Hamilton tops incident filled first practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Monaco, Monte Carlo Circuitmc

Lewis Hamilton was fastest at the end of the first free practice session at Monaco, topping his team mate Nico Rosberg by a mere tenth of a second. The session was however filled with incidents, as is usual on the tight and twisty street circuit in the Principality.

Following the usual installation laps, Rosberg and Hamilton were the first to set flying laps, immediately taking charge of the timesheet while running on Pirelli's ultra soft, which will make its race debut here at Monaco. Mercedes were interestingly one of the few teams that opted not to try out the new tyre in testing.

Things progressed steadily until Felipe Massa caught the eye of the cameras by losing rear grip through braking for Ste. Devote, sending him into a sideways slide into the outside barriers and tyres. The incident broke the front and rear left suspensions of his Williams FW38, ending his session after just 10 laps. The crash caused a brief virtual safety car period until the marshalls managed to get the car out of the way.

Following Massa's accident, numerous drivers missed the apex of turn 1 and turn 10, although all without damage.

At the 60 minute mark, Esteban Gutierrez parked his Haas car just before Portier, saying "Something went wrong, really wrong, on the engine". Another 5 minutes later, Jolyon Palmer hit the wall at Tabac, turn 15.

After that, the session continued to be extremely busy until 5 minutes from the end, Rosberg and Button nearly simultaneously had a punctured tyre. It emerged later that this may have been caused by a water drain at Ste. Devote from which the cover got loose. It's unsure what caused this, but the problem brought the session to an early end, with Race Director Charlie Whiting going down to Turn 1 minutes later to check out the issue.

Results

Pos.No.DriverTeamTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:15.537-31
26Nico RosbergMercedes AMG1:15.638+0.101s39
35Sebastian VettelFerrari1:15.956+0.419s26
43Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing1:16.308+0.771s29
533Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing1:16.371+0.834s30
626Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:16.426+0.889s37
727Nico HulkenbergForce India1:16.560+1.023s34
811Sergio PerezForce India1:16.697+1.160s28
97Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:16.912+1.375s24
1055Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:17.130+1.593s39
1177Valtteri BottasWilliams1:17.562+2.025s44
128Romain GrosjeanHaas1:17.599+2.062s33
1314Fernando AlonsoMclaren1:17.838+2.301s27
1421Esteban GutierrezHaas1:17.909+2.372s25
1522Jenson ButtonMclaren1:17.920+2.383s26
1612Felipe NasrSauber1:18.187+2.650s29
1720Kevin MagnussenRenault1:18.274+2.737s34
189Marcus EricssonSauber1:18.301+2.764s33
1919Felipe MassaWilliams1:18.746+3.209s10
2030Jolyon PalmerRenault1:18.871+3.334s22
2188Rio HaryantoManor1:20.528+4.991s28
2294Pascal WehrleinManor1:20.868+5.331s25