Monaco GP 2024 Free Practice 1 – Hamilton tops FP1 as Red Bull struggle!

Follow all the F1 action on the Total Motorsport live blog as teams and drivers take to Monte Carlo for FP1 at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix

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Good morning and welcome to Total-Motorsport’s coverage of Free Practice 1 at the 2024 Monaco Grand Prix. This year marks a significant milestone for the Monaco GP, celebrating its 70th edition as part of the Formula 1 Drivers’ World Championship. The rich history of this event only adds to the prestige and allure of racing on the iconic streets of Monte Carlo.

In Monaco, the F1 cars face some of the lowest forces of the season due to the slow average speed over the 3.337-kilometre track and corners taken at less than 50 km/h, with cars at full throttle for only 30% of the lap. On a track where the margin for error is virtually nonexistent, driver confidence is crucial for reducing lap times. 

The 19 corners of the Circuit de Monaco require precision and skill, with drivers aiming to get as close to the barriers as possible without damaging the car. Securing a good grid position is vital in Monaco, where overtaking is nearly impossible, making qualifying performance critical. This season has already shown how close the competition can be, with grid positions often decided by mere thousandths of a second.

This weekend’s race is set against the backdrop of numerous commemorations for the 30th anniversary of Ayrton Senna‘s passing, a legend who left an indelible mark on the Monaco Grand Prix. Senna still holds the record for the most wins (six), pole positions (five), and podium finishes (eight) at this circuit. So stay tuned to Total-Motorsport.com for all the live action from the 2024 Monaco GP with this crucial practice session at the historic Circuit de Monaco.

Monaco GP 2024 FP1: News and Updates


CHEQUERED FLAG: Hamilton quickest in FP1

Lewis Hamilton was quickest in FP1 on Friday with a 1:12.169 as Mercedes threw up a Monaco surprise by beating Oscar Piastri and McLaren to the top spot by 0.029, with George Russell close behind in third and then Lando Norris.

It was a very strong session for Charles Leclerc in all of the long run and early-phase practicing but the Monegasque driver never strapped on a set of softs so we’re not quite sure what he and his Ferrari can do.

It was a very difficult session for Red Bull who have consistently struggled over bumps and kerbs as Max Verstappen found himself unable to get an understanding of the mechanical behaviour of his car as he began to cut a frustrated figure.

The defending champions finished 11th and 12th, almost a second off the pace of the Mercedes.

Four minutes to go: Puncture for Sergio Perez

It’s been a tough session for Red Bull and it doesn’t seem to be getting any easier as Sergio Perez reports a left-rear puncture on his car.

They’re currently a long way off the pace and sit down in 11th and 12th, although they haven’t done any soft tyre runs yet.

Verstappen’s just spotted with a snap of oversteer, meaning he has to bail out of his push lap. It’s been scruffy for him for the second weekend in a row.

Friday vibes are turning into a Friday headache for the world champions…

Six minutes to go: Kevin Magnussen reported for an unsafe release

Haas releases their driver straight into the path of Yuki Tsunoda’s RB in a congested pitlane and he calls for a penalty to be given to Kevin Magnussen, although that’s unlikely since there was no contact and it’s only FP1.

GREEN FLAG: The session resumes but with a twist…

Time is running out in FP1 and there are some reports that rain is going to fall… What would that do for everyone’s plans this weekend?

10 minutes to go: Hamilton fastest overall

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes currently tops FP1 around Monte Carlo, in what is a bit of a surprise based on the Silver Arrows’ recent form. Can they continue this momentum throughout the rest of the weekend?

The seven-time world champion has a 1:12.169 and leads Oscar Piastri by 0.029 and George Russell by 0.126.

RED FLAG: Zhou Guanyu hits the wall

The Sauber driver hits the wall at the exit of Turn 1 and breaks his front wing, whilst Charles Leclerc then hoovers it up under his own floor and is concerned about any damage to his Ferrari.

Race Control throws a red flag to allow the marshals to clean up any debris safety.

20 minutes to go: Softs are on and Oscar Piastri goes top

Oscar Piastri is the latest driver to strip away some of the advertising fabric on the barriers as he goes fastest overall with a 1:12.198 to lead a Mercedes 2-3, as they’re 0.097 and 0.200 behind in the order of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton.

All are running the softs.

30 minutes to go: Charles Leclerc still fastest

Charles Leclerc is continuing his fine start to the weekend as stays at the top of the timing boards in FP1 ahead of Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen.

The Monegasque driver, bidding for his first win at his home circuit, has a 1:13.132 on the board and leads Lewis Hamilton on the mediums as Jackie Stewart watches on.

30 minutes to go: Gasly not expected to be back out this session

A message to Total-Motorsport.com’s Adam Dickinson says Alpine say the team “has boxed Car 10 in order to investigate and rectify a wastegate issue on the car.

“It is likely Pierre will not be back out on track during FP1.”

That’s a very disappointing start to the weekend for the Frenchman at what is the closest thing to a home race he has on the calendar now.

33 minutes to go: Verstappen hits the wall!

the Dutchman is leaving no margin for error but his car looks far from unsettled and certainly unsustainable if this is the limit of what it can do right now so he will have to give up some more time.

He even hits the wall on a couple of occasions as he says the car is “on a knife’s edge”…

He is third overall, behind Charles Leclerc and Lewis Hamilton.

40 minutes to go: Leclerc smashes Norris and Verstappen’s time

Charles Leclerc puts in a very impressive 1:13.343 to go well over half a second clear of Lando Norris and Max Verstappen, who he’s expected to be challenging for pole this weekend. Carlos Sainz, his teammate, is 0.375 back.

41 minutes to go: Gasly back in to the garage

Alpine thought they’d fixed the problem but Pierre Gasly quickly reports, “No power,” on his out-lap and goes back into the pits as the inquest begins once again from the Enstone boys.

42 minutes to go: Keep an eye out for the special McLaren livery

Ayrton Senna will be remembered by the team where he won three straight championships between 1988 and 1993.

44 minutes to go: Gasly back on track

Pierre Gasly quickly pops back out on track with the hard tyres and some more fuel in his Alpine car as the PU issue didn’t turn out to be anything to be seriously concerned about for the French driver and French team.

48 minutes to go: Gasly pits with a problem

Pierre Gasly comes into the pits after his engineer informs him that there is a power unit issue on his Alpine car, that could be a long check if it’s a serious issue and not a hiccup.

50 minutes to go: Leclerc fastest overall as Hulkenberg locks up

Charles Leclerc tops the Monaco timing boards with a 1:14.521 ahead of Oscar Piastri by a couple of tenths, although he’s running a harder tyre.

Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg gets it wrong at Turn 1 and bails down an escape road before spinning his car back around.

53 minutes to go: Rain reported by Lando Norris!

The initial forecast was for rain to show up towards the end of the session but is mother nature throwing a surprise as Lando Norris reports rain on the track at Turn 2!

55 minutes to go: The home hero gets on the board!

Charles Leclerc puts down three green sectors on his first lap as he goes seventh fastest overall on the hard tyres with a 1:18.606. He’s around 0.6 off Oscar Piastri’s McLaren.

GREEN FLAG: Free Practice 1 gets underway!

With everyone running Monaco-specific rear-wings, they’re all onto the track quickly to begin their testing. They have an hour until the chequered flag falls!

Here’s why you SHOULD get excited for the 2024 Monaco GP

And all the races for the rest of the season for that matter…

Who said Monaco is boring?

Will we have another chaotic race like 1996 around Monte Carlo this time?

A mistake that feels like it was made by a totally different driver. Will Verstappen be on form again today?

What are the all-important times for the Monaco Grand Prix?13:

Free Practice 1 gets underway from 12:30pm UK time or 13:30 local time. Here are the times for the rest of the weekend.

Monaco is back! Will Red Bull suffer this weekend?

Throughout the previous two Grand Prix in Miami and in Imola, Red Bull haven’t had it easy. They were beaten in the United States and only won in Italy by just 0.7 seconds ahead of Lando Norris, with Charles Leclerc’s Ferrari never being too far away.

So, around the streets of Monaco will they be on the backfoot and challenged once again? Leclerc thinks they might…

Monaco GP 2024 Pirelli Tyre Info

Pirelli has selected the C3 as Hard, C4 as Medium, and C5 as Soft. Street circuits like Monaco feature smooth surfaces, demanding maximum grip from tyres. At Monaco, tyres face minimal forces due to the track’s slow average speed and corners taken at under 50 km/h, with cars at full throttle for only 30% of the lap. Despite this, the 78-lap race subjects tyres to frequent stress, especially during traction. Early in the weekend, graining can be problematic. Driver confidence is critical on this error-intolerant track with 19 corners, as qualifying is vital due to the difficulty of overtaking.

Pirelli tyre info for the 2024 Monaco GP
Pirelli tyre info for the 2024 Monaco GP

Where to Watch the F1 2024 Monaco GP

Sky Sports F1 remains the home for live Formula 1 racing in the UK. The channel will provide comprehensive coverage of the Monaco GP, including practice, qualifying, and the race itself. Meanwhile, F1 fans in the USA can catch all the action across ESPN with the race on ABC.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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