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Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Thursday, 22 May 2008 15:03 UK
Monte Carlo, 22-25 May, 2008



Monaco Grand Prix
Dates: 22-25 May Coverage: Radio 5 Live and BBC Sport website


Lewis Hamilton
Hamilton is out to end his four-race winless run in Monaco

Britain's Lewis Hamilton topped the timesheets in second practice for Sunday's Monaco Grand Prix.

The 23-year-old underlined McLaren's traditional dominance in the principality by setting a fastest lap of one minute 15.140 seconds.

Nico Rosberg was 0.393 seconds adrift for Williams with Kimi Raikkonen, who was fastest in first practice, third.

Raikkonen's Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa and McLaren's Heikki Kovalainen were fourth and fifth.

They were the only drivers to come within a second of Hamilton's flying lap, which was almost 0.6secs quicker than former McLaren team-mate Fernando Alonso's pole position time from last season.

Robert Kubica was sixth for BMW Sauber, with Alonso seventh for Renault, although the Spaniard, who has won the last two Monaco Grands Prix, cut his session short.

Alonso slid into the barrier on exiting Sainte Devote and removed his rear wing before team-mate Nelson Piquet did likewise.

It will be especially difficult here in the wet - with this circuit being so tight, it's going to be a disaster

Lewis Hamilton
Behind Alonso, the Hondas of Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello finished eighth and 10th to sandwich Kazuki Nakajima in his Williams.

Hamilton, who finished second to Alonso last season, is determined to end his four-race winless run at his favourite circuit or at least close the gap on championship leader Raikkonen.

"Obviously I want to win the race," he said. "But I don't have to win, I have to score points, that's the key.

"There is a long way to go, but I enjoy this so much and we will work hard to continue making progress."

The Briton was running on softer tyres when he set his hot lap but rain is predicted at the weekend, which could affect his tactics.

"It will be especially difficult here in the wet, especially this year without traction control," he added.

"And with this circuit being so tight, I think it's going to be a disaster.

606: DEBATE
"But despite that, I'm still looking forward to it. It's going to be a challenge."

McLaren have claimed victory in 14 of the past 25 races in Monte Carlo, while Hamilton won the GP2 race there in 2006.

But Ferrari predict they will match McLaren this weekend as Raikkonen, who won in Monaco in 2005 for McLaren, looks to extend his seven-point lead over Hamilton at the top of the drivers' standings.

The Finn was on top in the morning session, which also saw David Coulthard pull out after three laps because of a small fire in his engine.

The Scot finished 14th in second practice, one place behind team-mate Mark Webber.

BMW Sauber's Nick Heidfeld withdrew with gearbox problems in first practice while Jarno Trulli buckled his wheel after his Toyota clipped a barrier coming out of the tunnel.

Both sessions were interrupted by red flags, the first because of a loose drain cover on the track and the second after Alonso's incident.


First free practice times for the Monaco Grand Prix:

1. Kimi Raikkonen (Finland) Ferrari 1min 15.948secs
2. Lewis Hamilton (Britain) McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.216
3. Heikki Kovalainen (Finland) McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.248
4. Felipe Massa (Brazil) Ferrari 1:16.292
5. Nico Rosberg (Germany) Williams - Toyota 1:16.653
6. Robert Kubica (Poland) BMW Sauber 1:16.834
7. Fernando Alonso (Spain) Renault 1:17.498
8. Rubens Barrichello (Brazil) Honda 1:17.511
9. Mark Webber (Australia) RedBull - Renault 1:17.798
10. Giancarlo Fisichella (Italy) Force India - Ferrari 1:17.835
11. Timo Glock (Germany) Toyota 1:17.942
12. Jenson Button (Britain) Honda 1:18.153
13. Sebastien Bourdais (France) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:18.245
14. Nick Heidfeld (Germany) BMW Sauber 1:18.263
15. Kazuki Nakajima (Japan) Williams - Toyota 1:18.274
16. Jarno Trulli (Italy) Toyota 1:18.360
17. Adrian Sutil (Germany) Force India - Ferrari 1:18.360
18. Nelson Piquet (Brazil) Renault 1:18.955
19. Sebastian Vettel (Germany) Toro Rosso - Ferrari 1:19.176
20. David Coulthard (Britain) RedBull - Renault no time

Second free practice times for the Monaco Grand Prix:

1. Lewis Hamilton (GB) Britain, McLaren-Mercedes 1:15.140
2. Nico Rosberg (Ger) Williams - Toyota 1:15.533
3. Kimi Raikkonen (Fin) Ferrari 1:15.572
4. Felipe Massa (Brz) Ferrari 1:15.869
5. Heikki Kovalainen (Fin) McLaren - Mercedes 1:15.881
6. Robert Kubica (Pol) BMW Sauber 1:16.269
7. Fernando Alonso (Spa) Renault 1:16.310
8. Jenson Button (GB) Honda 1:16.351
9. Kazuki Nakajima (Jpn) Williams - Toyota 1:16.372
10. Rubens Barrichello (Brz) Honda 1:16.418
11. Nick Heidfeld (Ger) BMW Sauber 1:16.426
12. Timo Glock (Ger) Toyota 1:16.688
13. Mark Webber (Aus) Red Bull - Renault 1:17.094
14. David Coulthard (GB) Red Bull - Renault 1:17.131
15. Nelson Piquet Jr (Brz) Renault 1:17.246
16. Giancarlo Fisichella (Ita) Force India - Ferrari 1:17.251
17. Jarno Trulli (Ita) Toyota 1:17.379
18. Sebastien Bourdais (Fra) Toro Rosso- Ferrari 1:17.581
19. Adrian Sutil (Ger) Force India - Ferrari 1:18.176
20. Sebastian Vettel (Ger) Toro Rosso- Ferrari 1:18.225




see also
Button predicts danger in Monaco
22 May 08 |  Formula One
Mark Webber column
22 May 08 |  Formula One
Alonso chasing Monaco hat-trick
21 May 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton cautious on Monaco hopes
13 May 08 |  Formula One
Hamilton thrilled by 'best race'
11 May 08 |  Formula One
McLaren cleared over Hamilton row
30 May 07 |  Formula One
McLaren deny anti-Hamilton bias
27 May 07 |  Formula One
Alonso helped to Monaco victory
27 May 07 |  Formula One


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