Carlos Sainz set an early marker in Monaco after he finished fastest in Free Practice 1 for the Monaco Grand Prix in a disrupted session that left Max Verstappen frustrated in the Red Bull.

Sainz finished with a time of one-minute 13.372secs, ahead of Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in second and third respectively.

Things were not looking good for Verstappen from the start. Having initially struggled with his clutch on the way to the track, the Dutchman then complained about how his car was “unbelievably difficult to drive”.

The two-time world champion was sent back to the pits and despite spending a prolonged period in the garage, Verstappen was still not happy with the changes made.

Throwing his hands up in the car and shaking his head, the Red Bull driver finished in sixth as the second red flag of the session caused an early finish.

Alex Albon, who was running in P10 at the time, crashed at turn one in a nasty looking collision with the barriers that brought the session to an early end. Thankfully the Williams man confirmed on team radio that he was okay.

George Russell struggled in the Mercedes compared to Hamilton, as he ended 15th and a second behind his team-mate. Complaints over a lack of rear grip and tyre temperature will leave the Silver Arrows with plenty to do before FP2.

Last year's pole-sitter Charles Leclerc was set for a lap on par with Sainz prior to the red flag. The Monegasque would eventually settle for 5th fastest.

Zak Brown would have been relieved to see Lando Norris finish in seventh, yet will be hoping for an improved showing from Oscar Piastri, who ended the session down in 17th.

Haas did not have the best start to their 150th grand prix weekend, as Nico Hulkenberg caused an earlier red flag to be waved in the session after he span out at the chicane to leave debris on the track.

Teams will now have just a few hours to make any tweaks and changes ahead of FP2.

Monaco FP1 final results

1. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] - 1:32.340secs

2. Fernando Alonso [Aston Martin] - +0.338s

3. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] - +0.663s

4. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] - +0.666s

5. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] - +0.721s

6. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] - +0.872s

7. Lando Norris [McLaren] - +1.095s

8. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] - +1.213s

9. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] - +1.281s

10. Alex Albon [Williams] - +1.294s

11. Valtteri Bottas [Alfa Romeo] - +1.346s

12. Kevin Magnussen [Haas] - +1.353s

13. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] - +1.448s

14. Pierre Gasly [Alpine] - +1.494s

15. George Russell [Mercedes] - +1.694s

16. Nyck de Vries [AlphaTauri] - +1.711s

17. Oscar Piastri [McLaren] - +1.820s

18. Logan Sargeant [Williams] - +2.185s

19. Zhou Guanyu [Alfa Romeo] - +2.312s

20. Nico Hulkenberg [Haas] - +2.413s

READ MORE: F1 Practice Today: Monaco Grand Prix 2023 start times, schedule and TV

Read more

2023-05-26T12:44:12Z dg43tfdfdgfd