2024 F1 Monaco GP FP1 and FP2: What did we learn?

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Practice
F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Practice

The first day's proceedings in the 2024 F1 Monaco GP are done and dusted. At the end of the day, we have home hero Charles Leclerc at the top, with Lewis Hamilton in P2.

The session saw Lelarc, the Ferrari driver surprise everyone with the kind of pace that he has, as there was a noticeable gulf between him and his counterparts. What was even more interesting was that even teammate Carlos Sainz found it hard to keep up with Lelarc.

The F1 Monaco GP is a race weekend that can throw a surprise or two one way or the other. Having said that, there's still the mundane, basic stuff that has to be perfected. After the first day of running, what have we learned? Let's take a look.

2024 F1 Monaco GP FP1 and FP2: Key Takeaways

#1 Charles Leclerc looks stunning

As mentioned earlier, Charles Leclerc does look very impressive. The Ferrari driver's lap times were something that almost seemed out of reach, and in all fairness, he was on his way to an even better one, which got blocked.

Leclerc's race pace, however, was abysmal, and that can certainly be a concern heading into a race weekend. Having said that, if Charles can secure pole position, everything else will be the least of his worries.

#2 Lewis Hamilton has found a great rhythm

While Mercedes in general does look impressive, Lewis Hamilton in particular looks brilliant. The Briton driver ended the session in P2 and his car looked very impressive.

Lewis hasn't had as much confidence in the car this season but that was not the case on Friday. Maybe the F1 legend has something special in store for the fans.

#3 Red Bull and McLaren can't be ruled out

It's a tad early to rule out a strong Red Bull and McLaren, even though they had their share of struggles. There's no doubt that both of these teams struggled a little when it came to putting together the lap times that Leclerc was managing, but it might be too early to write off either of them.

To add to this, Red Bull also ran a more conservative program, which would obviously skew the overall laptime. Neither of the two teams is out of it yet and will be looking to find improvements by tomorrow.

#4 Driver confidence is going to make a lot of difference

The gap between Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, or between Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in terms of laptime, shows what confidence in a car can do. Neither Sainz nor Russell have looked confident during the F1 Monaco GP race weekend.

Hence, we see such a difference in the laptime. This is not all, though; this weekend will see several instances of something similar, widening the gulf between teammates.

#5 The true picture has not yet emerged

Finally, the most important thing is that the true image has yet to emerge. What that means is that there's still an evening where teams are going to go back and reassess and reevaluate how they want to approach the rest of the F1 Monaco GP race weekend.

We could see orders flipping left, right, and center on Saturday, and it should not come as a surprise.

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