Hamilton finishes fastest in opening practice for Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes finishes fastest in opening practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix as his car is adorned with the motif ‘Danke Niki’ following death of iconic figure Lauda

  • Brit Lewis Hamilton withdrew from his media commitments on Wednesday  
  • He finished six hundredths clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen in first practice 
  • Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third during session in Monaco 

Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Hamilton, who withdrew from his media commitments on Wednesday in the wake of Niki Lauda’s death earlier this week, was six hundredths clear of Red Bull’s Max Verstappen.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas finished third. The Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Sebastian Vettel ended the opening running fourth and fifth respectively.

Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton finished fastest in the opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix

Mercedes' cars are adorned with motif, 'Danke Niki' and members are wearing black armbands

Mercedes’ cars are adorned with motif, ‘Danke Niki’ and members are wearing black armbands

Mercedes are racing for the first time since Lauda, their non-executive chairman, died in Zurich on Monday night.

Their cars are adorned with the motif, ‘Danke Niki’, whilst team members are wearing black armbands.

Mercedes have struggled with the slow-speed nature of the Monte Carlo street Circuit in recent years – but Hamilton’s early pace suggests they could be the team to beat.

The Silver Arrows head into Sunday’s race having started the season with an unprecedented five one-two finishes.

Red Bull's Max Verstappen was six hundredths behind the Mercedes driver on Thursday

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was six hundredths behind the Mercedes driver on Thursday

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