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2018 F1

Ricciardo tops second practice, breaks Monaco track record

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After clocking the fastest lap earlier in the previous session, Red Bull Racing driver Daniel Ricciardo yet again proved this track is his and his teams to dominate by clocking another record lap of 1 minute 11.841 seconds. Following the Australian was his team-mate Max Verstappen, who slotted in second place on the time sheets, with his fastest lap clocked at 1 minute 12.035 seconds. Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel followed the two Red Bull drivers with the third fastest time of 1 minute 12.413 seconds, 0.378 seconds adrift of Verstappen and 0.572 seconds adrift off Ricciardo.

The second free practice session was interrupted by red flags, and resumed after 20 minutes. The 20 minute gap cut short the sprint or qualifying simulations for most teams, and quickly gave way to the long runs or race simulations. In a gist, when it comes to the sprint runs Red Bull clearly looked strong because it took them a maximum of one lap to get the hypersoft tyres within the optimum temperature window, and maximise their potential. For Ferrari, it took atleast more than a lap to get the tyres in the temprature window, whereas the Mercedes cars took a minimum of two laps to get both the ultrasoft and hypersoft tyre within the temperature window. Most of the time, optimising the best out of the tyres often is a reflection of the balance of the car, and its chassis design and its not an unknown fact that the softer the tyre compound, the weaker the Mercedes look. The pecking order for qualifying should be Red Bull Racing, Ferrari, and then Mercedes. With Monaco being the least power sensitive circuit, it eventually comes down to tyre management and a well designed chassis.

In the long runs here is a small table of how the top six drivers of the top three teams looked when it comes to the average times, on different compounds used in the session:

DriverHypersoftUltrasoftSupersoft
Daniel Ricciardo 1:15.275 (6 laps)
Max Verstappen1:16.284 (8 laps) 1st set
1:15.043 (6 laps) 2nd set
Sebastian Vettel1: 5.598 (4 laps)1:15.226 (5 laps)
Kimi Raikkonen1:16.648 (3 laps)1:15.780 (5 laps)
Lewis Hamilton1:15.978 (6 laps)1:17.532 (3 laps)
Valterri Bottas 1:16.194 (5 laps)1:15.826 (7 laps)

With the the Red Bull drivers the real averages are on the hypersoft tyres, and relevant data would be more from Verstappen’s long runs since he did two long stints on the hypersofts. Although Ricciardo clocked the fastest lap in the sprint runs, when it comes to the long runs he started them late therefore the calculated six lap average.

The Ferraris had decent runs on the Ultrasoft and Hypersoft compounds with both drivers completing fairly long stints on the ultrasoft. The Mercedes had inconsistent runs with Bottas struggling in both the sprint laps and long runs, while Hamilton attempted short session at the end on the supersoft, but the data was irrelevant.

As far as other teams go Renault looked the best and the McLaren were within less than a tenth of their time in the sprint laps. But on an average between the sprint and the long runs Nico Hulkenberg seemed the best of the rest, sitting comfortable in his seventh place which has been his favourite in three out of five race weekends this season. Following the Renaults were the McLaren’s who had a decent FP2 compared to Fernando Alonso’s aborted session in the morning.

For qualifying, Red Bull Racing can be seen dominating the session, whereas the second and third row could be a mix of the Ferraris and Mercedes.

The Full classification of the second practice session was as follows:

POSNODRIVERCARTIMEGAPLAPSTyre
13Daniel RicciardoRED BULL1:11.84133
HYPER SOFT
233Max VerstappenRED BULL1:12.035+0.19441
HYPER SOFT
35Sebastian VettelFERRARI1:12.413+0.57242
HYPER SOFT
444Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:12.536+0.69534
HYPER SOFT
57Kimi RäikkönenFERRARI1:12.543+0.70236
HYPER SOFT
677Valtteri BottasMERCEDES1:12.642+0.80138
HYPER SOFT
727Nico HulkenbergRENAULT1:13.047+1.20630
HYPER SOFT
82Stoffel VandoorneMCLAREN1:13.077+1.23640
HYPER SOFT
914Fernando AlonsoMCLAREN1:13.115+1.27442
HYPER SOFT
1055Carlos SainzRENAULT1:13.200+1.35934
HYPER SOFT
1128Brendon HartleyTORO ROSSO1:13.222+1.38147
HYPER SOFT
1231Sergio PerezFORCE INDIA1:13.370+1.52939
HYPER SOFT
1331Esteban OconFORCE INDIA 1:13.382+1.54147
HYPER SOFT
1410Pierre GaslyTORO ROSSO1:13.410+1.56932
HYPER SOFT
1535Sergey SirotkinWILLIAMS1:13.547+1.70644
HYPER SOFT
1620Kevin MagnussenHAAS1:13.572+1.73141
HYPER SOFT
1737Charles LeclercSAUBER1:13.575+1.73445
HYPER SOFT
188Romain GrosjeanHAAS1:13.763+1.92237
HYPER SOFT
1918Lance StrollWILLIAMS1:14.011+2.17034
HYPER SOFT
209Marcus Ericsson SAUBER1:14.173+2.33236
HYPER SOFT

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