The sixth round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Thursday at Circuit de Monaco as teams prepared for the 75th Monaco Grand Prix Sunday.
Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 3.337-kilometer (2.074-mile), 19-turn track allowed drivers to get used to the wider and more powerful generation of Formula One machinery on the historic course that has been used since 1929.
Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen began the sun-kissed day on the same program for FP1 – an installation lap on Pirelli P Zero Yellow soft tires followed by two timed runs on brand new sets of Purple ultrasoft tires. The duo wrapped the session with two more stints with their Haas VF-17s outfitted on used ultrasofts.
Magnussen logged 34 laps with his best time coming on his 21st lap – a 1:14.870 that placed him 13th overall. Grosjean tallied 33 laps and secured a best time of 1:15.321 on his 18th lap to put him 15th on the speed chart.
Leading the way in FP1 was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, whose fast lap of 1:13.425 was .196 of a second better than the next quickest time of Scuderia Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and .107 of a second better than Kimi Räikkönen’s qualifying lap record of 1:13.532 set in 2006 with McLaren, which is widely considered the fastest lap of this Formula One era at Monaco.
Times continued to drop in FP2 with the top-six drivers turning laps under Räikkönen’s 2006 record.
Magnussen bettered his FP1 mark by .98 of a second with a time of 1:13.890 on his 21st lap shod on a set of ultrasofts. And Grosjean also improved, shaving 1.299 seconds off his FP1 time with a 1:14.022 on his 21st tour while also riding on a set of ultrasoft tires. Magnussen ended FP2 ninth overall and Grosjean was 14th. Both drivers ran the same program in FP2, beginning the session on Red supersoft tires before switching to the Purple ultrasofts. The duo returned to the supersofts at the end of FP2 as the team practiced pit stops. Magnussen ended the session with 46 laps and Grosjean topped out with 44 laps completed.
Fastest in FP2 was Vettel, but instead of vying with Mercedes drivers for the top spot, it was Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo and Ferrari teammate Räikkönen making up the top-three. Vettel’s quick time of 1:12.720 was .487 of a second faster than Ricciardo and .563 of a second better than Räikkönen. Hamilton, quickest in FP1, was only eighth-fastest in FP2, 1.153 seconds behind Vettel.
Between the two sessions, Haas F1 Team ran a total of 157 laps – 80 by Magnussen and 77 by Grosjean.