Three: 11:30am to 12:30pm
    • Qualifying: 3pm to 4pm
    Sunday, May 26
    • Monaco Grand Prix: 2pm
    *All times BST*

    ‘Monaco Grand Prix: UK Schedule’;

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    Hamilton tops red-flagged first practice ahead of Monaco GP.
    No-one would improve upon Hamilton's leading time of 1:12.169. It would be McLaren-Mercedes-McLaren directly behind the seven-time champion, ahead of Leclerc and the Aston Martins.
    24 May 2:31PM
    Samuel Coop

    Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in free practice 1 for the Monaco Grand Prix after Zhou Guanyu temporarily halted the session after bringing out a red flag. The Stake F1 driver hit the outside of Sainte-Devote, removing his front wing endplate, which was subsequently picked up by the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc.

    Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez would finish P11 and P12, just behind the Ferrari of Carlos Sainz, but neither ran the fastest soft Pirelli tyres. Both RBs got themselves into the top 10, with Yuki Tsunoda leading Daniel Ricciardo in eighth and ninth, respectively.

    ‘Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time’;

    Monaco GP: Free Practice 1 Results
    24 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from Free Practice 1 from the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco.

    Pos Num Driver Team Laps Best Diff

    1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 34 1:12.169

    2 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 30 1:12.198 0.029

    3 63 George Russell Mercedes 34 1:12.295 0.126

    4 4 Lando Norris McLaren 32 1:12.396 0.227

    5 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 32 1:12.397 0.228

    6 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 26 1:12.775 0.606

    7 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 25 1:12.789 0.620

    8 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB 34 1:12.875 0.706

    9 3 Daniel Ricciardo RB 35 1:12.901 0.732

    10 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 34 1:12.954 0.785

    ‘Full results from Free Practice 1’;

    2024 Monaco GP FP1: Verstappen, Leclerc and Piastri kiss the barriers as they find the limit in first practice
    24 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Max Verstappen, Charles Leclerc and Oscar Piastri were among those pushing the limits from the get-go in Monaco this weekend, as they all skimmed the barriers in first practice.

    ‘Kiss the barriers’;

    F1 Monaco GP: Hamilton tops briefly red-flagged FP1
    May 24, 2024, 1:43 PM
    Jake Boxall-Legge

    Lewis Hamilton headlined the opening free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix as the seven-time Formula 1 champion went fastest moments before a red flag.

    The Briton reached the peak of the FP1 times by 0.029s over McLaren's Oscar Piastri, as the top five were all within a quarter of a second in this weekend's opening timed session at the Monaco circuit. Russell was third fastest, 0.126s shy of Hamilton's ultimate time, while Norris and Leclerc were separated by just 0.001s behind him.

    Fernando Alonso was sixth, 0.6s off of the best lap of the session, accosted by Aston Martin team-mate Lance Stroll and RB's Yuki Tsunoda. Daniel Ricciardo and Carlos Sainz completed the top 10, as both Red Bulls fell outside of the top 10 having struggled with car balance throughout the session.

    ‘Hamilton tops FP1’;

    Hamilton fastest, mixed fortunes for Monaco GP favourites in FP1
    Lewis Hamilton topped the opening free practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix.
    May 24, 2024
    by Edd Straw

    THE FAVOURITES: The expectation heading into the weekend was that the battle at the front will be between McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull. McLaren was on top of that group, with Norris backing up Piastri’s second place by setting the fourth-fastest time.

    ASTON MARTIN ENCOURAGEMENT: After a difficult Imola weekend, Aston Martin ended up sixth and seventh fastest courtesy of Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll, the duo separated by just 0.014s.

    TROUBLE FOR ALPINE: Twelve months ago, Esteban Ocon bagged an unexpected podium finish for Alpine founded on qualifying a superb fourth (and starting third) but it was a slow start for the struggling French-owned squad this year.

    ‘Hamilton fastest’;

  6. #376
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    Monaco GP: Leclerc bosses FP2 with Hamilton second.
    Ferrari's Charles Leclerc was looking in strong form at his home circuit on Friday, topping the afternoon times with almost two tenths in hand over Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton who was best of the rest in FP2.
    24/05/2024 at 17:14
    Andrew Lewin

    Fernando Alonso was third quickest for Aston martin, putting him just ahead of Max verstappen who was still not happy with the handling of his Red Bull, saying it was "jumping like a kangaroo" at one point. Verstappen was one of many drivers to have contact with the barrier, with Esteban Ocon, Logan Sargeant and Lance Stroll all having moments but none serious enough to caused any stoppages during the session.

    (During the FP2) Home boy Leclerc then went top with a new time of 1:14.080s in the Ferrari. His time at the top was short before Hamilton regained the advantage and the merry-go-round went for another spin with Russell and Norris joining the fray as Verstappen went 0.044s quicker. Leclerc found some clear space and improved by a quantum leap to 1:12.372s, almost nine tenths swifter than the Red Bull, and this kept the Monegasque out of reach of Hamilton's next effort.

    Fortunately there were no serious incidents in the remaining time, and the session came to a quiet conclusion with Leclerc still firmly on top ahead of Hamilton and Alonso. Degradation did not appear to be an issue with Verstappen easily racking up the laps on his hard compound and Alexander Albon getting the same sort of mileage out of the mediums on the Williams but struggling with wear at the end, as was Hamilton. Both Sauber and RB had preserved their sets of the soft compound, as had Piastri. At Mercedes it was problems with the steering wheel causing headaches for Russell.

    ‘Leclerc bosses FP2’;

    Monaco GP: Free Practice 2 Results
    25 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from Free Practice 1 from the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco.

    Pos Num Driver Team Laps Best Diff

    1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 36 1:11.278

    2 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 31 1:11.466 0.188

    3 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 36 1:11.753 0.475

    4 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 36 1:11.813 0.535

    5 4 Lando Norris McLaren 34 1:11.953 0.675

    6 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 35 1:11.962 0.684

    7 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 22 1:12.062 0.784

    8 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 30 1:12.099 0.821

    9 23 Alex Albon Williams 37 1:12.257 0.979

    10 63 George Russell Mercedes 29 1:12.260 0.982

    ‘Full results from Free Practice 1’;

    Pictures: F1 teams reveal their high-downforce trim for Monaco Grand Prix
    24th May 2024, 16:11
    Written by Keith Collantine

    All 10 Formula 1 teams have new, high-downforce rear wing bodywork for Monaco. But some have made further changes to their cars for this extreme track.

    ‘High-downforce trim’;

    Monaco GP: Charles Leclerc impressively tops FP2 as Lewis Hamilton stays in the mix
    24 May 2024 5:01 PM
    Henry Valantine

    Charles Leclerc went fastest in FP2 for the Monaco Grand Prix, pipping Lewis Hamilton to top spot, as the Mercedes driver backed up his table-topping pace from FP1. Leclerc kept top spot when the majority of the field took in qualifying simulations on soft tyres, but perhaps most impressively, he was almost a second clear of the rest of the field after their opening 20-minute runs as he showed confidence throughout the session at his home circuit.

    Verstappen went two tenths behind Leclerc’s benchmark on medium tyres, with the Ferrari driver going even faster to clock a 1:11.278 – a half-second buffer between himself and the Red Bull driver after their first soft-tyre runs. Adding to his team-mate’s concerns about the ride of his Red Bull, Sergio Perez complained he could not see at certain parts of the track from his car, adding his car felt “horrendous” and could not see the apex of Massenet, going uphill.

    A 1:11.466 from Hamilton was the closest anyone came to toppling him in the session, with the seven-time World Champion backing up his early pace from FP1 in qualifying simulations. Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso took Verstappen’s place behind Leclerc – albeit still almost half a second behind – though the Red Bull driver aborted his second flying lap after setting the fastest first sector of anyone after making contact with the wall on the exit of Turn 7 [Mirabeau Bas].

    ‘Charles Leclerc impressively tops FP2’;

    2024 Monaco GP FP2: Verstappen shows his frustration after being held up by Tsunoda
    24 May 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Max Verstappen made it quite clear how he felt about RB’s Yuki Tsunoda impeding his progress in second practice, with a wave to his Japanese colleague as he passed on track.

    ‘Verstappen shows his frustration’;

    Leclerc the early Monaco GP favourite after practice
    May 24, 2024
    by Jack Cozens
    The Race

    Charles Leclerc marked himself out as the Monaco Grand Prix weekend's early favourite with the fastest time in second practice. Only a late effort from Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton came close to what Leclerc produced on the qualifying simulation runs in FP2, the Ferrari driver ending the session fastest by 0.188 seconds with a best time of 1m11.278s that is already faster than last year's pole position time.

    But even that gap looked deceptive, not only because Hamilton set his time considerably later on in the session but also because Leclerc had gone faster in the first sector on a subsequent effort, only to bail out of that lap when he squirmed wide at Portier, having come across an Aston Martin out of the second part of Mirabeau.

    There was no repeat of the eye-catching single-lap pace Yuki Tsunoda displayed in practice at Imola one week ago, but the RB still looks in decent shape considering he was the fastest of five drivers who did no laps on softs. Tsunoda was 11th, ahead of Piastri, and appeared competitive on long-run pace, too.

    ‘Yuki Tsunoda the fastest of five drivers who did no laps on softs’;

    F1 - 2024 Monaco Grand Prix - Friday Press Conference Transcript
    FIA (Press Release)

    TEAM REPRESENTATIVES: Peter BAYER (RB), Bruno FAMIN (Alpine), Alessandro ALUNNI BRAVI (Kick Sauber), Christian HORNER (Red Bull Racing)

    Peter BAYER (RB) - Q: Let's talk drivers. Yuki, first of all, he's scored points in four of the last five races. Do you feel he's improved since last year? PB: I definitely believe he has made a big step forward. It's physical preparation, but it's also his mental readiness to perform and deliver. One example I mentioned the other day: I think he simply understood that every time he would be swearing on the radio, that would cost him a tenth. So he's got himself under control. He's extremely professional in the work that he's putting into the feedback with the engineers. And yes, he definitely made a big step up.

    Bruno FAMIN (Alpine) - Q: You say it's going to be difficult for you this weekend, but when you consider where the car was at the start of the season, how satisfied are you with the recovery so far? BF: Where I'm satisfied is with the reaction of the team, because the car is what everybody knows at the start of the season, but we have been able to bring earlier than planned upgrades to come back to the minimum weight. And that was very good. Now we need to switch to the… And this is what we are doing, to switch to the second phase of the development of that car. You know that we have worked quite a lot in understanding why we were in such situation.

    Alessandro ALUNNI BRAVI (Kick Sauber) - Q: One other topic being drivers for next year. You've confirmed Nico Hülkenberg. What are you looking for from driver number two? Does it have to be a driver with experience, given that you've already got experience with Hülkenberg? AAB: We say that we want to try to have the best pair of drivers available in the market. It's not just depending on our team. It's depending, of course, on the availabilities, depending on many factors. We have seen that the market is quite fluid and each day we see in the press, you know, new names and new combinations. So I think the target is to have the very best drivers available for us for a long-term project like the Audi F1 team project.

    Christian HORNER (Red Bull Racing) - Q: Do you think you're starting the weekend on an equal footing with the likes of McLaren and Ferrari? CH: Well, it's inevitable. I mean, we're in year three of these regulations, and it's inevitable that you're going to get convergence. It's amazing that we've managed to stay ahead for so long. But as the cars converge in look and shape and therefore lap time, it's inevitable that there's going to be strong competition. So we fully expect that here in Monaco. It's a unique layout on the calendar and of course, it's all down to that one lap tomorrow afternoon.

    ‘Friday Press Conference Transcript’;

  7. #377
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    I risked more than the others today, says Charles Leclerc.
    Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc stated that his impressive form was down to the fact that he pushed more today than the others as he expects his rivals to come back on Saturday.
    24 May 2024, 21:00
    Balazs Szabo
    F1 Technical

    Speaking of his day, Leclerc said: "All in all, it seems that we have a good car for this track and I felt quite confident with it today. We have to keep that rhythm in place for FP3, because I may have taken a bit more risk today than others did, which paid off in terms of lap times, but the key here is to put it all together in qualifying when everyone starts really pushing the limits.”

    "We did a good job overall and have to keep focusing on ourselves. It was a great feeling to be back in the car on the streets of my home town and to feel all the support, we will give it everything to have a good one tomorrow," said the two-time Monaco Grand Prix pole-sitter.

    His team-mate Carlos Sainz had a more challenging day as he struggled for pace over a single hot lap. Commenting on his day, the Spaniard added: "It was a challenging Friday for me. I struggled to find consistency in the car and played around quite a bit with the set-up. For the last stint of the day, I was happier and the long run was positive. We will focus on carrying that feeling into tomorrow's practice as we prepare for qualifying," said the Madrid-born driver.

    ‘Risked more’;

    Leclerc quickest in Monaco Grand Prix second practice
    MAY 24, 2024 in Motorsport

    Home favourite Charles Leclerc took top spot in the second practice session for the 2024 FIA Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, with the Ferrari driver beating Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton by almost two tenths of a second as Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso finished almost three tenths of a second further back in third.

    Leclerc was to the fore from the first part of the second hour of practice. The Monegasque driver posted a lap of 1:12.372 on Medium tyres to bypass an early Hard tyre time of 1:13.265 set by Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen.

    Leclerc then began to chip away at his own benchmark, first lowering the bar to 1m12.260s and then posting a time of 1:12.125 on the same set of medium tyres. He eventually worked his C4 best down to 1:11.573, but as the half way mark in the session neared the field began to move to C5 Soft tyres for qualifying simulations.

    ‘Leclerc quickest’;

    Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso data: Could two legends shake up Monaco pecking order?
    24 May 2024 9:24 PM
    Pablo Hidalgo

    While Charles Leclerc topped the times on Friday in Monaco, it was the veterans Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton who proved his nearest rivals. Lewis Hamilton and Fernando Alonso were P2 and P3, respectively, in the second practice session in Monte Carlo. The Mercedes driver completed a very strong Friday, while Fernando Alonso chased away the ghosts of a nightmare weekend in Imola.

    The Mercedes had its lights and shadows. On Hamilton’s side, the car looked competitive, while its behaviour was on the contrary for George Russell – who complained about braking vibration at Turn 11, the Nouvelle Chicane, at the exit of the tunnel. This required some changes to his car’s set-up.

    Aston Martin was back on track as well after its headscratcher of a weekend at Imola. The team is using the old specification AMR24 front wing, but has kept the rear wing from Imola with more downforce. And so far, the feeling is good. Alonso admitted that the car is still a bit nervous at the rear end, but he is satisfied overall.

    ‘Two legends shake up’;

    Lewis Hamilton hails Mercedes’ “best day” of F1 2024 in Monaco
    Lewis Hamilton left thrilled with Mercedes' encouraging start to the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.
    24 May 2024
    Lewis Larkam

    Hamilton was delighted with Mercedes’ positive start to the weekend. “It’s been a good day, definitely. The best day we’ve had, on-track,” Hamilton said. “The car was a positive, I enjoyed driving it. The track is amazing. The grip is quite good. We still have some challenges with the balance but it looked strong.”

    The 39-year-old Briton said his Mercedes W15 was much more enjoyable to drive around Monte Carlo than its previous two predecessors. “What was a surprise was the grip level and how the car was reacting,” Hamilton said. “Definitely a more enjoyable ride than we’ve had here previously, in the last two years particularly.”

    “The second session, I don’t know if we improved. On the long runs we have to work to do overnight to make sure we can make it until the end of the race. We need to improve long run pace and graining.”

    ‘ “Best day” of F1 2024 in Monaco’;

    Does Mercedes' upgrade match its optimism? Gary Anderson's view
    May 24, 2024
    by Edd Straw, Gary Anderson
    The Race

    Gary Anderson on Mercedes' Monaco upgrade: When Mercedes introduced its upgrade package in Miami, I wasn’t convinced for reasons explained in detail here. But Mercedes does now appear to be going in the right direction with the new front wing that ran on Friday in Monaco on George Russell’s car. What I questioned was the fact that the top flap of the Miami front wing instigates crossflow. But for Monaco, the new front wing features a much more even trailing edge.

    Looking at the new Mercedes front wing, the actual overall camber through where I have placed the vertical yellow line is reduced. Introducing a ‘proper’ fourth element on the inboard end of the flaps, highlighted with a magenta arrow, means it now has a longer overall chord in that area. To have gone to the effort and expense to brew up this new front wing package, Mercedes must have had decent results from CFD and wind tunnel research.

    Monaco is not the best place to run it if you are looking for improved underbody performance, so it will be Montreal before we can be sure if it does offer an overall improvement, but Mercedes will at least be able to learn a bit about it here. And we’re also expecting to see other upgrades from Mercedes in Canada in two weeks that could work with this new front wing.

    ‘Does Mercedes' upgrade match its optimism?’;

    Can Red Bull repeat Imola turnaround in Monaco? Verstappen and Perez give their verdict
    Red Bull's Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez trailed behind Ferrari and Mercedes ahead of qualifying for the 2024 Monaco GP
    24 May 2024
    Adam Dickinson

    Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez played down their chances of challenging for the all-important pole position at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix as Red Bull were outclassed by Ferrari and Mercedes in particular in Friday practice. With overtaking so difficult on the street circuit – the last three Monaco GPs have averaged just six normal overtakes – pole position is absolutely crucial but Red Bull have less than 24 hours to solve their issues from the end of FP2 to the start of qualifying.

    “I had a lot of fun driving, it was good just very difficult when the car’s not doing what you want. Around here with all the bumps it’s easy to have one extra jump and you’re already against the wall, so I think maybe in that sense today was a good lesson maybe that we can fine-tune that for tomorrow, that we know when the car jumps and bounces.” Max Verstappen

    “It’s going to be tough,” Perez said. “I think our limitations are really hard to get away from at the moment so we’ll see what we’re able to come up with tonight. I don’t think it’s only one. I think we got a few items that we need to be able to improve on and then hopefully it can put us back in the fight and just be closer to the top, I think it’s looking tough at the moment.”

    ‘Verstappen and Perez agree: Ferrari are out of reach’;

    FYI: FP3 and Qualifying Results, will be posted on Sunday afternoon, due to other commitments.

  8. #378
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    Ferrari's Leclerc remains on top in Monaco GP final practice.
    Charles Leclerc topped Saturday’s final dress rehearsal in Monaco, the Ferrari charger setting once again a blistering pace ahead of this afternoon’s qualifying.
    12:49 Sat, 25 May 2024.
    Michael Delaney

    Max Verstappen was able to inch closer to his Scuderia rival, the Dutchman ringing the neck of his Red Bull to get within 0.197s of Leclerc. Lewis Hamilton clocked in a strong third, 0.341s adrift, but the Mercedes ace appeared once again quite comfortable at the wheel of his W15 silver arrow.

    The local hero’s performance thus confirmed his status as grand favourite for pole. Behind the leading Ferrari-Red Bull combo, Hamilton in third signaled his intention of getting into the fight for a spot on the front row. Piastri and Perez completed the top five, while Russell, Sainz, Norris, Tsunoda and Alonso rounded off the top-ten.

    ‘Ferrari's Leclerc remains on top’;

    Monaco GP: Free Practice 3 Results
    12:38 Sat, 25 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from Free Practice 3 from the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco.

    Pos Num Driver Team Laps Best Diff

    1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 25 1:11.369

    2 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 26 1:11.566 0.197

    3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 24 1:11.710 0.341

    4 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 24 1:11.901 0.532

    5 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing 23 1:11.923 0.554

    6 63 George Russell Mercedes 32 1:11.968 0.599

    7 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 25 1:11.979 0.610

    8 4 Lando Norris McLaren 23 1:11.988 0.619

    9 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB 26 1:11.991 0.622

    10 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 24 1:12.087 0.718

    ‘Full results from Free Practice 3’;

    F1 stewards fume at Lando Norris for furious George Russell incident at Monaco GP
    14:29 Sat, 25 May 2024.
    Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    Lando Norris has been reprimanded by the Formula 1 stewards for a "deliberate move" towards George Russell during practice at the Monaco Grand Prix. And the Briton expressed his displeasure in an X-rated radio message. "F***ing idiots," he raged. "These blokes, all of them! Not all of them... just some of them."

    More than that, his on board camera appeared to show him momentarily steer to the left to move his McLaren to within inches of Russell's car. And it was that act which caught the attention of the stewards and led to the 24-year-old being investigated after the session.

    Norris escaped a penalty for his actions and is still in contention for pole position in qualifying. But he was given an official reprimand by the stewards who were unimpressed by his split-second reaction to the frustration of having his lap ruined.

    ‘Lando Norris has been reprimanded’;

    F1 – Leclerc stays on top in final practice for Monaco Grand Prix
    13:26 Sat, 25 May 2024.
    FIA (Press Release)

    Charles Leclerc continued to set the pace in the build-up to the Monaco Grand Prix with the Ferrari driver beating championship leader Max Verstappen by almost two tenths of a second in final practice, with Lewis Hamilton in third. Ferrari driver Leclerc ended Friday’s running at the top of the timesheets and in the final hour of practice he was again quickly in the mix, though he would have to wait for a while to top the timesheet.

    Ten minutes into the session, Kick Sauber’s Valtteri Bottas clipped the wall on exit at the Swimming Pool exit wall. The impact broke the front-right suspension of his car and the Finn was forced to stop at Rascasse. Unable to get back to the pit lane, his car had to be recovered and the session was red-flagged. When running resumed there was a rush to get back out on track and the bulk of the field filed out of the pit lane to gather final data.

    McLaren’s Oscar Piastri took over at the top with a lap of 1:12.684 but then Leclerc found more time and he claimed P1 a tenth of a second clear of the Australian. Local hero Leclerc then set about lowering that benchmark over subsequent laps, eventually working his way down to a time of 1:11.977.

    ‘Leclerc stays on top’;

    Lewis Hamilton caught off guard by surprise Monaco Grand Prix reality
    12:58 Sat, 25 May 2024.
    By Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    But he went on to add that long run pace was something he definitely wants to see an improvement on as the weekend progresses and said: "We still have some challenges with the balance, but it was looking strong. What was a surprise was the grip level and how the car was reacting here.

    "It was definitely a more enjoyable ride than we've had in the previous two years particularly. We can't lose the [low-fuel pace], so we just need to improve in the long run pace and with the graining.

    "The feeling in the second session [when he want second quickest], I don't know whether we improved or not. Definitely in the long run, we still have a lot of work to do overnight to try and make sure that we can make it to the end of the race."

    ‘Lewis Hamilton caught off guard’;

    Monaco GP data reveals Red Bull’s main weak spot as another pole contender emerges

    14:39 Sat, 25 May 2024
    Pablo Hidalgo

    Charles Leclerc is the favourite to take pole position in Monaco. The Ferrari driver has looked very comfortable all weekend on the streets of his home country and all indications are that it is up to him to take P1 and end Max Verstappen’s unbeaten qualifying streak.

    Even so, Max Verstappen has already closed the gap after a worrying Friday. The Dutchman is already close to Leclerc and the gap in qualifying may be minimal. Where does Verstappen need to go next? Is it a gap that can be closed or is the SF24 far superior to the RB20 on the streets of Monaco?

    ‘Red Bull’s main weak spot’;

  9. #379
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    Leclerc beats Piastri to Monaco GP pole, Verstappen only sixth.
    The narrative from practice of Leclerc looking untouchable and Red Bull looking shaky appeared less certain in the early parts of qualifying, which had a degree of lottery to them amid heavy traffic and with constant track evolution.
    May 25, 2024
    by Matt Beer

    Charles Leclerc claimed a third pole position for his home Formula 1 race - the Monaco Grand Prix - while Max Verstappen will only start sixth. But having not topped either Q1 or Q2, Leclerc’s Ferrari was back to its practice form in Q3 with an early 1m10.418s.

    Red Bull’s qualifying session had been going badly already, with Sergio Perez’s three-tenths-of-a-second deficit to Verstappen in Q1 translating to a miserable 18th place for the 2022 Monaco winner. Perez was one of two significant Q1 exits, with Fernando Alonso’s poor run of recent form continuing with 16th in qualifying, an outcome he put partly down to traffic.

    ‘Third pole position for his home Formula 1 race’;

    Haas Cars Disqualified With Rear Wing Breach
    MAY 25, 2024

    Haas F1 Team's drivers, Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen, were disqualified from the Monaco Grand Prix qualifying due to a breach in rear wing regulations. FIA's scrutineering team found that the DRS clearance on both Haas cars exceeded the maximum allowed opening of 85mm, leading to the decision.

    ‘Haas Cars Disqualified’;

    F1 2024 Monaco GP Starting Grid – Final Grid Positions
    Hometown hero Charles Leclerc of Ferrari is first on the starting grid for the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix
    26 May 2024
    John Smith
    Total Motorsport

    Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen from Haas were disqualified from Qualifying due to irregularities with their DRS systems. This setback pushed Hulkenberg and Magnussen to the back of the grid, after initially qualifying 12th and 15th. That moves the likes Fernando Alonso and Sergio Perez to 14th and 16th on the grid, respectively.

    2024 Monaco GP Starting Grid
    Position Driver Team
    1 Charles Leclerc Ferrari
    2 Oscar Piastri McLaren
    3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari
    4 Lando Norris McLaren
    5 George Russell Mercedes
    6 Max Verstappen Red Bull
    7 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes
    8 Yuki Tsunoda RB
    9 Alexander Albon Williams
    10 Pierre Gasly Alpine

    ‘Final Grid Positions’;

    Charles Leclerc ends Max Verstappen streak with emotional Monaco GP pole
    Charles Leclerc was the hot favourite for pole at the Monaco Grand Prix with Max Verstappen and Red Bull struggling, though Lando Norris and Lewis Hamilton also hoped to be in the mix
    16:10 Sat, 25 May 2024.
    By Daniel Moxon Senior F1 Writer
    The Mirror

    Charles Leclerc delighted his compatriots with a third pole position of his career at the Monaco Grand Prix. Leclerc failed to convert either of the first two into a win on home soil. But he will get the chance to do so again from the first grid slot on Sunday after a superb lap on the streets he grew up on. All teams except Ferrari had their cars waiting at the end of the pit lane for the session start, clearly concerned that traffic was going to be an issue.

    And that proved a particular problem in Q1 as several drivers complained about the number of cars they were coming across on their first flying laps. It was all about Leclerc who always looked locked in throughout the session and made the most of it. Piastri piled on the pressure but had to settle for second quickest behind the Ferrari driver who put himself in a strong position to secure what will be a first win of the year if he can convert it on Sunday. Leclerc was beaming as he said after the session:

    "That was nice! The feeling after qualifying is always very special here. I'm really happy about the lap and the excitement is so high. It feels really good. But I know from the past that qualifying is not everything. As much as it helps a lot for Sunday's race, we need to put everything together for Sunday. In past years we didn't manage to do so, but we are a stronger team in a stronger position and I'm sure we can achieve great things tomorrow. Of course, the win is the target."

    ‘Emotional Monaco GP pole’;

    'Look': Christian Horner defends Sergio Perez after Lando Norris comments at Monaco GP
    17:00 Sat, 25 May 2024
    F1 Oversteer

    Sergio Perez endured an utterly miserable afternoon in qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday. He was at the centre of a huge upset as he failed to make it out of Q1. It was a fresh dose of qualifying woe for the Mexican, who suffered a Q2 exit at the last race in Imola. He was able to recover to eighth on that occasion but his prospects of points appear slim from 18th given the nature of the Monaco circuit.

    Ahead of qualifying in Monaco, Sky Sports F1’s Natalie Pinkham put those comments to Red Bull team principal Christian Horner. He pointed out that Perez sits a respectable third in the championship as he leapt to his defence. “Look, Checo in the first six or so races, he’s been right there,” he said. “We’ve had one-two finishes, one-three finishes, he’s third in the world championship. I would disagree with that.”

    ‘Miserable afternoon’;

    Lewis Hamilton lost for answers after ‘frustrating’ Monaco GP qualifying
    17:51 Sat, 25 May 2024.
    Joe Krishnan
    Total Motorsport

    Lewis Hamilton expressed his “frustration” with Mercedes‘ qualifying pace and admitted he was unable to explain their lack of performance ahead of Sunday’s Formula 1 2024 Monaco Grand Prix.

    “It felt great yesterday. We have been working really hard to improve this car and from the get-go it felt great,” Hamilton told Sky Sports F1. “We obviously benefitted yesterday and this morning. We are not making any drastic changes or anything like that.”

    “Once we got to qualifying, I don’t understand. I already know automatically that I’m going to lose two tenths going into qualifying. That’s definitely frustrating and something I don’t have an answer for. I’m not driving any different, the laps were great. [We’re] just lacking for some reason.”

    ‘Lost for answers’;

    Guenther Steiner sends message to Haas after Monaco Grand Prix qualifying disqualification
    Sun 26 May 2024 08:00
    Ben Evans
    F1 Oversteer

    Posting on his Instagram story after the news broke, Steiner said: “Does anybody want to borrow my tape measure?”

    ‘Message to Haas’;

  10. #380
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2021
    Liked 22 Times in 17 Posts
    Leclerc was thinking of late father in final laps before emotional home win | Formula 1.
    “I have to say that I was thinking of my dad a lot more than what I thought while driving. Obviously, he’s given everything for me to be here and it was a dream of ours for me to race here and and to win. So it’s unbelievable.” Charles Leclerc.
    26th May 2024, 17:23
    Written by Will Wood

    The Ferrari driver became the first Monegasque driver to win his home race in the world championship era after leading the entire race from pole. Leclerc was born and raised in Monaco, along with younger brother Arthur, who races in the European Le Mans Series. Their father, Herve, was a racing driver at Formula 3 level but died in 2017 while his son was racing in Formula 2.

    “It’s such a difficult race,” Leclerc said. “I think the fact that twice I’ve started on pole position and we couldn’t quite make it, makes it even better in a way. It means a lot, obviously. It’s the race that made me dream of becoming a Formula 1 driver one day. It was a difficult race emotionally, because already 15 laps to the end, you’re just hoping that nothing happens. Already the emotions were coming.

    Leclerc started on the medium tyre compound but switched to hards after the opening lap red flag. He ran 77 laps on the tyres to win after managing his tyres through the rest of the race. “We had quite a lot of margin, but we knew there were 78 laps to do on the same tyres, which was very, very difficult,” he explained. “But we did great management on the tyres.”

    ‘Thinking of my dad’;

    Monaco GP: Race Results
    27 May 2024
    Mat Coch

    Full results from the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco.

    Pos Num Driver Team Laps/Diff Pts

    1 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 78 25

    2 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren 7.152 18

    3 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 7.585 15

    4 4 Lando Norris McLaren 8.65 12

    5 63 George Russell Mercedes 13.309 10

    6 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing 13.853 8

    7 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 14.908 6

    8 22 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1L 4

    9 23 Alex Albon Williams 1L 2

    10 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1L 1

    ‘Full results’;

    Charles Leclerc’s emotional tribute to late father after breaking Monaco GP curse
    26 May 2024 5:02 PM
    Thomas Maher

    Charles Leclerc said the enormity of his Monaco Grand Prix victory achievement began to hit him with two laps to go in the race. Speaking after the chequered flag, Leclerc revealed in the cooldown room that he had started to struggle with his emotions with two laps to go in the race – to the point where he had to talk himself out of getting distracted as his misty eyes started to obstruct his view.

    Expanding on his emotions at the podium interviews as he held back tears, Leclerc said he was thinking about his late father Hervé Leclerc, who passed away in 2017 during Charles’ Formula 2 campaign before making it to F1 – Hervé was just 54 years old at the time of his death.

    Having earned pole position for his home race on two previous occasions, only for events outside his control taking away his chances of wins, Leclerc said the difficult days had played a part in his emotions hitting him hard as he closed in on the elusive home win.

    ‘Charles Leclerc’s emotional tribute’;

    Monaco GP: Charles Leclerc breaks his Monaco curse as Sergio Perez walks away from scary crash
    26 May 2024 4:28 PM
    Michelle Foster

    Charles Leclerc obliterated his Monaco curse as the pole-sitter stayed P1 in two starts to win a game of cat-and-mouse against McLaren in a red-flagged Monaco Grand Pix. The race was red-flagged on the opening lap when Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen crashed, the Red Bull shooting nose-first into the Armco barrier with enough force to dent it while his RB20 was destroyed.

    Perez thankfully climbed unaided from his stricken RB20 with the race red-flagged. It was set to be a long stop as the Armco barrier was dented. Replays of the opening lap showed Esteban Ocon lunged on Pierre Gasly into Turn 8 before the tunnel, clipped his team-mate’s wheel and went airborne. Ocon was out of the race.

    Sainz was handed a lifeline by Race Control who announced the restart order would be based on the Safety Car 2 line on the opening lap: Leclerc, Piastri, Sainz, Norris, Russell, Verstappen, Hamilton, Tsunoda, Albon, Gasly, Stroll, Ricciardo, Alonso, Sargeant, Bottas and Zhou.

    ‘Sergio Perez walks away from scary crash’;

    Charles Leclerc ends Monaco GP curse as Verstappen frustrated after huge Perez crash
    Charles Leclerc ended his wait for a Monaco Grand Prix victory with a composed performance on home soil.
    16:27, Sun, May 26, 2024
    By Harry Smith
    Daily and Sunday Express

    Charles Leclerc ended the Monaco Grand Prix curse on Sunday, managing the race to perfection to convert pole position into victory at his home event. Oscar Piastri finished in second, while Carlos Sainz held off Lando Norris to clinch the final spot on the podium.

    There was drama from the offset on the streets of Monte Carlo. Carlos Sainz made contact with Piastri, giving him a puncture and sending him into the run-off area. Further back, Sergio Perez’s Red Bull was obliterated following contact with Kevin Magnussen at Beau Rivage, while Nico Hulkenberg was collected in the ensuing wreck.

    Further up the track, the two Alpine cars came together when Esteban Ocon launched a move up the inside of Pierre Gasly at Portier. The driver of the No.31 car was sent airborne and during the red flag period, the Enstone-based outfit were unable to repair the ensuing damage.

    ‘Breaks his Monaco curse’;

    2024 Monaco Grand Prix: Leclerc crosses the line to win his home Grand Prix for the first time
    Sun, May 26, 2024
    Formula One - Official Site (Video)

    Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc takes the chequered flag to become the first Monegasque driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix since the F1 World Championship began.

    ‘First Monegasque driver to win the Monaco Grand Prix’;

    Watch: Sergio Perez’s Red Bull a mangled wreck after spectacular crash at Monaco Grand Prix
    The Mexican came into contact with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen and was spat at high-speed into the armco barrier
    26 May 2024 • 4:36pm
    The Telegraph

    Sergio Perez was fortunate to walk away from a spectacular opening-lap crash at the Monaco Grand Prix, which left his Red Bull car a mangled wreck. The Mexican, starting 18th following a disastrous qualifying session on Saturday, came into contact with the Haas of Kevin Magnussen, who was just behind him on the climb up to Beau Rivage.

    Perez’s RB20 was spat at high-speed into the armco barrier, with his car eventually coming to a rest some 300m down the track. The second Haas of Nico Hulkenberg was also collected in the incident. "That is a MONSTER of an accident!" ��

    All three drivers were able to walk away from their cars – Perez’s was the worst damaged with only his car’s survival cell really left intact – but the race was red-flagged with marshals having to spend the next 40 minutes clearing up the debris. Stewards saw no reason to apportion blame, declaring it a racing incident. That was lucky for Magnussen, who was already on 10 penalty points and would have faced a race ban had he picked up another two.

    ‘Sergio Perez was fortunate to walk away’;

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