Honda: Three in the top six

Honda-powered cars filled three of the top six positions on an encouraging day of practice at the Monaco Grand Prix.

With track action starting a day earlier than at other races on the calendar, Thursday saw FP1 and FP2 taking place in Monte Carlo. The power units ran smoothly throughout, and both Aston Martin Red Bull Racing and Toro Rosso enjoyed competitive performances.

In the opening session, Max Verstappen was second fastest and just 0.059s away from the fastest time as Red Bull started strongly. Unfortunately, a water leak was discovered by the team in FP2 and Max missed out on some track time, but the mechanics got him back on track late on to finish sixth overall.

Pierre Gasly was sixth in FP1 and made a step forward on Thursday afternoon to end up fourth in the second session, with Alex Albon splitting the two Red Bull cars in fifth place. Alex had a productive afternoon, completing 51 laps as well as posting the quick time.

Daniil Kvyat had been one place ahead of Alex in 13th during first practice, and then spent FP2 trying to find a set-up he was more comfortable with on the tight street circuit, ending the day in 14th place. The unusual schedule in Monaco means the teams will not be on track on Friday but will work through today’s data ahead of final practice and qualifying, with both taking place on Saturday as normal.

Toyoharu Tanabe, Technical Director, Honda F1: “We ran a normal ‘Friday’ programme today to optimise our PU settings. Everything went smoothly on the PU front with our two teams. I think both teams had a good start today overall. We now have plenty of time to analyse the data and decide how to set up the PUs for qualifying in two days’ time and the race on Sunday.”