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Monaco Grand Prix 2023 live updates: Highlights, mistakes, and more from free practice 2

The teams are back on the track for the second practice session ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix

F1 Grand Prix of Monaco - Practice Photo by Emmanuele Ciancaglini/Ciancaphoto Studio/Getty Images

The teams are headed back to the grid for the second free practice session in advance of the 2023 Monaco Grand Prix, hoping to apply the lessons learned in the first practice earlier on Friday.

That session saw Carlos Sainz Jr. of Ferrari lead the way, followed by Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton. Championship leader Max Verstappen, who seemed to be battling the setup of his RB19, placed seventh in the morning’s practice session.

Sergio Pérez, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate, and Charles Leclerc rounded out the top five from the morning session.

Leclerc is hoping to finally break through with a victory in Monaco, driving the streets where he grew up. Leclerc’s bitter Monaco history is well documented, but with Ferrari’s one-lap pace this year looking strong, there is a good chance he could very well be on pole come Sunday, with a chance to finally win at home.

The 2023 Monaco Grand Prix is set for Sunday, and here is everything you need to know to watch. Until then, we’ll have you covered with a live rundown of the second practice session.

Before we get underway for FP2, here are some moments from FP1 earlier today. First we see Nico Hülkenberg suffer a puncture to his left rear:

And then this from Alex Albon which brought FP1 to an early close, as he loses the rear coming out of Turn 1:

In the pre-practice show on F1TV Will Buxton made the point that the first practice session, which saw the Ferrari duo of Sainz and Leclerc in the top five, was run with all teams on both the hard or the medium tyres. While that might speak somewhat to race pace, in Monaco qualifying is the ballgame, so we will learn much more when the teams take to the streets with the soft tyres.

Sam Collins, back in the F1TV studio, walked through the upgrades that Mercedes has brought to Monaco, featuring “conventional” sidepods, which he compared to what we see this year from Alpine and Aston Martin.

Collins also noted that Mercedes “could be good” in the Monaco Grand Prix as a result of the changes to their W14.

Mercedes is not the only team with some new components for Monaco. In this video from Haas, Matteo Piraccini walks viewers through some of the changes they have made:

Before we go green, let’s just take a moment to appreciate the scenes from Monaco:

And now FP2 is underway, but not for Albon. The team is still doing work on Albon’s car after his late crash in FP1.

FP2 begins with every team but for Ferrari on the medium tyres. Leclerc and Sainz are running on the hard compound.

After the first set of times, Verstappen is atop the timing sheets, followed by Alonso, Hamilton, Russell, Lance Stroll, Yuki Tsunoda, Leclerc, Kevin Magnussen, Oscar Piastri, and Esteban Ocon rounding out the top ten.

Meanwhile, Buxton is reporting from Lando Norris’s garage that some extensive work is being done to Norris’s MCL60, suggesting that the “frantic” work being done makes it seem anything but routine.

Ten minutes into the session, Hamilton powers to the top of the table with a lap time of 1:13.984.

Maybe Gino. Maybe.

15 minutes into the practice session, the top five is currently Verstappen, Alonso, Sainz, Hamilton and Ocon. However, one might consider that Advantage: Ferrari, given that Sainz posted his time on the hard compound, while the other four all posted their times on the medium tyre.

So you want to be an F1 driver:

We also need to take a moment and appreciate the lid Valtteri Bottas is bringing to the grid. this week:

F1TV cuts back to Collins in the studio, and the Motorsport Engineering Journalist walks us through the changes Alpine has brought to the track this week. The team has changed the sidepod, following the lead of Aston Martin.

Given what Aston Martin and the AMR23 have done this season, that is probably not a bad idea.

Speaking of Aston Martin, at the 36-minute mark Alonso posts a lap time of 1:12.786, pushing him to the top of the table. Many believe that this could be the week where Alonso grabs his elusive 33rd career F1 victory.

Of note, that lap came on the soft compound. Bottas posts a lap on the softs as well which pushes him into P3 for the moment

There was a scary moment second later with Russell coming out of the tunnel and down towards the tricky Nouvelle Chicane. Russell had to dip off the track to avoid running into the back of Alonso, which triggered this radio relay from the Aston Martin driver to his team:

At the halfway mark, here is the current top ten:

Yuki Tsunoda

Out of those ten, only the Red Bull duo of Verstappen and Pérez are on the medium tyres. The other eight all posted their times on the soft compound.

Leclerc turns in a tremendous lap around the 28-minute mark, pushing himself into the top three:

With their initial run on the soft tyres, Verstappen goes into P3, and Pérez into P5:

If you thought this would be the weekend were Red Bull would be vulnerable, that might support that position.

Here are the top eight with about 26 minutes left:

Meanwhile, with about 24 minutes left in the session, Albon is still in the garage as the team at Williams continues to work on his car.

Leclerc around the 23-minute mark radios into his team that the front end of his SF-23 is “jumping” around a bit.

Welcome to the track Alex!

Oh wait, Verstappen posts a 1:121.462 with 21 minutes to go to take himself to the front of the field. Death, taxes, and Verstappen at the front.

Alonso seems dialed in:

Also, I’m here for Fast and Furious: Alonso Drift:

Is it time to talk about Norris? With under 20 minutes to go, Norris sits P5, despite missing some time at the start of the session.

Is this just a shameless opportunity to plug my one-on-one interview with Norris from a few weeks ago? Perhaps ...

And a bit of a shocker! With under 17 minutes left the red flag is out as Sainz is into the wall near the swimming pool sector.

“Yeah I crashed, sorry,” was the radio message from Sainz into his team.

Here is the top six as FP2 resumes:

With just over eight minutes to go Norris is told to “minimize all throttle” and abort his lap. So, there’s that.

As an aside, seeing the drivers struggle with the Nouvelle Chicane makes me feel a lot better about my various attempts at navigating Monaco on F1 2022.

Back to reality.

With two minutes left in FP2 it looks like this will be the top ten:

Verstappen: 1:12.462
Leclerc: +0.065
Sainz: +0.107
Alonso: +0.220
Norris: +0.444
Hamilton: +0.498
Pérez: +0.529
Bottas: +0.588
Gasly: +0.627
Ocon: +0.700

A yellow flag flies in the third sector as FP2 comes to a close.

Here is the full classification:

Teams that have some work left to do include AlphaTauri, Haas, and Williams, as all three teams saw their drivers in the bottom of the pack.

Following the session Verstappen noted that he was “not really happy” in FP1, but noted while he finished up top in FP2, you can see that Ferrari is “very very close.”

“We need a bit more to stay ahead of them,” added Verstappen trackside when interviewed on F1TV.

Anyway, that should do it for today’s FP2 session. Thank you, if you have made it this far, for following along with the instant ramblings of a highly-caffeinated writer. Perhaps we’ll do this again tomorrow for quali?