Can Charles Leclerc Overtake Max Verstappen at the F1 Monaco Grand Prix?
Lewis Hamilton insists his team are “almost there” as they look to agree a new contract with Mercedes – and has denied reports that Ferrari have approached him.
The 38-year-old’s current contract with the Silver Arrows, where he has been since 2013, expires at the end of this season as he is set to take to the track on Friday in a revamped Mercedes car.
A report this week suggested Ferrari have offered the seven-time F1 world champion – who has won six of his titles with Mercedes – a £40m-a-year contract to join the Scuderia from 2024. Yet Hamilton, who covets a record-breaking eighth crown after missing out controversially in Abu Dhabi in 2021, revealed that his representatives are close to concluding negotiations with Mercedes over an extension.
Carlos Sainz was quickest in first practice, with Fernando Alonso second and Lewis Hamilton third. FP2 started at 4pm (BST).
Follow practice at the Monaco Grand Prix with The Independent.
F1 PRACTICE – MONACO GRAND PRIX
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Carlos Sainz now fastest with 30 minutes left
As most of the pack switch to soft tyres, Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz leads the way with a 1:12:569, with Fernando Alonso two-tenths down in second.
Esteban Ocon a surprise name in third, with Lance Stroll fourth.
5-10: Russell, Hamilton, Verstappen, Bottas, Tsunoda, Perez.
The Red Bulls now heading out on soft tyres. You feel as though all the drivers are finally in the groove as they set their quickest possible times today…
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 16:32
Max Verstappen quickest in early running in FP2
The world championship leader Max Verstappen is top of the pack – with a 1:13:312 – with Sergio Perez three-tenths back, and Carlos Sainz in third, +0.496 secs behind Verstappen.
4-10: Leclerc, Alonso, Russell, Hamilton, Ocon, Magnussen, Gasly
All on mediums for the time being; softs incoming…
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 16:23
Christian Horner on Aston Martin and Honda’s partnership
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 16:11
We’re underway with second practice in Monaco!
A big queue at the end of the small pit lane in Monaco with most of the drivers eager to get straight out there with FP2 in Monaco!
Alex Albon, after his heavy shunt in FP1, isn’t ready in his Williams yet – we’ll see how much time he can spend out on track…
Qualifying simulations coming right up!
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 16:01
We’re about to get underway with FP2 in Monaco!
The sun is beaming down on the princpality and we’re almost ready for second practice in Monaco!
Can Red Bull improve on a tricky FP1? What about Mercedes and their new upgrades? And how about Ferrari?
The field will be going through their qualifying simulations in the next hour!
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 15:58
Monaco Grand Prix winner odds!
Charles Leclerc, Sergio Perez – 7/2
Kevin Magnussen, Nyck de Vries, Logan Sargeant, Oscar Piastri, Nico Hulkenberg, Yuki Tsunoda, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Esteban Ocon, Alex Albon, Guanyu Zhou – 500/1
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 15:52
Lewis Hamilton has shut the door on Ferrari – will he come to regret it?
Comment by Kieran Jackson
In fact, Hamilton went further, revealing his representatives are “almost there” in agreeing a new deal with Mercedes. The 38-year-old’s current contract with the Silver Arrows – where he has won six of his seven world titles since joining in an inspired decision a decade ago – expires at the end of this season. Despite the wait, the noise from both the Brit and team boss Toto Wolff has been that an extension is a simple inevitability. Not a case of if, but when.
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 15:45
Carlos Sainz addresses Monaco Grand Prix concerns after ‘football injury’
Carlos Sainz has clarified that he is “completely well and ready to race” at this weekend’s Monaco Grand Prix after rumours he had suffered an injury.
Reports this week suggested that the Ferrari driver had hurt himself playing in the annual Monaco charity football match.
The Spaniard appeared to have significant strapping on his thigh after being substituted.
But Sainz has stressed on social media that he will good to go as the race weekend starts with the opening two practice sessions on Friday.
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 15:39
Constructors’ Championship ahead of Monaco
2) Aston Martin – 102 points
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 15:34
Max Verstappen struggles as Carlos Sainz goes fastest in Monaco opening practice
Hamilton, armed with a major Mercedes upgrade, finished the first running in Monte Carlo behind only Carlos Sainz, who topped the order for Ferrari, and Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso.
Hamilton was ahead of both Red Bulls – with Sergio Perez fourth and world champion Max Verstappen, who complained on multiple occasions about the handling of his Red Bull, sixth. The Ferrari of Charles Leclerc split the Red Bull pair.
Kieran Jackson26 May 2023 15:25