Charles Leclerc leads the way FP2 as Lewis Hamilton continues encouraging Monaco form

Lewis Hamilton continued his impressive pace in FP2 at the 2024 Monaco GP but Ferrari's Charles Leclerc topped the F1 session

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Charles Leclerc sent Ferrari fans into overdrive by topping FP2 at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix and looking like the most impressive driver as he chases an elusive first victory at his home race, half a second ahead of Max Verstappen who couldn’t crack the top three.

Apart from a brief trip up the escape road at Sainte Devote, the session was everything Leclerc could’ve hoped for as he jumped to the top of the timesheets less than two-tenths ahead of Lewis Hamilton after finishing fifth in FP1.

Hamilton was the man to beat in the first practice session but continues to look like a threat in Monaco, with third-placed Fernando Alonso some distance behind the leading pair.

Despite several drivers brushing the barriers, it was a clean session that saw five different teams represented in the top five with Red Bull‘s Verstappen and McLaren‘s Lando Norris completing the quintet ahead of Carlos Sainz, Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez.

Hailed as a circuit where the driver can truly make the difference, the standings would appear to reflect that with Sergio Perez over eight-tenths behind Leclerc.

Alex Albon and George Russell completed the top ten almost a second back, though the Williams driver was far from pleased with his FW46, and 1.5 seconds covered a tight top 18 – setting the stage perfectly for Saturday qualifying.

Kangaroo concerns return

It appeared F1 had banished its initial porpoising problems after the 2022 regulations change, but try telling that to Red Bull this weekend.

“I’m jumping like a kangaroo man! I’m getting headaches, it’s crazy

Max Verstappen’s Red Bull team radio in FP3

Both drivers blasted the ride of the RB20 on team radio with Perez complaining he couldn’t see the apex at turn three, while Russell also reported issues for Mercedes seconds before Verstappen let rip at his own pitwall.

While Red Bull‘s free practice struggles aren’t as severe as at Imola, they still appeared to be biting off more than they could chew by pursuing an overly aggressive setup. And unlike last week, they don’t have Sebastian Buemi available to work a 12-hour stint in the simulator to find a way around their issues.

With Buemi instead racing Formula E in China – alongside fellow Red Bull test driver Jake Dennis – it’s up to Verstappen and Perez to keep up the team’s run of three successive victories in Monaco.

Adam Dickinson
Adam Dickinson
An international multi-award-winning journalist, Adam Dickinson has written for Total-Motorsport.com since June 2022 and also contributes to TNT Sports, Eurosport and the Rugby Paper. He's also had articles published in the Daily Telegraph and several local newspapers, previously worked for Last-Lap.co.uk and FeederSeries.net in motorsport, and graduated with a First-Class Journalism Degree from the University of Sheffield having also studied in Oklahoma. Adam started watching F1 by accident in 2007, catching the last race in Indianapolis, and attended his first race as a journalist at the 2023 British Grand Prix.
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