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Charles Leclerc pips Sergio Perez to finish fastest in opening practice for Monaco Grand Prix

Charles Leclerc pips Red Bull’s Sergio Perez to finish fastest in opening practice for Monaco Grand Prix as Lewis Hamilton bemoans ‘I am f****** losing my mind’ after coming 10th 

  • Charles Leclerc finished fastest in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix
  • Leclerc beat Red Bull’s Sergio Perez by 0.039 seconds, with Carlos Sainz third
  • Max Verstappen took fourth spot while Lewis Hamilton managed only 10th  

Home favourite Charles Leclerc finished fastest in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

Ferrari’s Leclerc, born and raised on the famous streets of Monte Carlo, edged out Red Bull driver Sergio Perez with Carlos Sainz third in the other scarlet car.

World champion Max Verstappen took fourth and Lewis Hamilton could manage only 10th in his Mercedes.

Home favourite Charles Leclerc finished fastest in opening practice for the Monaco Grand Prix

The home favourite  beat Red Bull's Sergio Perez (pictured) by 0.039 seconds on Friday

The home favourite  beat Red Bull’s Sergio Perez (pictured) by 0.039 seconds on Friday  

Leclerc, who lost the championship lead to Verstappen after he retired from last Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix with engine gremlins, has never won his home race.

But the Monegasque was fastest out of the traps at a sun-cooked Monte Carlo, beating Perez by 0.039 seconds.

Hamilton delivered his best race of the campaign in Barcelona, driving from last but one – following an opening-lap collision with Kevin Magnussen – to fifth.

However, the seven-time world champion struggled in the first running of the weekend here.

Hamilton complained on multiple occasions about the porpoising in his Mercedes.

First, the 37-year-old said: ‘It is so bouncy out here, mate. I am f****** losing my mind.’ He later added: ‘I need elbow pads in this cockpit because it is bouncing so much.’

Lewis Hamilton's struggles with his Mercedes continued after only managing 10th place

Lewis Hamilton’s struggles with his Mercedes continued after only managing 10th place

Hamilton's team-mate George Russell (pictured) fared better, finishing two places ahead

Hamilton’s team-mate George Russell (pictured) fared better, finishing two places ahead

Hamilton’s Mercedes team felt they had resolved the majority of the porpoising issues which have so far plagued their season.

So Hamilton’s frustrations will be a cause for concern as Mercedes bid to get their campaign back on track.

George Russell fared better than Hamilton in the other Silver Arrows and the younger Briton finished two places ahead of his team-mate, albeit six tenths back. Hamilton was almost a second off the pace.

Elsewhere, Lando Norris, who is battling tonsillitis, finished an encouraging fifth for McLaren, half-a-second down, with AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly sixth and Norris’ team-mate Daniel Ricciardo seventh.

The concluding action of the day gets under way at 5pm local time (4pm UK).

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