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Sport F1 drivers expecting record times in Monaco

20:15  23 may  2018
20:15  23 may  2018 Source:   reuters.com

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MONACO (Reuters) - Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton and his rivals expect to go quicker than ever around Monaco 's metal-fenced streets this weekend once they get to grips with the new hypersoft tires. The Mercedes driver , 17 points clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after five races

Formula One F 1 - Monaco Grand Prix - Circuit de Monaco , Monte-Carlo - May 23, 2018 Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton during a news conference ahead of the Monaco Grand Prix. REUTERS/Benoit Tessier.

a person wearing a hat: Formula One F1 - Monaco Grand Prix© REUTERS/Benoit Tessier Formula One F1 - Monaco Grand Prix

Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton and his rivals expect to go quicker than ever around Monaco's metal-fenced streets this weekend once they get to grips with the new hypersoft tires.

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The Mercedes driver, 17 points clear of Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel after five races, said on Wednesday that records were likely to fall and others echoed that view.

"It's going to be a track record for sure, by quite a lot," Force India's French driver Esteban Ocon told reporters. "It's going to be impressive to watch."

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  Riccardo fastest in practices for Monaco GP Daniel Ricciardo topped the first two practice sessions for the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday. In sunny conditions, the Australian driver finished a fraction ahead of Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen in both runs on the tight and sinewy 3.4-kilometer (2.1-mile) street circuit.Sebastian Vettel was third quickest for Ferrari and Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was fourth in the second practice, reversing their positions from the opening session.There is a third and final practice on Saturday ahead of qualifying.

By Alan Baldwin MONACO (Reuters) – Formula One World champion Lewis MONACO (Reuters) – Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton and his rivals expect to go quicker than ever around Monaco ’s metal-fenced streets this weekend once they get to grips with the new hypersoft tyres.

MONACO (Reuters) - Formula One World champion Lewis Hamilton and his rivals expect to go quicker than ever around Monaco ’s The Mercedes driver , 17 points clear of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel after five races, said on Wednesday that records were likely to fall and others echoed that view.

His Mexican team mate Sergio Perez reckoned an improvement of a second to a second-and-a-half a lap was a realistic expectation.

Perez holds the current race lap record of one minute 14.820 seconds around the Mediterranean principality, set last year, but Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen took pole position in 2017 with a 1:12.178.

The track has been resurfaced since then between turns seven and 15, and on the main pit straight from the final Anthony Noghes corner to the first at Sainte Devote, which could also speed things up.

The hypersoft tire will be making its race debut in Monaco and was around a second faster than the ultrasoft -- which first appeared two years ago -- in testing in Abu Dhabi and Barcelona.

All teams have opted heavily for the softest and quickest rubber in the Pirelli range in their pre-race selections, with Red Bull opting for the maximum 11 sets per driver.

"This tire around Monaco could be something special, we will see very quick lap times if that is the case," said Renault's Carlos Sainz.

Qualifying, predicted the Spaniard, could be "absolute madness."

Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo, who took pole position in 2016 and is among the favorites to win on Sunday, agreed it could be quicker than ever.

"I'm excited to get on the hypersoft," said the Australian, who finished runner-up in 2016 and was third last year. "I don't know what the lap record is here but I'd like to think we'd beat it this weekend.

"It would be nice if I do it."

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Christian Radnedge)

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