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F1: Lewis Hamilton fastest in practice at Monte Carlo GP

Monaco: Lewis Hamilton again topped the timesheet in practice ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix, but the rain-affected second session put a dampener on things for F1 fans.

Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton drives during the first practice session at the Monaco street circuit yesterday. Pic/AFP
Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton drives during the first practice session at the Monaco street circuit yesterday. Pic/AFP 

Fresh from signing a lucrative three-year deal with Mercedes on Wednesday, the 30-year-old spoke of his desire to achieve a "perfect weekend" in the Principality.

Things certainly look promising for Hamilton, who bettered his quickest time of the first free practice session with a best lap of one minute 17.192 seconds later in the day.

No driver managed more than 10 laps before the red flag was raised in Monaco after Manor's Roberto Merhi crashed into the wall, losing his front wing after coming out of the tunnel.

The incident coincided with a turn in the weather, with rain meaning the remaining 19 cars returned to the garage.

Lotus' Pastor Maldonado tip-toed back out on to the track on supersoft tyres, but quickly returned after saying it was "raining too much".

Teams were reluctant to follow given no rain is forecast for Saturday and Sunday, leading to some frustrated fans jeering.

Nico Rosberg finished ninth in the first practice session but improved this afternoon by finishing second, 0.740secs behind teammate Hamilton.

Ferrari duo Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen followed them, with Daniil Kvyat of Red Bull and the Toro Rosso pair of Carlos Sainz Jr and Max Verstappen the next quickest.

McLaren's Alonso finished eighth in the second session and Force India's Nico Hulkenberg and Sergio Perez closed out the top 10.

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