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.

Betting on Motorsports? Bet365 are offering a 100% deposit bonus, up to £200 - find out more

Related news

Hamilton wins in Montreal as Vettel finishes fourth after poor start

Hamilton wins in Montreal as Vettel finishes fourth after poor start

Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish to claim an easy Canadian Grand Prix victory ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, as chaos reigned supreme behind.

Tanak takes first win with Rally Italy victory

Tanak takes first win with Rally Italy victory

Ott Tanak took his first ever World Rally Championship victory with first place at Rally Italy, after surviving an attritional event in Sardinia in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.

Tanak moves into lead as Paddon crashes out

Tanak moves into lead as Paddon crashes out

M-Sport's Ott Tanak consolidated a shock Rally Italy lead on Saturday afternoon, after former leader Hayden Paddon was forced to retire his Hyundai after hitting a bank.

Andrea Dovizioso takes second win in a row for Ducati

Andrea Dovizioso takes second win in a row for Ducati

Italian Andrea Dovizioso beat the Spanish home heroes to win the Grand Prix of Catalunya on Sunday and celebrate back-to-back MotoGP victories for Ducati.

Lewis Hamilton takes Montreal pole with record-breaking lap

Lewis Hamilton takes Montreal pole with record-breaking lap

Lewis Hamilton turned in a scintillating qualifying performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole in Canada by 0.330s.

Vettel quickest as Mercedes endures scrappy FP3

Vettel quickest as Mercedes endures scrappy FP3

Sebastian Vettel topped the last 60 minutes of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix as title rivals Mercedes endured a scrappy session ahead of qualifying.

Paddon extends Rally Italy lead

Paddon extends Rally Italy lead

Hayden Paddon has extended his Rally Italy lead to 9.2 seconds over Ott Tanak, after former challenger Thierry Neuville hit trouble on the last stage of the morning.

Pedrosa beats Lorenzo to pole, Marquez crashes

Pedrosa beats Lorenzo to pole, Marquez crashes

Dani Pedrosa beat Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying to take pole position for the Catalunya Grand Prix, as Honda MotoGP team-mate Marc Marquez crashed twice.

Paddon heads tight lead battle into Saturday

Paddon heads tight lead battle into Saturday

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon leads Rally Italy overnight, with the top five separated by 14.7 seconds overall in another close World Rally Championship fight.

RELATED NEWS

Hamilton wins in Montreal as Vettel finishes fourth after poor start
Canadian Grand Prix

Hamilton wins in Montreal as Vettel finishes fourth after poor start

Lewis Hamilton led from start to finish to claim an easy Canadian Grand Prix victory ahead of Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas, as chaos reigned supreme behind.

Tanak takes first win with Rally Italy victory
WRC Rally Italy

Tanak takes first win with Rally Italy victory

Ott Tanak took his first ever World Rally Championship victory with first place at Rally Italy, after surviving an attritional event in Sardinia in his M-Sport Ford Fiesta WRC.

Tanak moves into lead as Paddon crashes out
WRC Rally Italy

Tanak moves into lead as Paddon crashes out

M-Sport's Ott Tanak consolidated a shock Rally Italy lead on Saturday afternoon, after former leader Hayden Paddon was forced to retire his Hyundai after hitting a bank.

Andrea Dovizioso takes second win in a row for Ducati
MotoGP Catalunya Grand Prix

Andrea Dovizioso takes second win in a row for Ducati

Italian Andrea Dovizioso beat the Spanish home heroes to win the Grand Prix of Catalunya on Sunday and celebrate back-to-back MotoGP victories for Ducati.

Lewis Hamilton takes Montreal pole with record-breaking lap
Canadian Grand Prix - Qualifying

Lewis Hamilton takes Montreal pole with record-breaking lap

Lewis Hamilton turned in a scintillating qualifying performance at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve to beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel to pole in Canada by 0.330s.

Vettel quickest as Mercedes endures scrappy FP3
Canadian Grand Prix - FP3

Vettel quickest as Mercedes endures scrappy FP3

Sebastian Vettel topped the last 60 minutes of practice for the Canadian Grand Prix as title rivals Mercedes endured a scrappy session ahead of qualifying.

Paddon extends Rally Italy lead
WRC Rally Italy

Paddon extends Rally Italy lead

Hayden Paddon has extended his Rally Italy lead to 9.2 seconds over Ott Tanak, after former challenger Thierry Neuville hit trouble on the last stage of the morning.

Pedrosa beats Lorenzo to pole, Marquez crashes
MotoGP Catalunya Grand Prix - Qualifying

Pedrosa beats Lorenzo to pole, Marquez crashes

Dani Pedrosa beat Jorge Lorenzo in qualifying to take pole position for the Catalunya Grand Prix, as Honda MotoGP team-mate Marc Marquez crashed twice.

Paddon heads tight lead battle into Saturday
WRC Rally Italy

Paddon heads tight lead battle into Saturday

Hyundai's Hayden Paddon leads Rally Italy overnight, with the top five separated by 14.7 seconds overall in another close World Rally Championship fight.