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Page last updated at 13:47 GMT, Thursday, 13 May 2010 14:47 UK

Monaco GP practice as it happened


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By Mark Orlovac

1442: Now seems like a good time to sign off. Thanks very much for your company and apologies again for the technical problems with the video. Hopefully it will be OK for Saturday. You can read the report of today's action here. I'll be back at 0930 BST on Saturday ahead of final practice at 1000 BST and qualifying at 1300 BST. Take care.

BBC pundit Anthony Davidson on the Red Button: "Thing about going fastest here is you have a whole extra day to enjoy being top dog! So Fernando Alonso will be able to enjoy this."

1433: They are followed by Petrov (1:15.746), Buemi (1:16.276), Hulkenberg (1:16.348), Barrichello (1:16.522), Liuzzi (1:16.528), De la Rosa (1:16.599), Kobayashi (1:16.818), Alguersuari (1:17.023), Kovalainen (1:18.184), Di Grassi (1:18.478), Trulli (1:18.667), Glock (1:18.721), Chandhok (1:20.313) and Senna (1:22.148).

1430: That's it for second practice. Alonso was quickest in both of Thursday's sessions, setting a fastest time of 14:904 in the afternoon. The second practice standings look like this: Rosberg, Vettel, Massa, Schumacher, Kubica, Hamilton, Sutil, Button and Webber.

1427: Alonso is going out on soft tyres for a glory run, according to Ferrari. Kubica is throwing his Renault around and is now on a flying lap.

1423: Schumacher has a messy in lap, almost hitting the barriers coming down to Portier before running through the chicane at the end of the Tunnel.

1420: Kubica goes above Hamilton into sixth with a 1:15.192. Massa locks up coming into Sainte Devote and runs wide.

1418: Ferrari report that Massa is out for his final run of the afternoon on hard tyres. There are just 12 minutes to go. BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos says there was very nearly a collision between Schumacher and Button in the pit lane.

1410: There are still a few drops falling in Monaco but nothing more substantial. No driver is threatening the top boys at the minute. Here's the rest of the top 10: Hamilton (1:15.249), Kubica (1:15.257), Sutil (1:15.460), Button (1:15.619) and Webber (1:15.620).

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "Hello again. You may have noticed that Bruno Senna is not having the best day out on the track for Hispania. The Brazilian rookie was 5.761 seconds slower than Fernando Alonso's top time in first practice and now he finds himself bottom of the standings, and almost two seconds adrift of his team-mate Karun Chandhok. Senna, who moved to Monte Carlo from London in January, is no slouch around Monaco, winning the GP2 race here in 2008 and beating Chandhok in the process. The word is that Senna is carrying a problem with his car but that the team don't have enough spare parts from Italian constructor Dallara and so can't fix it yet."

BBC pundit Anthony Davidson on the Red Button: "It's a very busy track and making small adjustments becomes quite a challenge when you are shifting gears so much. With the bumps you don't want to take your hands off the wheel so this is where the design of the cockpit comes into its own."

1404: Cheeky stuff from Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen. Ferrari's Felipe Massa slows down coming around the Anthony Noghes corner but the Finn is having none of it, diving up the inside to overtake him.

1401: Just a quick reminder that Friday is a rest day in Monaco, with third practice and qualifying taking place on Saturday as normal. Virgin Racing's Lucas di Grassi locks up coming into Sainte Devote, the first corner, and runs into the very short run-off area.

1359: Here's a quick reminder of the top-five standings: Alonso (1:14.904), Rosberg (1:15.013), Vettel (1:15.099), Massa (1:15.120) and Schumacher (1:15.143).

1354: The rain question has got them all confused in Monaco. Rosberg is told that rain is coming "within the next five minutes" and lo and behold, it starts to drizzle.

Get involved on 606
Elraton on 606: "Nice work Nico... can he handle the new 'nose pointing Mercedes' made for Schumi?"

1349: Apparently the view in the pit lane now is that there is not going to be any rain for this session. By the way, F1 commentator Jonathan Legard has written a blog on the magic of Monaco, have a look here.

1344: Nico Rosberg moves up to second thanks to a 1:15.013. Schumacher is fourth with a 1:15.143.

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "Hello again. Sorry I'm late, I just made a late lunchtime trek to the paddock where former Monaco winner Sir Jackie Stewart and Damon Hill, whose best result was second in the principality, were enjoying the hospitality. Proud dad Jorge Sutil (often mistaken for a silver-haired Leo Sayer) was shepherding son Adrian around while fellow F1 father Norbert Vettel was spotted last night following the BBC bus on a scooter by eagle-eyed Ted Kravitz. Affairs at the track last night saw Virgin Racing stay up close to midnight to finish their motorhome. The team are now rightly house-proud and have polishers standing by with dusters in hand."

1340: With the cloud coming in, BBC commentator David Croft reports that the track temperature has fallen by three degrees. Massa sets a 1:15.120 while Hamilton is now up to third with a 1:15.434.

1337: Both the Ferraris are on super soft tyres and they set the two fastest times of the session. Alonso posts a 1:14.904 with Massa second with a 1:15.543.

1333: Webber improves to a 1:15.620 but is still just shy of Kubica's time. For those of you that are asking, Bruno Senna is bottom of the timesheet with a best of 1:22.148.

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Looking like it is going to rain soon so putting on the option tyre for the next run."

1327: BBC pit-lane reporter Holly Samos reports that rain is expected in the next 30 minutes. It has certainly got a lot darker. I'm actually feeling sorry for those poor souls sunbathing on the yachts now. Webber is still second with a 1:15.744, Hamilton is up to third after a 1:16.106. Then it is Alonso, Sutil, Schumacher, Vettel, Rosberg (1:16.697), Button (1:16.804) and Massa (1:16.901).

RocketLobster on Twitter: "Surely no-one can beat Vettel this weekend? Unless we get a wet and crazy qualifying..."

BBC pundit Anthony Davidson on the Red Button: "It's all about who is willing to find that 100% limit at this stage. Kubica has found that."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt on Twitter: "There are some grey clouds coming in from the mountain tops. Slight chance of a shower?"

1320: Kubica goes quickest again with a 1:15.589. Alonso improves to a 1:16.391 and then a 1:16.186. He's still third.

1318: Webber hits straight back with a 1:16.056. Alonso goes third with a 1:16.469 despite almost hitting the barriers coming out of La Rascasse. Sutil is fourth after a 1:16.562.

1316: Bob Kubica is now quickest with a 1:16.101. Did I mention that he is my sneaky pick for this weekend?

1314: Red Bull's Mark Webber sets a 1:16.420, Michael Schumacher is second with a 1:16.563 while Vettel is third with a 1:16.641.

1311: Feel the Force. Force India's Vitantonio Liuzzi sets a 1:17.537 to lead the times, Hamilton is second after a 1:17.709 with Adrian Sutil (1:17.709) and Seb Vettel (1:18.002) falling in behind.

1308: It's quite busy out there now. Hamilton leads with a 1:18.690 followed by Alguersuari (1:19.093). Virgin Racing's Timo Glock goes straight through the opening Sainte Devote corner and into the run-off area.

1305: Senna sets a 1:25.830 while a member of the McLaren team tries to usher a pigeon off the pit-lane tarmac. Williams driver Nico Hulkenberg goes quickest with a 1:22.044. If you want to watch the highlights of first practice, take a look here.

1301: We are off and running. Hispania's Bruno Senna is the first man out on to the track.

BBC pundit Anthony Davidson on the Red Button: "The driver that stood out for me in the first session was Jenson Button who got on the track early, was fairly aggressive and put some good times down."

1257: Some of the drivers are clambering into their cars now ready for the start of second session at 1300 BST. We are also getting pictures of a group of people sunbathing on one of the luxury yachts. Jealous? Moi? Yep.

Text in your views on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide)
Phil Truran, Birmingham via text on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide): "I've got a feeling we may see our fifth winner in six races if there's a spot of rain in qualifying. Kubica is looking rather tasty but its too soon to call."

1249: Here's another update from our weather guru Ian Fergusson. "Showers - some heavy - are now starting to affect other coastal districts adjacent to Monaco. It's not impossible we could see some across the circuit during the next session albeit I expect most to just miss. We shall see..."

1245: I'm getting a few messages in regarding the Elton John discussion. Thankfully, some wise owl in the office did come up with the answer Blue to put us all at ease. All rise. By the way, if you manually refresh this page you will now find a video stream at the top. Nice.

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Second session coming up. Changed ratios on Heikki's car."

1239: My colleagues have now started singing 'God Gave Rock 'n Roll To You' by Kiss. I despair. In case you haven't seen it, both Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are driving around with individually crafted Steinmetz diamond crests on the steering wheels of their McLarens this weekend. It's in recognition of their world titles in 2009 and 2008. Maybe I could get one for my Ford MPV.

1235: A lot of you have been asking about the weather this weekend, well our man Ian Fergusson has the latest. The headlines: there is a "small to moderate" risk of showers during Saturday qualifying and although Sunday is likely to stay dry, "showers are still possible". I thank you.

1230: And we're back. Had a nice break? Good. The main chat in the office over the last hour was a heated discussion on who did the other version of Elton John's 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word'. It's all glamour here isn't it?

1041: Right, time for a very welcome cup of tea. I doubt that I will be able to match the spinach and cheese muffin Caroline Cheese managed last week. Too rich for my blood. Mini Shredded Wheat for me I think. I'll be back at 1230 BST for the second practice session, see you in a bit.

1037: After Schumacher, it is Hamilton, Button, Sutil, Buemi and then Rosberg - who only managed to complete 15 laps.

F1 racing legend Sir Stirling Moss on Twitter: "In 1960 they did 100 laps and drove 3½ hours which required supreme concentration."

1030: First practice is over. We've just seen a replay of Kobayashi's incident. He comes flying out of the Swimming Pool section, hits the raised kerbs and smashes into the barriers on the left hand side. Alonso tops the times, followed by Vettel (1:16.000), Kubica (1:16.016), Webber (1:16.382), Massa (1:16.517) and Schumacher (1:16.589).

1028: We've got a car coming into the pits without a front wing. No prizes for guessing that it is the BMW Sauber of Kamui Kobayashi.

1025: Mercedes have done a job on the car of Nico Rosberg and they report that the German will be out on the track for the final five minutes of the session.

1021: Mark Webber goes second with a 1:16.382. Kubica is still third with Vettel fourth.

Sarah Holt on Twitter: "Button reckons 'when you really hook up a good lap around Monaco it means more to you than anything else in F1 because you know you've got the maximum out of yourself and the car.'"

1013: We have our first lap in the 1:15s... and it's Alonso. He improves to a 1:15.927. Michael Schumacher moves up to fifth with a 1:16.589 while mechanics still work on team-mate Rosberg's car. Hamilton is sixth and he is followed by Button.

CodaQueen on Twitter: "I've found there is a silver lining to the cloud of redundancy - Monaco Baby!!! Sitting at home and loving every minute!"

martindockrill on Twitter: "With so many drivers with little experience, I predict a lot of laps behind the safety car on Sunday!"

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz on the Red Button: "Mark Webber was saying yesterday that this all-conquering Red Bull is not designed for Monaco, and he is right. It is magnificent at the high speed circuits but Monaco is the slowest track on the calendar. Red Bull are using massive brake ducts here to try and cool their brakes, it will be really interesting to see how they get on around here."

1006: On his next lap Alonso, who won in Monaco in 2006 and 2007, beats that time with a 1:16.151.

1004: Bang. Up pops Alonso at the top of the timesheets - he records a 1:16.325. Renault's Robert Kubica is second (1:16.447) while Vettel is third with a 1:16.458.

1000: Massa is the quickest man of the day so far. He posts a 1:16.517, then it is Hamilton (1:16.647), Button (1:16.692), Alonso (1:16.859) and Seb Vettel (1:16.951). BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz reports that Mercedes are working hard on Rosberg's car in the pits.

BBC pundit Anthony Davidson on the Red Button: "The places where you can gain or lose time here are the first corner. You can be quite brave going into that and if you are it sets you up nicely for the hill. The fast left hander at Casino Square is also a place where you can make a bit of time, that whole section is the main area on the circuit where it can come good for the lap time."

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "Jenson Button took the chequered flag in Monaco last year with a dominant performance for Brawn but, despite all his experience, the 30-year-old had a good session re-learning the circuit in McLaren's simulator at the team's Technology Centre. Things didn't quite go according to plan, as Button explained…'It's the first time I've driven around Monaco in a simulator and it's scary even in there! The simulator is basically an F1 car which moves around under your control as you sit in front of a big surround screen with 3D glasses. In the Monaco simulation you don't hit the barriers you go through them. I was going through the Swimming Pool complex and ended up in the harbour - it was quite a weird sensation. It's a crazy circuit to drive but when you really hook up a good lap around Monaco it means more to you than anything else in Formula 1 because you know you've got the maximum out of yourself and the car.'"

0952: As I type that Button posts a 1:16.870 while Hamilton goes quickest with a 1:16.710. Hispania's Karun Chandhok loses the back end of his car at Massenet and spins. He just brushes the barrier but he did well to prevent the incident from doing more damage.

0949: After Rosberg it is Alonso (1:17.235), Buemi (1:17.289), Michael Schumacher (1:17.393), Adrian Sutil (1:17.499), Button (1:17.618) and Rubens Barrichello (1:18.057).

francescolombo on Twitter: "Morning! That 'light at the end of the tunnel' is so scary... Always loved it!"

Ferrari on Twitter: "Fernando came back in the garage after his first run. He has a small damage at the front wing."

0941: Massa is on a charge and he goes fastest after a 1:16.746. Hamilton posts a 1:16.963 then it is Kubica (1:17.106) and Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg (1:17.149). The two Red Bull and Force India drivers have yet to post a time. Alonso just, and only just, misses the barriers with his rear right tyre coming out of Anthony Noghes - the final corner. That was close.

BBC pit-lane reporter Lee McKenzie: "Monaco is the adopted home race of many of the F1 drivers, several of whom live in the sun-kissed principality. Brazilian rookies Lucas di Grassi and Bruno Senna recently moved here from London and showed me around earlier this week. Their neighbours include Felipe Massa and Nico Rosberg, not forgetting our very own David Coulthard. Jenson Button has lived in Monaco for a number of years but he's now decided to head closer to the UK with a move to Guernsey. Chez Di Grassi, the Virgin driver told me he never eats in his house and either heads round to Massa's for dinner or to see a Brazilian pal who plays for Monaco FC. Cooking is clearly not his strong point!"

Lotus technical chief Mike Gascoyne on Twitter: "Heikki changing differential settings during the run, lap times look good."

0936: McLaren's Lewis Hamilton goes top of the pops with a 1:17.423 while team-mate Button improves to a 1:17.618. Massa then splits them with a 1:17.471.

Anthony Davidson on BBC radio 5 live sports extra: "Interesting to see Jenson Button passing Kamui Kobayashi on the way into the chicane, it's his very first attempt at a flying lap and he is already encountering traffic."

0931: Button improves to a 1:18.468, then it is Sebastien Buemi (1:18.971), Alguersuari (1:20.190) and Ferrari's Felipe Massa (1:20.471).

Former F1 driver and pundit Anthony Davidson on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra: "Just listening to Jaime Alguersuari's engine going through the tunnel and you can hear he is lifting slightly, which shows a lack of confidence about what his car can do. It does take a little while to get to grips with Monaco - when you see it on the TV screen you take it for granted but when you're here and you see just how tight it is and how fast these guys take it, that's when it really hits home."

0927: Button gets in front of BMW Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi coming into the chicane at the end of the Tunnel. That lap is short of Alguersuari's time but on his next flier Button goes quickest with a 1:20.564.

0924: Alguersuari improves to a 1:21.225. Renault's Vitaly Petrov posts a 1:25.601. Hopefully that video is OK for you now. Champion.

deaglanmca on Twitter: "I actually think Monaco has gotten easier over the years. I hope having so many cars on track will will make it harder again!"

0920: Hooray, we have a time. It's the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, he posts a 1:26.141.

BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz: "McLaren are the only team in the paddock still using an 'F-duct' system in Monaco, several other teams have taken it off their cars. Where and when McLaren use the system on this circuit will be interesting to see, perhaps on the way up to Casino Square and maybe the exit of Tunnel, we shall see."

0912: Right folks, we have a temporary video solution for you. If you manually refresh this page, you should get a new video screen at the top of the page. When the proper one is fixed we'll get it back up. Apologies again.

Ferrari on Twitter: "As announced in the previous days, the F10s are not fitted with the blown rear wing system as it does not give performance advantage here."

0907: There are no times posted as yet. All the drivers have now done an installation lap.

executiverocker on Twitter: "If I was in charge, I'd have pinball flippers around the side of the track to keep cars from going into the barriers."

0900: We are go for practice. Pedro de la Rosa, Liuzzi, Robert Kubica and Fernando Alonso are just some of those out for an installation lap. I'm really sorry, the video feed does not seem to be working. Many apologies, we are working to get it fixed as soon as possible. I can't even blame the election.

Force India on Twitter: "Both Adrian [Sutil] and Tonio [Vitantonio Liuzzi] are out today for the extra track time on one of the most difficult circuits of the year."

0855: We are now getting pictures from Monaco. The sun is out and it really does look glorious. A bit like Shepherd's Bush. The stands are filling up and we are about to start first practice.

0850: Red Bull have been the pacesetters so far this season and last weekend Webber blew everyone away in Spain. For the third time this season Webber and Vettel locked out the front row, while the Australian cruised to victory in a race which saw Vettel expertly hang on to third place despite problems with his brakes. However, Webber does not think his team will have that kind of advantage this week on the tight, twisty and demanding circuit of Monaco. "It's unlikely we'll have that type of gap here," he said. McLaren's championship leader Jenson Button agreed, adding: "I think the Monaco result is extremely tough to call. There are a lot of very competitive drivers so there is a good chance of a slightly unpredictable race."

Lotus driver Heikki Kovalainen on Twitter: "Sunny day in Monaco, first session ahead, gonna do three longer runs to get the feel for the track again, some set-up changes in the middle."

0841: Here's the plan for today, we've got two 90 minute practice sessions - starting at 0900 BST and 1300 BST - and I need you to get involved. Use Twitter, 606 or text us on 81111 (UK) or +44 7786200666 (worldwide). Who is going to win on Sunday and who is going to struggle, what measures you would introduce if you were F1's prime minister and what will be the biggest celeb spot of the weekend? So far this season the biggest names we've seen are John Travolta, a Jim Kerr no-show, Rory Bremner and er, Brian McFadden. We have to do better than that surely?

BBC Sport's Sarah Holt in Monaco: "It's hard to believe that it's been just four days since the cars were going wheel-to-wheel in Barcelona but already Monaco seems a world away. The dozen teams have been working into the night to put on a show befitting the most glamorous grand prix on the calendar and this morning the pits were swarming with activity and the paddock was looking spick and span - a brilliant effort after yesterday's chaotic scenes . Mark Webber, winner in Barcelona, was so keen to get to Monaco that he made his way to the south of France, where he has a home, straight after the race. 'I drove 900km (560m) on Sunday - 300km (186km) on the track and 600km (374m) on the road,' he said, with a glint in his eye. Red Bull will be favourites again this weekend and first practice will also tell us just how tight a squeeze it is fitting 24 cars around Monte Carlo's narrow streets."

0834: Just for clarification, none of my parties have ever been like that. Promise. My idea of luxury is spending more than £5 on a bottle of wine and shaving in the bath. Anyway, morning gang. Just four days after Red Bull's Mark Webber claimed victory in Barcelona, the great and good of F1 have parked up in Monaco for the most prestigious and demanding race of the season. And there's not a coalition or hung parliament in sight.

0830: Ah, it's that time of year again. The glamour, the celebs, the luxury, the yachts and the casinos - no silly, it's not the summer party at my house - it's the jewel in the F1 crown. Welcome one and all to the Monaco Grand Prix.

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After 60 of 61 laps
Position Driver Team

Race stopped at 60 laps

1 Great Britain L Hamilton Mercedes
2 Germany S Vettel Red Bull
3 Australia D Ricciardo Red Bull
4 Spain F Alonso Ferrari
5 Brazil F Massa Williams
6 France J Vergne Toro Rosso
7 Mexico S Perez Force India
8 Finland K Raikkonen Ferrari
9 Germany N Hulkenberg Force India
10 Denmark K Magnussen McLaren
11 Finland V Bottas Williams
12 Venezuela P Maldonado Lotus
13 France R Grosjean Lotus
14 Russia D Kvyat Toro Rosso
15 Sweden M Ericsson Caterham
16 France J Bianchi Marussia
17 Great Britain M Chilton Marussia
18 Great Britain J Button (ret.) McLaren
19 Germany A Sutil (ret.) Sauber
20 Mexico E Gutierrez (ret.) Sauber
21 Germany N Rosberg (ret.) Mercedes
22 Japan K Kobayashi (ret.) Caterham

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see also
Alonso sets Monaco practice pace
13 May 10 |  Formula 1
Webber expects tough Monaco race
12 May 10 |  Formula 1
Trulli shrugs off Monaco concerns
12 May 10 |  Formula 1
McLaren fear Monaco traffic jam
11 May 10 |  Formula 1
Monaco too close to call - Button
10 May 10 |  Formula 1
Hamilton positive despite setback
10 May 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari to investigate Massa form
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
F1 teams decide on 'F-duct' ban
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
Dominant Webber wins Spanish GP
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
F1 qualifying unchanged in Monaco
09 May 10 |  Formula 1
Ferrari fined for Alonso incident
08 May 10 |  Formula 1

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