Max Verstappen turned the first day of Formula 1 in Monaco around for Red Bull, having just about beat a pacy pair of Scuderia Ferrari drivers to the top of the timesheet by the end of the second Free Practice session on Friday, May 26.
The two-time world champion was dissatisfied with his car, and his pace in the first Free Practice session of the day, having clocked the sixth fastest lap time before a red flag cut the session short after Alex Albon had an impromptu meeting with a barrier at the Sainte Devote corner.
However, the second session of the day saw Verstappen set the fastest lap time at 1:12.462, a whole 0.065 seconds faster than home hero Charles Leclerc and just over a tenth of a second faster than Carlos Sainz.
A promising session for the Scuderia ended on a sour note when Sainz made too much contact with the barrier on Turn 15 by the swimming pool, before further damaging his car with another thump at Turn 16 and subsequently causing a Red Flag. The Spaniard touched the same barrier in the first practice session on the same day, but the Monaco circuit was not so forgiving this time around.
Fernando Alonso was fourth-fastest at the end of Friday, ahead of Lando Norris behind the wheel of a specially liveried McLaren, which happened to be fifth-fastest on the day.
After the third and final Free Practice session at the beginning of Saturday afternoon will be the all-important Monaco Qualifying session. With overtaking being as risky as it is, every driver on the grid will be giving it their all, from 16:00 until 17:00 on Saturday, May 27.