Fernando Alonso 4th in free practice in Monaco, Lance Stroll 11th

Fernando Alonso 4th in free practice in Monaco, Lance Stroll 11th

Alonso said he will be one to watch at the Monaco circuit, which features one of the characteristics of his AMR23 single-seater from the Aston Martin team, gravity, or its ability to accelerate out of corners.

The Spaniard finished Friday’s practice 220 thousandths of a second off the benchmark time of 1 minute 12 s 462/1000 set by Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

The car responded well in the second session, said Verstappen. Compared to the Ferrari, our RB19’s handling is less than perfect in turns. We have to work on this feature, because the ranking is very tight. We will have to find a performance in qualifying to stay ahead.

Alonso finished second in the first half. In the second, he was pushed back to 4th place by the Dutchman and the Ferrari drivers.

The Spaniard complained about heavy traffic on the circuit while running on the soft tyres. The position of pilots on the railroad left him without saying.

It was important to find the right rhythm on Friday and avoid problems, said Alonso. The car responded well in both sessions, which is important at this circuit. We must use all the opportunities that this season gives us.

Carlos Sainz Jr., who was fastest in the opening session, ended the second session on the wall after breaking his right front wheel at 15. This caused an interruption of the session. But he still did the 3rd time of the day with +0.107.

His teammate Charles Leclerc, still relaxing at home, beat him in the standings.

The Monegasque lost only 65 thousandths of a second to the world champion in the second session. He was pardoned in 2021 and 2022.

If Alonso seems to want to fight for the lead, Quebecer Lance Stroll (+0.723) finished in 11th place.

Every cycle is counted today. It goes so fast, it’s hard to do a full lap. But at least we moved around a lot and understood a lot of things. AMR23 reacts well, feels good. Now you should fine tune the settings. The classification is very tight, so we will have to do an open circuit in the qualificationStroll said.

The AMR23 is due this weekend with new features: new front and rear suspension and new brake scoops. The front wheel spacers have been adjusted. The team also worked on cooling and holding one seat with a view of the Monegasque weekend.

We will evaluate other aspects of Barcelona,​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​said Mike Krack.

We have Monaco a unique opportunity to shine, said Alonso. I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t going to win. You have to build up your confidence little by little, from session to session, shaving the walls of defense on every side. I will attack even more than usual.

Lewis Hamilton (+0.498) finished his career in 6th place.

As expected, Mercedes-Benz introduced the B version of its Mercedes-Benz W14, which has been heavily modified, including new sidepods. The team has certainly abandoned its concept zero bank to be implemented in 2022.

Lewis Hamilton in Monaco in the B version of the W14

Photo: Getty Images / ANDREJ ISAKOVIC

Hopefully this will shake things up a bit.said Mercedes-Benz engineering director, Andrew Shovlin, even if Monaco is not the best place measure the effectiveness of these improvements against the competition.

On Friday, six drivers jumped in the second half and 14 in the same second. This bodes well for the qualifying session on Saturday, which will be contested in the dry. On the other hand, rain is predicted for the race on Sunday.

This complicates the work of the team, because the drivers will not have used wet tires before the race.

Results of the second free practice session:

  1. Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:12.462
  2. Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:12,527
  3. Carlos Sainz Jr. (ESP/Ferrari) 1:12.569
  4. Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes-Benz) 1:12.682
  5. Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes-Benz) 1:12.906
  6. Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes-Benz) 1:12.960
  7. Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:12.991
  8. Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Sauber Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:13.050
  9. Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:13.089
  10. Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:13.162
  11. Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes-Benz) 1:13.185
  12. George Russell (GBR/Mercedes-Benz) 1:13.191
  13. Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Sauber Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:13.354
  14. Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:13.457
  15. Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:13.520
  16. Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Brother) 1:13.641
  17. Nyck de Vries (NED/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:13.663
  18. Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes-Benz) 1:13.673
  19. Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes-Benz) 1:14,238
  20. Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes-Benz) 1:14,515