Monaco GP practice as it happened

Text and video highlights of practice for the Monaco Grand Prix in Monte Carlo, where Nico Rosberg is fastest.

23 May 2013 Last updated at 15:16

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As it happened

  1. 1455: 
    Nico Rosberg

    Mercedes ended Friday on top, but Ferrari, Lotus and Red Bull are lurking in the shadows. Can Mercedes make it four pole positions on the bounce? Join me on Saturday to find out. Until then, it's good afternoon from me. See ya.

  2. 1450: 

    Right, that's it from me, folks. Here's Andrew Benson's second practice report which will have quotes an analysis from this afternoon's session. Don't forget Inside F1 with Lee McKenzie is on tomorrow at 1845 BST. I'll be back on Saturday morning at 0930 to bring you coverage of final practice and then qualifying for the Monaco Grand Prix.

  3. 1445: 

    If you're around tonight at 2000 BST, may I suggest tuning into BBC Radio 5 live to hear practice analysis, insights and driver interviews in 5 live Formula 1's Monaco preview show with James Allen, Allan McNish and Jennie Gow broadcasting live from the Force India party yacht, before moving over to Red Bull's floating motorhome.

  4. 1440: 

    As McNish says, it looks like Mercedes are on course for their fourth successive pole position. However, let's not forget that Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa had to abort their super-soft run when the yellow flags came out for Romain Grosjean's accident, so we've yet to see their true pace.

  5.  

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Allan McNish: "Clearly the Mercedes are very fast over one lap and they look bit better than they have done on the long runs. Ferrari are very strong and you've got to say Webber looks to be a bit ahead of team-mate Vettel. And do no discount Lotus who will be force if they can get up the front in qualifying."

  6. 1435: 
    SECOND PRACTICE STANDINGS

    1) Rosberg 2) Hamilton 3) Alonso 4) Massa 5) Webber 6) Raikkonen 7) Grosjean 8) Button 9) Vettel 10) Di resta 11) Sutil

    12) Perez 13) Hulkenberg 14) Maldonado 15) Gutierrez 16) Ricciardo 17) Vergne 18) Bottas 19) Bianchi 20) Pic 21) Chilton 22) Van der Garde

  7. 1432: 

    As they did after first practice, the drivers are heading round to the grid to do a practice start so the engineers can look at the data so they can prepare the clutch for the start of Sunday and assess how much grip there is.

  8. 1430: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG
    Nico Rosberg at Monaco GP

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest in second practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

  9. 1429: 

    James Allen reports that Kimi Raikkonen has just done a mid-1m18 on lap 18 of a long run which highlights Lotus's very strong pace in Monaco.

  10. 1425: 

    A bunch of McLaren mechanics have run down to the end of the pit lane to rescue Sergio Perez who has ground to a halt. Bad news for the Mexican with just over five minutes remaining.

  11. 1423: 

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Allan McNish says that Nico Rosberg looks to be a little bit better than Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton towards the end of the long run stint, which bodes well for the German ahead of Sunday's race.

  12. 1420: 

    Lewis Hamilton is snaking his way up the hill in the Mercedes having just pitted to ditch the super-softs for a set of softs. He rejoins just ahead of Fernando Alonso who is sticking with his long run.

  13.  
    Monaco GP

    BBC F1 presenter Suzi Perry: ‏Not a bad viewpoint #bbcf1 #monacobaby

  14. 1415: 

    Lots of activity out on track with 15 minutes remaining. Just Esteban Gutierrez, Charles Pic and obviously Romain Grosjean, who crashed out of this session earlier on, are currently in their garages.

  15.  

    Felipe Massa's race engineer Rob Smedley over team radio: "I would hold back a little bit. Obviously you would hold Sutil up, but that is part of… life."

  16. 1410: 

    Lots of useful running for Mercedes today, with 65 laps between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg - more than any other team. Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel has done the third fewest laps - 17. Only Giedo van der Garde and Romain Grosjean have completed fewer.

  17.  

    British 1992 world champion Nigel Mansell: Looking good for Merc - Nico and Lewis. Monaco looks great as ever.

  18. 1404: 

    Rosberg leads Hamilton by 0.3 seconds with Alonso a further tenth adrift. Massa, Webber, Raikkonen, Grosjean, Button, Vettel and Di Resta complete the top 10.

  19. 1400: 

    Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton look to have started long runs, with the lap times dropping to around 4.5 seconds off the pace.

  20. 1354: 

    Jenson Button improves to eighth place on his next lap, 1.2 seconds off the pace and one place ahead of reigning world champion and championship leader Sebastian Vettel.

  21. 1351: 

    Mark Webber is on a hot lap, but he chooses not to drive through the chicane, instead cutting the corner, and thus the lap time won't count. Jenson Button, meanwhile, moves 12th on his super-soft tyres, 1.7 seconds off the pace.

  22. 1348: 

    Fernando Alonso gets a bit lairy at Anthony Noghes corner, getting frighteningly close to the wall before accelerating down the start-finish straight. It's a decent effort and he does third, four tenths off the pace.

  23. 1342: 

    Huge moment for Fernando Alonso who almost hits the barrier at Rascasse as he tries to avoid the slowing Sauber of Nico Hulkenberg who is retreating to the pits. The Spaniard saves the slide and then raises his hand up in frustration.

  24.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris Lord: Well the good thing for Lotus is that they have a good 30+ hours to fix the car with no Friday running in Monaco!

  25. 1339: 

    A couple of marshals, armed with a crowbar, are on the floor at Turn 13 to remove a bit of metal which appears to be sticking out of the kerb. They get the job done quickly and we're back under way.

  26. 1336: 
    RED FLAG

    It's all kicking off in Monte Carlo as the session gets red flagged. It seems there's kerb damage down at Turn 13.

  27.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "You would be disappointed as a team boss because it's only 30 minutes into the session. Maybe the last 15 minutes is when you tighten up the belts a bit and have a go.

    "The way Grosjean arrived at the corner, he missed the apex, he should have been able to go straight on. Sometimes you can't avoid an accident, but in that case I think he could have done."

  28.  

    Lotus: Romain introduces the E21 to the barriers at quite a difficult corner. Just ask a certain seven-time world champ. #GetLucky

  29. 1333: 

    Grosjean gets it all wrong at the first corner Sainte Devote, clattering into the barrier and ruining the front of his Lotus. I'm not so sure his team will be able to fix the car in time to get him back out in this session.

    It's a bit of a nightmare for drivers such as Felipe Massa who had to abort his super-soft tyre run as the result of the crash.

  30. 1332: 
    CRASH!

    Romain Grosjean has been flying in Monaco so far this weekend, with things likely to go one of two ways: he would either end up somewhere near the top of the timesheets or end up in the barriers. Unfortunately for the Frenchman, it's the latter...

  31. 1331: 

    Lewis Hamilton's third sector is not so good and he crosses the line three tenths adrift of his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg. It's still the second best time of the day so far, though.

  32. 1330: 

    James Allen points out that both Mercedes did a gentle lap to prepare their super-soft tyres before putting the hammer down on their flier. Hamilton and Rosberg do a 1:31, which is around 15 seconds off the pace, before getting down to it.

  33. 1327: 

    Nico Rosberg bolts on a set of the super soft tyres and obliterates Kimi Raikkonen's previous top time to go 0.752 seconds quickest. A very committed lap from the German. His team-mate Lewis Hamilton is just about to start his flier.

  34. 1322: 

    A mistake from Kimi Raikkonen in the final sector sees him go sixth fastest, but he doesn't let that faze him. Keeping his foot on the gas, Raikkonen goes again and this time it all comes together. The Finn clocks a 1:15.511 to go P1.

  35. 1317: 

    It looks like Red Bull have finished working on Sebastian Vettel's car as the German is climbing back into the cockpit. Expect the reigning world champion to be out shortly.

    Meanwhile on track, Fernando Alonso flies through the Swimming Pool section and carries that pace through the final sector to go quickest of all. Romain Grosjean nails a quick lap, too, to go second, two tenths off the pace.

  36. 1313: 

    Lewis Hamilton is flying after his earlier lock-up and goes quickest with a 1:15.963, but his time at the top doesn't last long as his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg edges in front by a tenth.

  37.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jenson Button tucked into a sea bass and some vegetables for lunch. Here's what a selection of you are eating during this session...

    Laura: Re 1240. Tucking in to loin of bacon, sprouts, mashed turnip and peppered mash. Who needs Monaco?

    Imitch: I'm having a beautiful whole red snapper with a Thai red curry sauce whilst looking over the Andaman sea and a lovely cold beer.

    Lacanta: Still waiting for my vegetable soup to finish cooking...

  38. 1311: 

    Lewis Hamilton has a big lock up on the the approach to Mirabeau and comes perilously close to hitting the barriers. But he does just enough and gets the car turned into the corner to escape and live to fight another day.

  39. 1309: 

    Romain Grosjean grabs P1 off his Lotus team-mate Kimi Raikkonen, dipping down into the 1m16s to go three tenths clear. Paul di Resta pops into third in the Force India, three tenths off the pace.

  40. 1306: 

    The times are tumbling with Kimi Raikkonen bursting onto the timesheets with the quickest time of the session so far - a 1:17.309, half a second clear of Sergio Perez's McLaren in second.

  41. 1304: 

    Pastor Maldonado sets the early pace, clocking a 1:18.863, which is 1.2 seconds quicker than Esteban Gutierrez. It's pretty much straight down to business in this session, with drivers getting some timed laps under their belts straight away. Lewis Hamilton, Jenson Button and Nico Rosberg have all just headed out.

  42. 1302: 

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter Jennie Gow is down at Red Bull and she reports that Sebastian Vettel's car is up on it's jacks with a couple of mechanics doing some work on the underneath of the car. All Vettel can do is stand there and watch.

  43. 1300: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    And we're off! Esteban Gutierrez is followed by his Sauber team-mate Nico Hulkenberg with Marussia's Max Chilton is not too far behind.

  44. 1258: 

    Temperatures have crept up to a toasty 22C, with the track temperatures hovering around 45C as we approach the start of the session. The Sauber of Esteban Gutierrez is very keen, the Mexican driving down the pit lane and parking up at the end as he waits for the green light.

  45. 1255: 

    BBC Radio 5 live sports extra are up and running with James Allen and Allan McNish. You can listen to their dulcet tones via the link to the right of this page. Mobile and Sport app users go to your F1 page.

  46.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Nico Rosberg set the pace in first practice, fractionally from Ferrari's Fernando Alonso but Mercedes reckon that on a single lap their advantage is bigger than the 0.087secs that separated the two on lap times. Mercedes say they spent very little time focusing on ultimate pace, so they are confident they have a strong shot at the front row again - they have been on pole for the last three races.

    "But they admit that their tyre issues are still a problem and that they may well end up leading a train of cars in the race again. Both Rosberg and team-mate Lewis Hamilton did race-simulation runs at the end of P1 and Hamilton looked better on tyre use, interestingly. This second session is when everyone does race-type runs - for the last 30-45 minutes. They will be watched with interest."

  47. 1250: 

    So we've got a 90-minute session coming up for you, with times expected to tumble as the track is rubbered in after the first session. Time for the drivers to suit up and climb into their cockpits.

  48. 1245: 

    A glance across the harbour and out into the sea and all you see is sweet blue sky, with an array of luxury yachts gently bobbing up and down and straddling the circuit. Perfect conditions to take a motor car out for a spin...

  49. 1240: 
    GET INVOLVED

    What did you have for lunch? I enjoyed some aromatic ham, cream cheese and lettuce wraps with side of sweet chill and sour cream crisps. Over at McLaren, it was a rather healthier affair, with Jenson Button tucking into sea bass on a bed of scrumptious looking vegetables.

    Tweet me with your menu - and obviously any F1-related chat like your thoughts Alonso's claims Monaco is the "most important race of the season" and who you think is best placed to win. - using the #bbcf1 hashtag or by texting 81111 (UK only).

  50. 1236: 

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator James Allen was trackside for this morning's first practice and he has made some fascinating observations.

    James noticed that Nico Rosberg, who finished fastest, was working harder than Fernando Alonso, who was second quickest, to do a similar lap time. He added that the Ferrari could take more kerb on the left on entry to the Swimming Pool, which opens out the corner. Red Bull and Mercedes, whoever, avoid that kerb.

    And he said that Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus all have good traction out of slow corners - McLaren less so. James will be back in the 5 live commentary box from 1255 BST to bring you live coverage of second practice.

  51. 1233: 
    Nico Rosberg

    If you missed first practice, you won't know that Nico Rosberg topped the times for Mercedes, a fraction ahead of Ferrari's Fernando Alonso. Lotus's Romain Grosjean looked pretty handy in third, as did Pastor Maldonado - no really he did - who was sixth in the Williams.

  52. 1230: 

    Hello again. I hope you've used the break between sessions wisely. Not much to report from BBC HQ, though I did spot Sir Bruce Forsyth wandering the corridors. How does that rate as a celeb spot? This being Monaco Grand Prix weekend, we should be able to top that, right?

  53. 1045: 

    Right, I'm off for a quick break before second practice gets under way. I'll be back at 1230, with the session starting at 1300.

    Until then, here's Andrew Benson's report and a link to a video of Monaco's memorable moments - which includes the 1982 event where it seems no one wanted to win.

  54. 1043: 

    There are lots of Force India mechanics swarming around the back of Adrian Sutil's car as they look to assess the damage - if any - following the German's little brush with the barriers.

  55.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "The time to push will be in the last 15 minutes of second practice because you've got all day Friday to fix the car if you put it in the barriers. For most people, first practice is about not doing too much damage."

  56. 1040: 

    Just two tenths split the top four - Rosberg, Alonso, Grosjean and Massa - with Hamilton a further tenth of a second back. Nice and close, then, as we head into second practice in just over two hours time.

  57.  

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Allan McNish: "Both Alonso and Massa are looking good in the Ferraris. Grosjean has got it hooked up but his Lotus team-mate Raikkonen was a bit scrappy. The surprise for me was Maldonado. Williams seem to have their car working pretty well, but it's very early days."

  58. 1036: 
    FIRST PRACTICE STANDINGS

    1) Rosberg 2) Alonso 3) Grosjean 4) Massa 5) Hamilton 6) Maldonado 7) Webber 8) Button 9) Perez 10) Vettel 11) Raikkonen

    12) Di Resta 13) Sutil 14) Hulkenberg 15) Vergne 16) Gutierrez 17) Bottas 18) Ricciardo 19) Van der Garde 20) Pic 21) Bianchi 22) Chilton

  59.  

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst Allan McNish: "Nico is on his game again and if Lewis is going to beat him, he's going to have to work very hard. But if one man can do it, it's Lewis."

  60. 1033: 

    Good stuff from Nico Rosberg who finishes three tenths ahead of his Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton. The drivers feed around the the start finish to do some practice starts before heading back to the pits.

  61. 1031: 

    Nico Rosberg finishes fastest of first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

  62. 1030: 
    CHEQUERED FLAG

    Out comes the chequered flag, but anyone on a flying lap will be allowed to complete it.

  63. 1028: 

    Very good lap from Romain Grosjean who clocks a 1:16.380, 0.185 seconds off the pace on tyres which have done quite a few laps already.

  64.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Looking at the Ferrari in the pits, the left rear tyre is a bit grainy and the right rear is OK. We'll see it get worse on the super-soft tyres. These soft and super-soft compounds being used for this weekend are very soft indeed."

  65. 1023: 
    SPIN!

    Oh Adrian Sutil, you lucky boy. The German spins at St Devote, the rear of his Force India giving the barriers the faintest of kisses. No obvious damage and he keeps the engine running so he's able to retreat back to the pits.

  66.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Tyres - and more specifically the effect they are having on racing in F1 - have been a hot topic all year and continue to be here. Red Bull have been getting a fair bit of stick for their criticisms of the tyres' short life, saying that F1 has become too focused on tyre management, with many accusing them of sour grapes and pursuing their own self-interest.

    "But Sebastian Vettel claimed that they are simply saying what others are thinking. 'In the media, it looks like Red Bull is complaining,' the world champion said, 'but I hear the drivers' voices in the meetings we have together and when you chat to other drivers I don't know, even if you pinpoint Lotus and say they have the best car for these tyres, but still their drivers complain. They have the same problem as us but to a lesser extent.'"

  67.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Neil Thompson: Now there's something you don't read too often in 2013 "Pastor Maldonado is an impressive fifth".

  68. 1017: 

    Sebastian Vettel loses a bit of time in the third sector and can only manage the ninth fastest time, 1.1 seconds off the pace set by Nico Rosberg. BBC Radio 5 live analyst Allan McNish says: "The Red Bulls are not looking as comfortable as I would have expected at this stage. Both Vettel and Webber have been locking up the brakes quite easily, in the early part of the braking area, so that means they've not quite got the grip in the brakes."

  69. 1013: 

    We've just been onboard with Felipe Massa, and boy was it nail-biting. The Brazilian was really hustling the car and is painfully close to the barriers on the exit of the chicane and down at Turn 16. Little corrections on the steering wheel ensure he keeps that scarlet Ferrari out of the barriers, but it's clear he's really on the limit. The resulting lap time is pretty good, the Brazilian going third fastest two tenths off the pace.

  70.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Coming into this race, a lot of people are tipping Mercedes as potential winners, based on the car's speed in qualifying. Lewis Hamilton or Nico Rosberg have been on pole for the last three races and in Monaco traditionally a front-row starting spot is a requirement for a win because passing is so difficult. But it remains to be seen whether the high tyre wear that has blighted Mercedes' season so far will also be an issue in Monaco.

    "Red Bull's Mark Webber, winner here in 2010 and 2012, said: 'They have some Saturday form, which is not a bad card to play at this venue, so let's see how the tyres pan out on Sunday. If they're calm and Mercedes still have their qually pace, it could be quite nice for them. If they don't, there are options to make it more difficult for them. Our goal is to aim for pole position and be in a position where we are in charge and not trying to deal with them in the race. Last year I saved the tyres for 95% of the grand prix and still won the race. That was the rules last year; I doubt it will be the rules this year.'"

  71. 1007: 

    Fernando Alonso sets his best time of the day to reduce his deficit to leader Nico Rosberg to just 0.087 seconds. Jenson Button improves, too, but that McLaren looks like a right handful and he can only stay sixth, 0.945 seconds off the pace.

  72. 1003: 

    With just under 30 minutes of this session remaining, Nico Rosberg leads Fernando Alonso by 0.107 seconds with Romain Grosjean third and Lewis Hamilton fourth.

    Pastor Maldonado is an impressive fifth, ahead of Mark Webber, Felipe Massa, Jenson Button, Sebastian Vettel and Paul di Resta.

  73.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Fernando Alonso can achieve a historical first here this weekend - to become the first driver to win Monaco for three different teams. He triumphed for Renault in 2006 and McLaren in 2007 and feels confident he will be in the running for Ferrari this weekend, too, on a track on which he has always excelled. 'Confidence is good, high for the team, we know we have a competitive package,' the Spaniard said. 'We know Monaco is a unique track and you need a very special set-up and good confidence to drive here, but we also did two podiums in the last two years so it should be good for us to be quite competitive and to have a good result.

    "'We know Mercedes will be strong, they have been on pole position for the last three grands prix. If they are on pole position, maybe they are favourites here, but we cannot forget our main target, which is the championship. At the moment, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen are in front of us, so if Mercedes has to win one race then we just have to finish in front of the others.' If he does pull it off, it would be Ferrari's first win in Monaco since Michael Schumacher in 2001. 'Many races Ferrari cannot win here,' Alonso said. 'I can be the first man to win for three different teams, so it is for sure a good motivation.'"

  74. 0957: 

    Nico Rosberg is back on top of the pile, one tenth faster than Fernando Alonso. Romain Grosjean gets his braking wrong at the chicane, but eases off the brake and cuts the corner to save the tyre. Next time around, the Frenchman goes third quickest, two tenths off the pace.

  75. 0951: 

    Bit of a dicey moment at the pit lane entry when Ferrari's Felipe Massa makes a very late decision to enter the pit lane - and in doing so cuts across the track sharply and into the path of Marussia's Max Chilton who flies round the penultimate corner on a hot lap. Luckily, no contact is made but it was a close call.

  76. 0949: 

    Mercedes' Nico Rosberg hooks up three tidy sectors to go quickest, but his time at the top is short-lived as Fernando Alonso ducks down into the 1m16s to go 0.163 seconds clear.

  77. 0947: 

    The Ferrari looks stunning out there, Felipe Massa dancing his Italian machine around the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo. The smooth style works, with the Brazilian going even quicker to extend his lead at the top of the timesheets to 1.390 seconds.

  78. 0942: 

    Ferrari's Felipe Massa has launched himself into P1 with a 1:18.818, 0.257 seconds quicker than the Toro Rosso of Daniel Ricciardo. Jenson Button has just hit the track in his McLaren, as has Lotus' Kimi Raikkonen.

  79.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Here's Sebastian Vettel with his take on why Monaco has the standing it does in F1. 'History is important, and just looking around it's very spectacular,' the triple world champion said. 'It is one of the greatest grands prix we have. It is about the worst you can think of in terms of overtaking but it is very exciting. The circuit is very technical, the driver here is more important than in other places. To win here does taste sweeter than anywhere else.'"

  80. 0937: 

    Yes we will. Esteban Gutierrez clocks a 1:29.219, but that's slashed by Toro Rosso's Daniel Ricciardo who moves into P1 with a 1:24.466.

  81. 0934: 

    Hurrah, Esteban Gutierrez has headed out in his Sauber and he's just crossed the line to start a timed lap. Could we finally get our first time on the board?

  82.  

    Force India's Paul di Resta: "We're waiting for the track to improve a bit before we go out. We've got a few things we want to get through. You've got to let the track to come to the car."

  83. 0930: 

    It's still all quiet out on track, with Sebastian Vettel sat on the cabinets at the back of his garage looking pretty bored to be honest. Nico Rosberg is out of the car looking at the data screens while Pastor Maldonado has chosen to sit in his cockpit, helmet on and visor down.

  84.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "One of the reasons the drivers all love Monaco is that the track itself is one of the greatest challenges they face. Here's Kimi Raikkonen again: 'You have to leave a little margin always because if you make a mistake here in some corner you will probably end your session or qualifying or race. In other circuits you can run wide and come back.

    "'If you can push the limit easily here and be confident nothing will go wrong you can probably make a bigger difference here than elsewhere.' Ferrari's Fernando Alonso added: 'We want to win the championship, as we said many times but Monaco is a special race, the most important, let's say, in the championship. Indy 500, Monaco Grand Prix, Le Mans are the three races all motorsport fans know about.'"

  85.  

    Former Monaco Grand Prix winner Olivier Panis: "It feels really nice to be here again. The track is something special and for the driver it's a big challenge. The feeling was fantastic when I won. To lead a race here was something special. I only won one race, but it's the one I wanted to win."

  86. 0920: 

    Olivier Panis, the last Frenchman to win this race back in 1996, is in the Caterham garage having a chat to his protege Charles Pic. Pic's family used to support Panis during his career and now the former Ligier driver mentors the 23-year-old.

  87.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Michael Pilkington: Hoping for chaos on Sunday as a Mercedes front row backs up the field nicely.

  88.  

    McLaren driver Jenson Button: "It's a circuit you need to build up to. You can't barrel into a corner first time out and find your braking point. You have to work up to it. That's one of the reasons we love Monaco. You take risks. You have to try not to fight the circuit but use as much of it as possible - millimetres from the barriers is what you want."

  89. 0914: 

    Sergio Perez breaks the silence, roaring out of the McLaren garage and out onto this 3.340km track. The Mexican has a small lock-up into the chicane, but it's no big issue and he continues on his way.

  90.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "A number of drivers have come up with one-off helmet designs for this one-off race. Fernando Alonso has followed his trend of recent Monaco years by coming up with a gold version of his standard design. Jean-Eric Vergne and Romain Grosjean both have special paintwork this weekend but the most eye-catching promises to be Lewis Hamilton's. His has a picture of himself girlfriend Nicole Scherzinger and dog Roscoe cruising the streets of Monaco in a pimped-up Cadillac. You can read about the reasons behind the design in his column on the BBC Sport website on Friday."

  91. 0909: 
    Monaco GP

    It's all gone quiet on the streets of Monaco, with everyone sat in their garages having completed their installation lap. That leaves plenty of time to enjoy views of the harbour packed with some stunning yachts.

  92.   
    BBC F1 technical analyst Gary Anderson:

    "Williams have three different packages of front wings - and each driver has two of each. They are still trying to find their way. They had a very good car last year. Pastor Maldonado has gone out with last year's front wing on the car and Valtteri Bottas has gone out with the new one, which has a different endplate. There are certainly a lot of front wings - I don't suppose they'll go back home with as many."

  93.  

    BBC 5 live analyst Allan McNish: "A lot of the leading teams will spend the first part of this session in the garage - they don't want to go out and be the 'track cleaner'. But some of the teams that are not quite so sure about where their car is, like Williams, will need the time."

  94. 0904: 

    Installation laps are the order of the day. Nico Rosberg and Lewis Hamilton have just headed out, their silver Mercedes' glistening in the sunshine. Everything just looks better in Monaco, doesn't it?

  95. 0900: 
    GO! GO! GO!

    The 2013 Monaco Grand Prix weekend is go, go, go.

  96.  

    Caterham: Two minutes until green light. The track will be very green for the first few laps, but by the end of FP1 it will have evolved a lot! Obviously that evolution continues in FP2, but as we then don't run on Friday, FP3 is back to lower grip levels, even with the GP2 activity.

  97.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Evs in Grays Essex: I can only see a Mercedes all front row for qualifying and a couple of wide Mercs for the race, they have to be favourite for the win this weekend.

  98. 0855: 

    Ferrari's Felipe Massa receives a few final words of wisdom from race engineer Rob Smedley while licking his headphones and carefully placing them in his ears. Just five minutes to go...

  99.  

    Marussia driver Max Chilton: "The sun is out and it's practice day! Can't wait to get started!"

  100.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "You know Monaco is unique when even Kimi Raikkonen admits to be finding it that bit special. The Finn is notoriously unemotional about his Formula 1 racing, but he admitted on Wednesday that even he is under Monaco's spell. 'It is one race, you get the same points (as anywhere else),' he said, 'but it is more difficult to win than some others and it's a bigger challenge to drive.'

    "He admitted he did not care about its long history 'too much' but from Raikkonen it is surprising to hear the follow-up, which for him counts as effusive. 'It is nice to have something that is completely different, narrow and a challenge.' So there you have it. Monaco is so good that even Kimi Raikkonen is impressed. Compliments do not come much bigger than that."

  101. 0852: 

    We've got two 90-minute practice sessions on the epic tight and twisty Monte Carlo street circuit to look forward to today, the first of which gets under way at 0900 BST. Ben Edwards will be in the 5 live commentary box along with Allan McNish, while Jennie Gow and Gary Anderson are down in the pit lane.

  102. 0849: 
    Wednesday press conference, Monaco

    Adrian Sutil and Lewis Hamilton's frosty friendship appears to show no signs of thawing after the pair were part of a FIA news conference on Wednesday. The duo used to be best of friends until Sutil was involved in a nightclub fracas in China two years ago.

    Hamilton said: "Things are definitely different. We've spoken a couple of times, and we plan to get together at some stage, just have a chat basically. We've been great friends for a long, long time and had some of the best times together along the way, especially in Formula Three.

    "You can generally only count your good friends on one hand, some people say, as good friends are hard to come by.I want to make sure we get things right".

    Sutil replied: "As Lewis said, yes, it's different. I'm still waiting for a coming together, and I can't say anything more. "

  103. 0846: 
    WEATHER UPDATE

    As Andrew mentioned earlier, the weather could play a bit part this weekend. BBC weatherman Ian Fergusson says: "The rain should be kept at bay today with a fair amount of sunshine around but there is every chance of rain on Saturday and qualifying could well turn out to be a lottery. On Sunday, though, the threat of showers will have drifted out to the east, so it should be dry and sunny." See our weather pages for a full Monaco GP forecast.

  104. 0842: 
    Novak Djokovic and Fernando Alonso

    Fernando Alonso swapped his helmet and overalls for a pair of shorts and football boots on Tuesday when he teamed up with Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and the team's test driver Giancarlo Fisichella for an annual charity football match which raises funds for associations helping children in need.

    However, the Spaniard and his F1 colleagues tasted defeat as Star Team Monaco - which featured world number one tennis player Novak Djokovic - took the spoils 3-2. Monaco royals Andrea and Charlotte Casiraghi watched from the stands while their brother Pierre played for the Star Team.

  105. 0839: 
    GET INVOLVED

    The fact that you're here at all means you remember that practice is today, rather than Friday - so give yourself a pat on the back. We're a day early because the principality opens the streets up to the public on Friday to minimise disruption.

    Now that you're here, you may as well pipe up with your F1 chat. Are qualifying specialists Mercedes the ones to beat on a track that is difficult to overtake? Can Ferrari take their first win in Monaco since 2001? Will we get a shock winner, Olivier Panis-style, on Sunday?

    Tweet me using the hashtag #bbcf1 or text via 81111 (UK only), remembering to put your name on the message.

  106.   
    BBC Sport's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson in Monaco:

    "Monaco is at its picture-postcard perfect best this morning. The harbour is glistening under a sun blazing in the cobalt sky. The poseurs are out in force and the track looks as lovely as ever, and still recognisable from the place that held the first Monaco Grand Prix in 1929. There is always a special frisson about this race, and this year it is as high as ever. Mercedes, Red Bull, Ferrari and Lotus all look in with a shout of a victory on one of the greatest tracks in the world, and there is the prospect of some rain on Saturday to liven up qualifying. It should be a fantastic weekend."

  107. 0836: 
    Monaco

    Ah Monaco, a weekend of super-yachts, swanky parties and lots and lots of cash. The place never disappoints - what treasures does it have in wait for us over the next few days?

  108. 0833: 

    Couldn't have put it better myself, Jenson. Welcome to the land of the rich and famous, welcome to Monte Carlo, welcome to our coverage of Thursday practice for the Monaco Grand Prix - the jewel in the crown of the Formula 1 calendar.

  109. 0830: 
    Jenson Button

    "Monaco baby, yeah!" (Jenson Button, 2009, Monaco).

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Formula 1 World Championship 2014

Position Driver Team Pts
1 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes 61
2 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes 50
3 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India 28
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari 26
5 Great Britain J Button McLaren 23
6 Germany S Vettel Red Bull 23
7 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren 20
8 Finland V Bottas Williams 18
9 Mexico S Perez Force India 16
10 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull 12
11 Brazil F Massa Williams 12
12 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari 7
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso 4
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso 3
15 France R Grosjean Lotus 0
16 Germany A Sutil Sauber 0
17 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber 0
18 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia 0
19 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham 0
20 France J Bianchi Marussia 0
21 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus 0
22 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham 0

Results

After 0 of 0 laps
Position Driver Team
1 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
2 Germany N Rosberg Mercedes
3 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
4 Finland V Bottas Williams
5 Mexico S Perez Force India
6 Great Britain J Button McLaren
7 Brazil F Massa Williams
8 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
9 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
10 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
11 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
12 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
13 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
14 Mexico E Gutierrez Sauber
15 France R Grosjean Lotus
16 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
17 Japan K Kobayashi Caterham
18 France J Bianchi Marussia
19 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
20 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
21 Germany A Sutil Sauber
22 Spain F Alonso Ferrari