There was nothing spectacular at the front of the grid in FP1, with Ferrari and Red Bull occupying the top four spots, except that Max Verstappen was fourth as Charles Leclerc lead the pack.
However Mercedes seemed to be struggling during the first practice session at the principality, with Lewis Hamilton vocal about the bouncing of his W13.
Mercedes team boss Toto Wolff spoke to Sky Sports F1 after the session and said: “I think we have a ride issue, that is something we have had through the season on the bouncing.
“Sometimes it is a combination between the aero and the stiffness, today it is the stiffness. It looks like that our car performs because we were quick. Overall I think it is a good car but it is just undrivable like this.
“I think we can work on the set up to make it a bit more enjoyable for them.
“If it is fast we make him (Lewis Hamilton) all the pads he needs. We are coming close and learning more and more so that is positive,” he concluded.
It seemed that all the team were running stiff cars, as they looked to maximize the downforce running the cars close to the track.
Heavier and stiffer cars in Monaco
Martin Brundle reflected on Sky Sports, he said: “We know they have to get the cars closer to the ground for the aerodynamics so you have a much stiffer car.
“Then we have turned up at a street circuit and some of the drivers are really struggling with just the quality of the way the cars go over the bumps and the manhole covers and the surface changes,” he added.
FP1 saw many drivers miss their braking into Sainte Devote, ending up in the run-off area, and Nico Rosberg believes that may be down to the heavier Formula 1 cars this year.
Rosberg said:”It seems the car weight being heavier than last year, it seems it is harder for them to get the breaking right which makes it interesting for us as spectators.
“I saw Verstappen was really strong he just had the lock up at the end, Leclerc was strong, they are the favourites from this morning,” the 2016 F1 Champion added.
Monaco FP2 session insights
Mick Schumacher missed the most of FP1, as his Haas developed a gearbox issue causing him to stop at the pitlane entrance bringing the Red flags out.
Haas announced ahead of FP2 that the #47 VF22 has had the MGU-K and gearbox replaced in time for the second practice session.
The team have completed MGU-K and Gearbox changes on Mick’s car following his issues in FP1.
The track was green-lighted again with a little under 40 minutes available for the teams and their drivers to get their 2022 F1 machinery up to speed around Monaco.
A little over 35 minutes into the session, Lewis Hamilton had a heavy lock-up at Mirabeau, while Lando Norris reported shortly after that he has hit the wall at Turn 1 with his MCL36.
George Russell also had a brush with the wall reporting to his team: “I brushed the wall at Turn 12, front right.”
Norris who returned to the pits for a check up after his brush with the wall at Turn 1, returned to the track but missed his braking point at the same place and ended up in the run-off area almost five minutes away from the end of the session brining the Yellow flags out.
Lance Stroll followed suit in the Aston Martin right after the Briton, proof that the drivers are struggling with the braking around Monaco with their heavier 2022 F1 cars.
Charles Leclerc posted a lap time of 1:12.656 a the end of FP2 to finish Friday fastest of all, while teammate Carlos Sainz took second in the sister Ferrari a mere 0.044s slower.
Sergio Perez was the faster of the Red Bull cars, again, and went third fastest but was over three tenths off the pace, as reigning World Champion Max Verstappen was only fast enough for fourth just 0.068s behind the Mexican.
Lando Norris again was in top form, fifth fastest for McLaren, 0.638s down on Leclerc’s top time, on the day when his teammate Daniel Ricciardo crashed heavily out of the session. The Aussie cannot catch a break.