Leclerc’s stunning turnaround

Charles Leclerc went from last to first on his hometown streets to lead a stunning Ferrari 1-2 in a red-flagged second Monaco Grand Prix practice session on Thursday.

The 23-year-old Monegasque, born and bred in the Mediterranean principality, lapped the metal-fenced layout with a best time of one minute 11.684 seconds in the afternoon session. Leclerc managed only four laps in the morning before being sidelined by a gearbox problem that left him bottom of the timesheets.

Spanish teammate Carlos Sainz was second fastest, 0.112 slower, with Mercedes’ seven-time World champion Lewis Hamilton third as Formula One returned to Monaco after a two-year absence due to COVID-19.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, 14 points adrift of Hamilton after four races, was fourth fastest.

It was the first time Ferrari had led a practice session since Sebastian Vettel, now at Aston Martin, was fastest in Hungary last July.

The afternoon session was stopped five minutes early after Mick Schumacher hit the barriers sideways at Massenet and parked up after going through the tunnel, with the Haas needing to be removed.

Mexican Sergio Perez was fastest for Red Bull in the opening session.


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