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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 

PosNoDriverTeamTimeGapLaps
19Nico RosbergMercedes1:16.19531
23Fernando AlonsoFerrari1:16.2820.08727
38Romain GrosjeanLotus-Renault1:16.3800.18521
44Felipe MassaFerrari1:16.3940.19923
510Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:16.4690.27428
616Pastor MaldonadoWilliams-Renault1:16.9930.79827
72Mark WebberRed Bull Racing-Renault1:17.0200.82527
85Jenson ButtonMcLaren-Mercedes1:17.1290.93429
96Sergio PerezMcLaren-Mercedes1:17.3781.18325
101Sebastian VettelRed Bull Racing-Renault1:17.3801.18523
117Kimi RäikkönenLotus-Renault1:17.5091.31426
1214Paul di RestaForce India-Mercedes1:17.5481.35327
1315Adrian SutilForce India-Mercedes1:17.6251.43020
1411Nico HulkenbergSauber-Ferrari1:18.1931.99826
1518Jean-Eric VergneSTR-Ferrari1:18.4542.25925
1612Esteban GutierrezSauber-Ferrari1:18.7542.55928
1717Valtteri BottasWilliams-Renault1:18.8302.63528
1819Daniel RicciardoSTR-Ferrari1:19.0672.87225
1921Giedo van der GardeCaterham-Renault1:19.2033.00821
2020Charles PicCaterham-Renault1:19.4383.24328
2122Jules BianchiMarussia-Cosworth1:19.7733.57820
2223Max ChiltonMarussia-Cosworth1:20.2254.03021