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Monaco Grand Prix 2016 Qualifying: Results, Times from Thursday's F1 Practice

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistMay 26, 2016

MONTE-CARLO, MONACO - MAY 26:  Sparks fly as Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes F1 WO7 Mercedes PU106C Hybrid turbo on track during practice for the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 26, 2016 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.  (Photo by Lars Baron/Getty Images)
Lars Baron/Getty Images

Daniel Ricciardo topped the classification of a practice session in Monaco for the first time in his career on Thursday, finishing ahead of Lewis Hamilton in FP2, who had set the pace in the morning's practice ahead of the 2016 Monaco Grand Prix.

Mercedes team-mate and world championship leader Nico Rosberg finished close behind the Englishman on both occasions in an electrifying day of practice, while grip appeared to be an issue in both sessions as a number of drivers found themselves in the barriers.

Read on for a recap of Thursday's practice action in Monaco.

FP2 Recap

Here is how the classification stood at the end of FP2, per F1:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION: END OF #FP2 #MonacoGP #F1 https://t.co/ReAZE8NPOO

The virtual safety car was deployed early in the afternoon session when Romain Grosjean lost control at the chicane and crashed into the barrier, disrupting his efforts, and Hamilton had a similar scare minutes later but was able to regain control of his Mercedes and avoid damage to the car.

Meanwhile, Ricciardo was busy flying around the circuit on his ultrasoft tyres:

Formula 1 @F1

.@danielricciardo's 1:15.015 lap is faster than Hamilton's 2015 pole (1:15.098) 👏🏻 #FP2 #MonacoGP https://t.co/aI9b7yGl8j

He soon improved that time to one minute, 14.607—close to a track record, per Pirelli Motorsport:

Pirelli Motorsport @pirellisport

The fastest-ever Monaco race lap, for those asking, was 1m14.439s by Michael Schumacher @scuderiaferrari in 2004

Despite his best efforts, Hamilton was unable to better the time and finished over half a second behind, with Rosberg following him.

Max Verstappen and Daniil Kvyat were able to improve on their respective fifth and sixth places from the morning, but Sebastian Vettel dropped from third to ninth, with a spin into the barriers summing up his disappointing afternoon:

Formula 1 @F1

VETTEL: "OK, I crashed - damaged the rear wing...I'm coming back, get a spare ready" 🔧 #FP2 #MonacoGP https://t.co/1eia5eUfz0

After his crash in the first session, Felipe Massa missed the start of the second, per Williams Racing:

WILLIAMS RACING @WilliamsRacing

.@MassaFelipe19's car is not repaired for the start of #FP2 but the team is working to get him out asap #MonacoGP https://t.co/yEly89Xb7D

The 35-year-old was able to take part, though, and managed to compete 42 laps as he made a modest improvement to his 19th position from the morning.

Finishing ahead of Rosberg on both occasions will undoubtedly help Hamilton's confidence, and he'll look to build on that for the remainder of practice and qualifying. However, the Englishman needs to do it when it counts—in the race. He has started on pole in three of the year's five races thus far and failed to win a single one.

FP1 Recap

Here is the classification for the morning's session, per F1:

Formula 1 @F1

PROVISIONAL CLASSIFICATION: 🏁 END OF #FP1 🏁 #MonacoGP #F1 https://t.co/snYZCg52C6

Hamilton got off to an impressive start as he immediately set about leading the classification, and he continued to improve his time until he was over two seconds faster than last year's best FP1 time:

Formula 1 @F1

#FP1 FASTEST LAP 2015: 1:18.750 - @LewisHamilton 2016 (20 mins gone): 1:16.588 - @LewisHamilton #MonacoGP #F1 https://t.co/d1f4tDvln8

Pirelli Motorsport noted the speed with which the drivers raced around the track and anticipated more to come:

Pirelli Motorsport @pirellisport

High degree of track evolution in these early sessions; circuit is getting faster. We could be in for some pretty amazing laps later.

Indeed, Hamilton eventually set a time of 1:15.537—just half a second behind the lap that earned him pole position in Monaco last year.

Rosberg clocked in one-tenth of a second slower, ahead of Vettel and Ricciardo, though the 30-year-old's efforts at the end of the session were denied after he seemingly ran over a loose drain cover:

Formula 1 @F1

.@nico_rosberg has a puncture to his rear left #FP1 #MonacoGP #F1 https://t.co/KZ4F236bF8

Meanwhile, Turn One—where he crashed twice in 2013—continued to give Massa problems, and the Brazilian's session was cut short early on when he slammed into the barriers:

Formula 1 @F1

Trouble for @MassaFelipe19 at Sainte Devote #FP1 #MonacoGP #F1 https://t.co/iboLxkToRF

Hamilton and Felipe Nasr also experienced problems there after locking up, but unlike the Williams driver, they were able to avoid damage to their cars.

Esteban Gutierrez's session ended prematurely as well after encountering a problem with his engine, which the Haas F1 Team would reveal to be an "electrical issue":

Formula 1 @F1

Gutierrez says "something went really wrong, with the engine" after coming to a halt at Portier #MonacoGP #FP1 https://t.co/FeRhfcBOPH

Turn 10 also proved to be problematic, as Valtteri Bottas, Jenson Button, Carlos Sainz Jr. and Sergio Perez all had difficulty there, though the latter was able to salvage eighth place in the classification.

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