Hamilton concedes Vettel has the advantage in Monaco

Remigio Civitarese
Mag 26, 2017

Vettel was the only man to put together a lap under one minute, 13 seconds with a blistering lap record 1:12.720 as the championship leader made a statement at the famous 3.337km street circuit.

The top six in the afternoon were all inside last year's pole position time of 1:13.622, set by Australian Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Briton Lewis Hamilton, who lies just six points behind Vettel in the drivers' title race and who was fastest in the opening morning session, was down in eighth, but without clocking a clean hot lap on the ultra-soft tyres.

His team-mate Valtteri Bottas, fourth in the morning session, had similar issues and was 10th in the afternoon. The red flag in the second practice messed up my run a bit so I didn't get a good chance on the new tyres and to show a true fast lap potential.

In the hours before his run Ricciardo told Fairfax Media that the upgrades to his auto would help Red Bull to be closer to the front in qualifying.

The Englishman started the opening session almost six seconds off the pace as he got used to the wider and more physically demanding nature of this year's vehicle.

"I think the one we had before was big enough and if you hit it it will send you to the wall", Grosjean said.

"I'm not sure why the tyres weren't working but the difference between the two sessions was night and day", said Hamilton.

"I think we can still do, and have to do, something to the auto to be more competitive overall and in the race".

He said: "Looking back on previous year, a bit of unfinished business, but I will do what I can".

"And that's got to be good".

"We didn't have the greatest day today".

I also slightly touched the barriers a couple of times in the morning - fortunately the vehicle stayed intact. I definitely come here with still good feelings, good vibes. "I'm pretty sure there is a reason and they will be back to full force on Saturday so it will be close, also with Red Bull". "When the auto isn't quite right, you lose a lot of time in Monaco".

Mercedes have one more session on Saturday morning to find form again before qualifying and are looking to address the cause with some urgency.

For Technical Director James Allison he admits that Mercedes clearly took a step in the wrong direction for FP2, but can be encouraged by the pace and consistency in FP1. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday.

"Monaco is always special - if you could have the freedom to choose any race on the calendar that you would want to win, it would without doubt be Monaco", Vettel said in an interview with the official F1 website.

"That's something we have to study and figure out for Saturday".

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