Leclerc leads the way in Monaco

It looks set to be another battle between Ferrari (4/9 Monaco GP Race Winner – Team) and Red Bull (15/8) at the Monaco Grand Prix with little to pick between the teams during practice on Friday.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc (5/6 Monaco GP Race Winner), who lost the championship lead to Red Bull’s Max Verstappen (5/2) last time out in Spain, topped the timesheets in both practice sessions at his home event.

The Monegasque was 0.039 seconds clear of Red Bull driver Sergio Perez (14/1 Monaco GP Race Winner) in first practice, with Scuderia colleague Carlos Sainz (6/1) third and Verstappen fourth.

A fastest time of 1:12.656 saw Leclerc maintain the lead in second practice, coming in 0.044 seconds ahead of teammate Sainz with Perez and Verstappen third and fourth respectively.

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Leclerc has further motivation this weekend having secured pole last year, despite crashing in the final part of qualifying in Monaco, only to be unable to start the race due to a driveshaft issue.

With two race victories already under his belt this season, Leclerc, who trails Verstappen by six points in the Drivers’ Championship, will undoubtedly be looking to make the most of his opportunity this weekend and Friday’s performance suggests he will be firmly in the mix.

Friday’s opening session passed without any major incidents or crashes but McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo did hit the barriers at the Swimming Pool in session two.

Mercedes’ struggles don’t appear to be easing after another frustrating day on the track. George Russell (20/1 Monaco GP Race Winner) managed to post the sixth-fastest time in second practice but Lewis Hamilton (20/1) was only 12th.

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Author: Lucille White