Ferrari's Vettel Sets Fastest Lap at Practice Session in Monaco F1
Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel recorded the fastest lap ever around the metal-fenced street circuit of Monaco in Thursday practice.
Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain waves to supporters. (Photo: Reuters)
Formula One leader Sebastian Vettel looked a good bet for Ferrari's first Monaco Grand Prix victory since 2001 after the fastest lap ever around the metal-fenced street circuit in Thursday practice.
The four-times world champion topped the timesheets with a best effort of one minute 12.720 seconds in the afternoon. Mercedes title rival Lewis Hamilton had been fastest before lunch.
The German was the only driver to break the one minute 13 seconds barrier.
Triple world champion Hamilton, six points behind after five races, was only eighth in the later practice with a lap of 1:13.873, more than a second off the pace.
The Briton, last year's winner in Monaco, had produced a 1:13.425 effort in the morning, when Vettel had to settle for second best.
Hamilton, whose Finnish teammate Valtteri Bottas ended the day 10th, is hoping to equal the 65 career pole positions of late boyhood idol Ayrton Senna in Saturday's qualifying.
The top six in the afternoon were all inside last year's pole position time of 1:13.622, set by Australian Red Bull driver Daniel Ricciardo.
Ricciardo was second fastest on Thursday, 0.487 slower than his former teammate Vettel, in a boost for former champions Red Bull, who have had to watch as Ferrari and Mercedes fight for the race wins this season.
Ferrari's 2007 champion Kimi Raikkonen was third fastest, ahead of Toro Rosso's Russian Daniil Kvyat and teammate Carlos Sainz, with Max Verstappen sixth for senior team Red Bull.
Michael Schumacher remains the last Ferrari driver to conquer Monaco, whose tight and twisty harbourside street circuit promises to be an even greater challenge this year with faster and wider cars.
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