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Sergio Perez Fastest, Charles Leclerc Sidelined in First Monaco GP Practice

Sergio Perez topped a follow session for the primary time as a Red Bull driver as Formula One returned to the streets of Monaco on Thursday after two years’ absence attributable to COVID-19.

The Mexican, who joined the title contenders from Racing Point (now Aston Martin) for 2021, lapped the harbourside circuit with a finest time of 1 minute 12.487 seconds on the smooth tyres.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz was second quickest, 0.119 off the tempo, with Red Bull’s Max Verstappen third however each on the slower medium tyres.

Verstappen is 14 factors behind Mercedes’ seven-times world champion Lewis Hamilton after 4 races in what is popping into a non-public duel between the 2.

Hamilton, who has received three races to Verstappen’s one, was fifth on the timesheets and in addition on the medium tyres with workforce mate Valtteri Bottas sixth.

AlphaTauri’s French driver Pierre Gasly was fourth quickest.

Ferrari’s Monaco-born racer Charles Leclerc, who has retired in his earlier two residence outings, managed solely 4 laps earlier than he was sidelined for the rest of the session with a gearbox downside.

Two-times world champion Fernando Alonso additionally spent undesirable time within the storage after hitting the wall early on and smashing his entrance wing. The Alpine driver was in a position to return to the monitor in a while.

The race, a spotlight of the calendar, was cancelled final yr because of the pandemic however has returned with 40% capability within the grandstands and seven,500 ticket holders a day.

Practice is historically on Thursday in Monaco fairly than the same old Friday, which is a relaxation day for Formula One.

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