Sebastian Vettel dominates FP2 in Monaco as Mercedes struggles
Monaco Grand Prix - FP2

Sebastian Vettel dominates FP2 in Monaco as Mercedes struggles

A blistering lap from Sebastian Vettel put him half a second clear at the top of the timesheets in second practice for the Monaco Grand Prix as Mercedes struggled for pace.

Vettel's 1:12.720 is the fastest time ever around the streets of Monaco, bettering Lewis Hamilton's best lap from FP1 by 0.7s on the ultra-soft tyres. Daniel Ricciardo and Daniil Kvyat had exchanged times at the top of the timesheets prior to Vettel's new Monte-Carlo benchmark. Vettel initially went fastest on his first lap on the ultra-softs, before making a 0.039s improvement on his second attempt.

2016 Monaco GP polesitter Ricciardo was Vettel's nearest challenger but was 0.487s off the pace. Kimi Raikkonen led the impressive Toro Rosso duo of Kvyat and Carlos Sainz, who appear to be well suited to the high downforce characteristics of the Monaco street circuit and showed strong pace in both practice sessions.

Max Verstappen was sixth fastest ahead of Sergio Perez while Mercedes failed to show its true speed in FP2 as Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were over a second off the pace in eighth and tenth. Fears over the Mercedes' long wheelbase going into this weekend could be coming true with the Ferrari, Toro Rosso and Red Bull looking much more competitive with their significantly shorter wheelbases compared to the Mercedes.

McLaren enjoyed an encouraging Thursday as Stoffel Vandoorne and Jenson Button were just outside of the top ten. The Woking squad sits bottom of the constructors' championship after five grands prix but it sees Monaco as its best chance of scoring its first points of 2017 due to engine performance not being a key factor at a street circuit like Monaco.

It was deja vu at Williams, which continues to struggle for pace around Monaco. Felipe Massa was only 13th fastest while Lance Stroll's running was cut short by 30 minutes after losing the rear of his car into Casino Square resulting in a hefty impact into the barriers. That brought out the virtual safety car which was soon followed by the red flag. Once the session got back underway once more, teams focused on heavy fuel running.

Nico Hulkenberg made up for a lack of running in FP1 and completed 38 laps on his way to 17th ahead of teammate Jolyon Palmer, whose session ended after seven laps with a technical issue at Portier. Marcus Ericsson and Pascal Wehrlein were separated by just 0.004s in 19th and 20th.

In traditional Monaco fashion, there will be no running on Friday before FP3 and qualifying taking place on Saturday.

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22/10/2017
07:00 | MotoGP - Australian Grand Prix
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
11:00 | Karolina Pliskova v Venus Williams - WTA Finals - Singapore
12:00 | Villarreal - Las Palmas
13:00 | Damir Dzumhur v Ricardas Berankis - ATP 250 - Kremlin Cup Final
13:30 | Garbine Muguruza v Jelena Ostapenko - WTA Finals - Singapore
14:30 | Everton - Arsenal
15:00 | Grigor Dimitrov v Juan Martin Del Potro - ATP 250 - Stockholm Open Final
15:00 | Nice - Strasbourg
15:00 | Torino - Roma
15:00 | Milan - Genoa
16:15 | Celta Vigo - Atletico Madrid
16:15 | Diego Schwartzman v Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - ATP 250 - European Open - Antwerp Final
17:00 | Troyes - Olympique Lyon
17:00 | Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool
18:00 | Wolfsburg - Hoffenheim
18:00 | Udinese - Juventus
20:45 | Lazio - Cagliari
20:45 | Real Madrid - Eibar
21:00 | Olympique Marseille - PSG
21:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix
23/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
24/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
18:30 | Wehen Wiesbaden - Schalke 04
18:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Union Berlin
18:30 | Magdeburg - Borussia Dortmund
20:45 | Swansea City - Manchester United
20:45 | Inter Milan - Sampdoria
20:45 | Arsenal - Norwich City
20:45 | Leicester City - Leeds United
20:45 | Manchester City - Wolverhampton
25/10/2017
11:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna Open
11:00 | ATP 500 - Swiss Indoors Basel
11:00 | WTA Finals - Singapore
20:45 | Tottenham Hotspur - West Ham United
20:45 | Bologna - Lazio
20:45 | Fiorentina - Torino
20:45 | Chelsea - Everton
20:45 | Chievo - Milan
20:45 | Genoa - Napoli
20:45 | Roma - Crotone
20:45 | RB Leipzig - Bayern Munich
20:45 | Juventus - SPAL
20:45 | FC Cartagena - Sevilla
20:45 | Elche - Atletico Madrid
20:45 | Real Murcia - Barcelona
20:45 | Fuenlabrada - Real Madrid
20:45 | Ponferradina - Villarreal
20:45 | Real Zaragoza - Valencia
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Tottenham Hotspur - Liverpool
Derby of the week

22/10/2017
Derby of the week
W 2.15    
   W 3.20
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