Hamilton quickest in first Monte-Carlo practice

Hamilton quickest in first Monte-Carlo practice

22 May 2014 – Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes remained in charge as the Formula 1 field returned to action in Monaco on Thursday morning. The former World Champion, winner of the past four races, clocked a 1:18.271 to edge out team-mate Nico Rosberg by three hundredths of a second, with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo third.

Amid overcast skies, which present a rainfall threat for this afternoon's second session, it took little time for the Silver Arrows duo to state their intentions, with Rosberg initially leading from Hamilton, who had a rush on his hands early on after arriving at his garage later than planned.

As the session developed, Hamilton worked his way down to his low 1m18s effort, ultimately 0.032 seconds faster than Rosberg.

Ricciardo, fresh from his first official Formula 1 podium at the Spanish Grand Prix, was a close third, four tenths up on Ferrari's Fernando Alonso and more than half a second clear of team-mate Sebastian Vettel.

Kimi Räikkönen took sixth in the second Ferrari, just ahead of fellow Finn and Williams driver Valtteri Bottas.

Force India got both cars inside the top ten, with Sergio Pérez and Nico Hülkenberg split by Kevin Magnussen.

Pérez and Magnussen were lucky to avoid a collision in the closing stages of the session, when the McLaren rookie appeared to be caught out by his slow-moving rival upon entry to the Anthony Noghes corner.

Former Monaco Grand Prix winner Jenson Button finished in 11th position, with Felipe Massa 16th.

Although a number of drivers locked up and took to the escape roads, Sauber's Adrian Sutil was the only man to end his session in the barriers, with his ill-handling car snapping away under braking for Mirabeau.

Earlier on, Max Chilton spun at the same corner and was unable to rejoin, leaving him with just seven laps.

The Briton's team-mate, Jules Bianchi, put Marussia ahead of key rivals Caterham in his absence.

Thursday's second free practice session in Monaco gets underway at 2pm local time (GMT +2)

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