Monaco Practice 1: Rosberg fulfills predictions early on

Nico Rosberg was fastest in FP1 at Monaco

Nico Rosberg was fastest in FP1 at Monaco

Nico Rosberg fulfilled predictions that Mercedes would be a force around the streets of the Monte Carlo principality, by setting the fastest time in the opening session of the Monaco Grand Prix weekend.

Apart from ending up fastest with his time of 1:16.95 around the twists and turns of the Armco lined temporary race track, he was also the busiest of the drivers as he notched up 31 laps in the ninety minutes under crisp blue skies over the Cote D’Azur.

Marginally down on the Silver Arrows, second best, was the red Ferrari of Fernando Alonso  just 0.087 seconds shy of Rosberg’s top time. With Felipe Massa fourth quickest in the other Ferrari suggesting that the Spanish GP winning F138 is pretty handy around Monaco too.

Fernando Alonso second fastest in FP1

Fernando Alonso second fastest in FP1

In third and splitting Maranello’s finest on the timing screens, was Romain Grosjean in the Lotus. The Frenchman, along with three other fellow countrymen on the grid, enjoying what is as close to a home race as they will have this season.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth fastest and 0.274 seconds off his teammate at the top of timing sheets.

Biggest surprise of all was Pastor Maldonado, a known Monaco specialist, who powered around to end the morning sixth best in the Williams.

Last year’s winner Mark Webber was seventh , with Sebastian Vettel 10th. Red Bull clearly keeping their powder dry early on, as is becoming a trend in their race weekend strategy.

Romain Grosjean was third fastest in FP1

Romain Grosjean was third fastest in FP1

In the top ten were both McLaren drivers, Jenson Button and Sergio Perez in eighth and ninth respectively.

Notably out of the top ten was Kimi Raikkonen who appeared to struggle to get any consistency from the Lotus, ending the session 11th and over a second down on teammate Grosjean.

The Force India duo Paul di Resta and Adrian Sutil were 12th and 13th.

Monaco Grand Prix, Free Practice 1 – Thursday, 23 May 2013 

Pos No Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 9 Nico Rosberg Mercedes 1:16.195 31
2 3 Fernando Alonso Ferrari 1:16.282 0.087 27
3 8 Romain Grosjean Lotus-Renault 1:16.380 0.185 21
4 4 Felipe Massa Ferrari 1:16.394 0.199 23
5 10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:16.469 0.274 28
6 16 Pastor Maldonado Williams-Renault 1:16.993 0.798 27
7 2 Mark Webber Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:17.020 0.825 27
8 5 Jenson Button McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.129 0.934 29
9 6 Sergio Perez McLaren-Mercedes 1:17.378 1.183 25
10 1 Sebastian Vettel Red Bull Racing-Renault 1:17.380 1.185 23
11 7 Kimi Räikkönen Lotus-Renault 1:17.509 1.314 26
12 14 Paul di Resta Force India-Mercedes 1:17.548 1.353 27
13 15 Adrian Sutil Force India-Mercedes 1:17.625 1.430 20
14 11 Nico Hulkenberg Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.193 1.998 26
15 18 Jean-Eric Vergne STR-Ferrari 1:18.454 2.259 25
16 12 Esteban Gutierrez Sauber-Ferrari 1:18.754 2.559 28
17 17 Valtteri Bottas Williams-Renault 1:18.830 2.635 28
18 19 Daniel Ricciardo STR-Ferrari 1:19.067 2.872 25
19 21 Giedo van der Garde Caterham-Renault 1:19.203 3.008 21
20 20 Charles Pic Caterham-Renault 1:19.438 3.243 28
21 22 Jules Bianchi Marussia-Cosworth 1:19.773 3.578 20
22 23 Max Chilton Marussia-Cosworth 1:20.225 4.030 21
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