Ferrari ‘not accessible’ to F1 rivals in Monaco so far

The Monegasque was just under 0.2 seconds behind Lewis Hamilton in the second free practice session at the Monte Carlo circuit, and half a second behind the closest Red Bull, Max Verstappen, who was fourth fastest.

Red Bull struggled to unlock the performance of its RB20 and suffered from the bumpy circuit, while Ferrari looked a much more competitive prospect after opening day.

PĂ©rez felt that Ferrari seemed able to “do it very easily” when it came to preparing for a flying lap, and that the rewarding nature of qualifying in Monaco more often than not placed the Italian team as favourites.

“At the moment, Ferrari is simply not accessible,” Perez said.

“I think they are very strong and when they need a turn, they seem to do it very easily and quickly.”

“It’s something that’s a big advantage at this place, being able to do the lap quickly and when you need to, and not having to fight so much with the tires and that kind of thing.”

“They look very strong right now.”

After Mercedes also featured at the top end of the timesheets, George Russell reckoned the W15 gave him “the best feeling I’ve ever felt” in Monaco, and suggested the 2024 field would break the record for circle around the principality.

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Sergio Perez, Red Bull Racing RB20

Photo by: Sam Bloxham / Motorsport Images

However, the Briton had his own problems, commenting that the car was “shaking” when braking, and pointing out that Leclerc had the advantage heading into Saturday’s sessions.

“As soon as I hit the brakes, everything fell apart. So I don’t know what was happening.

“I did the best I could, holding it as tight as I could, like a gorilla, trying to grab it and the thing kept shaking.

“On a track like this, where you need confidence to attack, that really set us back and we decided it was better to call it a long-term day and try to analyze what was going on.”

“But overall the car has been working very well today. I think in FP1 we were P3 and then Lewis P2 this afternoon. Clearly it worked well, but you know Charles is way ahead.”

“We know how quickly everything changes, but today was definitely one of our best Fridays, without a doubt. The car feels better than ever in Monaco, so there are a lot of positives.”

“Everyone is developing very quickly right now. And you see how fast the lap times are today compared to last year. We are much, much faster, potentially even breaking lap records.”

“Someone will probably do it tomorrow. Hopefully, it’ll be us.”

“But it feels good. And we’ll have to see what the weather does too.”