Red Bull Max Verstappen topped FP2 at the Monaco Grand Prix on Friday evening.
Verstappen was only sixth fastest in the first practice session earlier in the day, but he improved vastly with an ominous step up when he had another chance.
The Dutchman has back-to-back world championships and is the current season leader as he aims for a rare hat-trick of triumphs in Formula 1.
His time of 1:12.462 kept him ahead of Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, second, who was racing at his home circuit.
The Monegasque was just ahead of his team-mate, Carlos Sainz, who brought out a red flag earlier in the session, as he ended up colliding with a wall at the swimming pool chicane, though most of the impact was absorbed by his front right tyre. The Spaniard had been the fastest in the first session and maintained a healthy pace.
Leclerc, for his part, was one of several drivers – including veteran Fernando Alonso – who complained about traffic preventing him from hitting his top pace. Alonso finished fourth fastest in his Aston Martin.
Another veteran, though retired, was in attendance, with former world champion Sebastian Vettel making an appearance in the paddock.
Hamilton’s Mercedes team-mate George Russell was well down in 12th, continuing his struggles from the first runout, ahead of Saturday’s third practice and qualifying sessions.
1. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 1:12.462
2. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari)
3. Carlos Sainz (Ferrari)
4. Fernando Alonso (Aston Martin)
5. Lando Norris (McLaren)
6. Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes)
7. Sergio Perez (Red Bull)
8. Valtteri Bottas (Alfa Romeo)
9. Pierre Gasly (Alpine)
10. Esteban Ocon (Alpine)
11. Lance Stroll (Aston Martin)
12. George Russell (Mercedes)
13. Zhou Guanyu (Alfa Romeo)
14. Kevin Magnussen (Haas)
15. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas)
16. Yuki Tsunoda (Alpha Tauri)
17. Nyck de Vries (Alpha Tauri)
18. Oscar Piastri (McLaren)
19. Alex Albon (Williams)
20. Logan Sargeant (Williams)
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