Ferrari and McLaren once again are the teams to beat, with Kimi Raikkonen finishing practice session 1 just ahead of Lewis Hamilton.
The first practice session in Monaco was marred by a long red flag session. Just before the one hour mark, officials noticed a problem with a drain cover on the hill out of Sainte Devote leading to a red flag which lasted 16 minutes. The drain cover was eventually repaired at the session continued for a further 21 minutes.
Prior to the red flag, Hamilton had the quickest time in his MP4-23. However with nine minutes of the session remaining, Raikkonen put in a blistering lap to beat Hamilton s time by a full two tenths of a second.
Heikki Kovalainen looks to be in good form he initially beat Raikkonen s sector times in the first two parts of the lap, but dropped time in the final sector to finish the day with the third quickest time. Felipe Massa rounded out the top four in the second Ferrari, just ahead of Williams Nico Rosberg and the BMW of Robert Kubica.
Jarno Trulli, David Coulthard and Nick Heidfeld didn t have the most auspicious of days Coulthard failed to put in a time as his RB4 lost drive exiting the tunnel on his first timed lap of the session; Trulli brushed the wall on the approach to the tunnel and broke his Toyota s suspension. His car was so badly damaged that he had to park in on the exit of the chicane; Heidfeld stopped at Casino Square after his BMW looked to have sustained some damage to the rear.
Unofficial Times for Monaco, Practice Session 1
Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Raikkonen Ferrari 1:15.948 26 2. Hamilton McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.216 + 0.268 27 3. Kovalainen McLaren-Mercedes 1:16.248 + 0.300 28 4. Massa Ferrari 1:16.292 + 0.344 26 5. Rosberg Williams-Toyota 1:16.653 + 0.705 27 6. Kubica BMW Sauber 1:16.834 + 0.886 23 7. Alonso Renault 1:17.498 + 1.550 25 8. Barrichello Honda 1:17.511 + 1.563 26 9. Webber Red Bull-Renault 1:17.798 + 1.850 23 10. Fisichella Force India-Ferrari 1:17.835 + 1.887 26 11. Glock Toyota 1:17.942 + 1.994 26 12. Button Honda 1:18.153 + 2.205 26 13. Bourdais Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:18.245 + 2.297 30 14. Heidfeld BMW Sauber 1:18.263 + 2.315 13 15. Nakajima Williams-Toyota 1:18.274 + 2.326 28 16. Trulli Toyota 1:18.360 + 2.412 16 17. Sutil Force India-Ferrari 1:18.360 + 2.412 25 18. Piquet Renault 1:18.955 + 3.007 32 19. Vettel Toro Rosso-Ferrari 1:19.176 + 3.228 35 20. Coulthard Red Bull-Renault No time 3