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Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Post update

    Formula 1

    Once again, thanks for all your suggestions on how to make F1 more entertaining. We'll have more on that on Saturday, as well. Plus, we'll be putting together the best of yours, BBC F1's and the drivers' views on how to improve the show later today.

    That's all from us for today so I'll point you in the direction of Andrew Benson's report on a rain-affected second practice, also tune into BBC Radio 5 live at 21:30 BST for the Monaco GP preview show. Until Saturday, goodbye.

  2. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst in Monaco

    "It is between Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg for the front row for me but I am particularly interested in the two Toro Rossos, they are up there in reality."

  3. Post update

    No action tomorrow, of course, so third practice will be on Saturday at 10:00 BST before qualifying in the afternoon. As Tom Clarkson says a couple of entries earlier, experience to be key?

  4. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    "Fastest times on inters: KVY 1:33.3; ALO 34.5; RIC 34.7; MAS 36.3; VET 36.9; BUT 38.6; RAI 38.8; BOT 39.8."

  5. Four Monaco GPs - at the same time

    Mercedes

    Before I forget, this is brilliant.

    How would you fancy watching the final laps of the Monaco Grands Prix of 1981, 1988, 1996 and 2012 all at the same time?

    Well, you can in our handy little video, which shows how the Monte Carlo track has barely changed over the years.

  6. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Ryan Blythe Unlimited fuel so cars can go flat-out for the entire race would be my main change. Far too much fuel saving & tyre management in my opinion.

    Ipkw Well ...how about we clone @LewisHamilton then there will be more interesting and capable drivers on the track.

    Max Baggins-Craig After so many laps, drivers have to pull into pits & spin a hoola-hoop & they've to reach a target before going back out.

    Graham Brand Winner of previous race has to tow a 4-berth caravan at next race. 2nd place a 2-berth and 3rd place a trailer tent.

  7. Post update

    That is pretty much that for today. Thanks for all your suggestions on how Formula 1 can be made more entertaining. Here are a few more...

  8. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter in Monaco

    "I am not sure how much the teams were able to learn today. The track was constantly evolving in FP1 and then of course there was the rain in FP2. Experience will count on Saturday, so if Max Verstappen can produce on Saturday, it will really show off his talent."

  9. FP2 RESULT

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Nico Rosberg 3) Sebastian Vettel 4) Kimi Raikkonen 5) Daniil Kvyat 6) Carlos Sainz 7) Max Verstappen 8) Fernando Alonso 9) Nico Hulkenberg 10) Romain Grosjean

    11) Sergio Perez 12) Felipe Massa 13) Valtteri Bottas 14) Maldonado 15) Jenson Button 16) Daniel Ricciardo 17) Felipe Nasr 18) Roberto Merhi 19) Will Stevens 20) Marcus Ericsson

  10. Post update

    Not the most thrilling of practice sessions, and not really worthy of capital letters in the previous entry, but there you go. Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheets in both sessions today.

  11. Chequered flag

    LEWIS HAMILTON FINISHES FASTEST IN SECOND PRACTICE FOR THE MONACO GRAND PRIX.

  12. Post update

    Under one minute left of the session then and a reminder of the order. It is Lewis Hamilton fastest with that 1:17.192 before the rain came, ahead of Nico Rosberg, Sebastian Vettel, Kimi Raikkonen and Daniil Kvyat.

  13. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    "First flying laps in the wet: ALO 1:40.401; RIC 40.585; KVY 40.683. Amazing they're all so close when just out to feel the grip."

  14. Post update

    Formula 1

    "Very low grip on this tyre. Very low grip," says Jenson Button, who is on the intermediate tyre.

  15. Post update

    Tom Clarkson

    BBC F1 pit-lane reporter in Monaco

    "Interestingly, Nico Rosberg has just gone out on the full wet tyre with everyone else on the inters. Mercedes are going to send Lewis Hamilton out on inter tyres and are going to get data on the full wets and the inters."

  16. Memorable Monaco moments

    When the rain comes...

    Formula 1

    Olivier Panis holds the record for winning from the lowest grid slot, winning from 14th on the grid in 1996.

    That rain-affected race also featured the lowest number of cars getting across the finish line, with just four making it to the end.

  17. Post update

    Formula 1

    Fernando Alonso is out with inters bolted on. Plenty of spray kicking up from behind his McLaren as he gingerly makes his way around the circuit, getting a feel for the conditions.

    Alonso is asked over team radio: "Are you happy to continue?" "Yes" is the reply.

  18. Post update

    Hooray! With 10 minutes left, we have some activity as Fernando Alonso heads back out. A few others are climbing into their cars and look set to join him.

  19. Post update

    Formula 1

    Williams: Neither Felipe Massa or Jennie Gow are wearing the appropriate footwear for this weather.

  20. Post update

    Jennie Gow has just spotted a very bored-looking Carlos Sainz and asks if he is planning to go back out.

    "I don't think so," he says. "The forecast is for dry and it is not worth going out because you crash and run out of spare parts."

  21. Post update

    Formula 1

    Sauber: No more rain, but still an empty track. 20 minutes remaining in #FP2.

  22. Post update

    Formula 1

    See? This is what happens when we are all left to entertain ourselves for so long...

  23. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Nigel MacGeorge: If there's no overtaking, there's no excitement, and if there's no excitement, people won't watch. Just making the caravan of cars go faster but still with no overtaking is just rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. When results are no longer uncertain, it's a turn off. How to get more overtaking? Change the aero regs so cars can more easily follow each other through corners and get close enough to have a chance to overtake.

    Ben Wallcroft: All cars the same! Simple. May the best driver win. OR, each race, a driver has a different car, so every driver gets the chance to drive in the top cars etc. This will prove the best driver and also the best car. If the top drivers are good, they should be able to score points with the less performing cars.

  24. Post update

    Formula 1

    The sun is shining once again and the blowers are out in force to dry the pitlane.

    It has also been well over 10 minutes since I last saw a slow motion replay of a seagull flying on the television feed too, track action incoming?

  25. Gearbox woe for Grosjean?

    Romain Grosjean

    Speaking of Romain Grosjean, there's potentially some bad news for the Frenchman, who is set to incur a five-place grid penalty for Sunday's race after Lotus changed his gearbox, reports Autosport.

    It will mean he will have it all to do before we've even got to qualifying, with this circuit notoriously difficult to overtake on.

  26. How do the drivers pass the time?

    Wondering what the drivers are up to as they wait for the rain to pass?

    Formula 1

    Romain Grosjean is being interviewed...

    ormula 1

    ...Valtteri Bottas and Felipe Massa are chit chatting...

    Formula 1

    ...and Sebastian Vettel is staying focused.

    Hopefully some action (and an end to my ramblings) will happen before the timer hits zero. Thirty minutes to go...

  27. Post update

    Formula 1

    Andrew is not wrong, with the rain having got heavier in the last few minutes. No need for any fancy weather-predicting gadgetry, a shot of an umbrella covered in big rain droplets tells us all we need to know.

    Forty minutes remaining...

  28. Memorable Monaco moments

    The craziest race ever?

    Monaco

    Speaking of rain in Monaco, remember the 1982 Monaco Grand Prix?? Labelled "the craziest race ever" by legendary commentator Murray Walker, it was quite something.

    Renault's Rene Arnoux led before spinning and stalling his engine after 14 laps, putting Alain Prost into the lead. He looked certain to seal a brilliant win but, as rain fell with two laps to go, he lost control coming out of the harbour-front chicane and slammed into the barrier.

    That put Riccardo Patrese out in front in his Brabham before he too, incredibly, spun and then Didier Pironi's Ferrari ran out of fuel and came to a halt. That was not the end of the madness as Alfa Romeo's Andrea de Cesaris also ran out of petrol and then Williams's Derek Daly stopped with a broken gearbox.

    "It is ridiculous. We are sitting by the start-finish line waiting for a winner to come past and we don't seem to be getting one," said BBC commentator James Hunt at the time.

    Finally, Patrese managed to get his Brabham over the line to win an unbelievable race. The above grainy picture doesn't really do it justice, so I urge you to watch the highlights of it.

  29. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Davie Miller Manual shift gear boxes would soon sort the men from the boys.

    Key Make the wet tyres better, so we can get some action during times like these!

    Martin Collins Twin turbo could be an idea also. Equally distribute the profits amongst the teams. More teams so a 26 car grid again.

  30. Post update

    Formula 1

    Sorry, I do Lotus a disservice. They did tweet a more informative picture with that tweet...

  31. Post update

    Lotus: It's raining.

  32. Post update

    Want a weather update? Lotus have been kind enough to provide us with one...

  33. Post update

    Jennie Gow manages to grab Max Verstappen for a quick word as the wait for the rain to stop goes on, and the Toro Rosso man says: "There is no point to drive now in these conditions because the next few days I think will be dry.

    "It has already been a good practice for me. I just built it up slowly, I felt good on the track. I like street circuits."

    Asked if he was running on low fuel, he adds: "Not really. Everyone is for sure but it [my FP1 time] was not because I was massively down. We just have a good car on this track I think."

    Verstappen adds that he has completed 200-300 laps of this circuit in the simulator. Practice to pay off?

  34. Post update

    The circuit is empty again as Pastor Maldonado heads in after a pretty cautious venture round the increasingly wet circuit. "It is raining too much," he says.

  35. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    David Parsons Make crews do stops standing on one leg?! Make cars harder to handle=more driver mistakes=more action, best drivers not best car win!

    Paul Beverley F1 teams should be made to drop their lowest scoring driver each season, you'd be guaranteed a fight between team mates then.

    Derek Martin Make them reverse the whole race.

    Ben Harvey Sporle Need to make sure the 'lesser' teams are getting a fair deal financially. Teams like Minardi were crucial in developing talent.

  36. Post update

    During the lull in activity, Tom Clarkson caught a word with former Ferrari driver Gerhard Berger.

    "I always go to practice to see who is quick," he says. "If Ferrari are quick I put on a Ferrari jacket, Max Verstappen is quick so it will be a Toro Rosso jacket.

    "Max and Carlos Sainz are showing the potential of the car and it is fantastic to see those young boys being competitive on a difficult circuit like this."

  37. Post update

    No surprises as no-one is rushing back out on to the circuit because of that bit of rain. Eventually, Pastor Maldonado opts to be the one to break the silence and out he goes on to the empty, but damp, circuit.

  38. Post update

    Formula 1

    Williams: The fans on the grandstand opposite aid the decision as they head for cover. It's raining!

  39. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst in Monaco

    "The track is open but there is a big black cloud coming across the border from Italy. A few drops will make the circuit pretty tricky but I believe we are going to see some more dry running later on."

  40. Post update

    The track has been cleared and FP2 is green again.

  41. Post update

    Roberto Merhi's Manor is wheeled away before marshals hurriedly sweep away the debris. Meanwhile, the fans in the stands reach for their umbrellas as a few spots of rain starts to fall...

  42. Post update

    Formula 1

    Williams: First red flag of the weekend as a Manor has found the wall. Drivers return to the garage. That won't be the last...

  43. Red flag

    crash

    Red flag as Roberto Merhi loses his control of his Manor coming out of the tunnel, sliding down to the chicane and hitting the barrier, catching the front of his car on the wall.

  44. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is getting faster and faster. He is up into P1 with 1:17.192, putting him ahead of Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg.

  45. Post update

    Jenson Button, who missed a fair chunk of FP1 as work was done on his McLaren, has been out early and is racking up the mileage. He's currently 13th fastest.

    Meanwhile, Nico Hulkenberg reports over team radio that Nico Rosberg is slowing down ahead of him, which is not helping his tyres, acknowledged by a slightly frustrated sounding engineer over team radio.

  46. Get involved #bbcf1

    Dafydd Eveleigh I think it's time to throw the rule book in the bin and have one simple rule go as fast as you can as safely as you can.

    Thom Hutchinson Give the teams the same prize money each e.g. £100 million to pay staff build car etc. When it's gone that's it for the year. Level field.

    Roger Moth Change the designs, allow closer racing and promote overtaking without all these silly aids. Forget the sparks just real fast racing.

    Jen How to make F1 more interesting? A London street circuit. In rush hour. During a tube strike.

  47. Yellow flag

    Sebastian Vettel dips below 1:20 to move above his Ferrari team-mate and into P1 as Pastor Maldonado takes a brief trip down an escape road at Mirabeau.

  48. Post update

    "And off we go, 90mins of practice fun!"

    Lotus
  49. Post update

    Twelve times on the board as drivers complete their initial runs, Kimi Raikkonen the early pacesetter with 1:20.490 before running off at Turn One. No drama as he is able to correct himself swiftly.

  50. Seeing red

    Pirelli Motorsport

    There's something new to watch out for later in this session, with Pirelli's red-banded supersoft tyres making its debut.

    The compound is said to provide a greater resistance to graining and blistering, which Pirelli believes should offer greater opportunities for overtaking.

    "Monaco has often been described as a circuit where overtaking is impossible, but we have seen in the past there how tyre strategy and degradation has often led to positions changing, including on-track overtaking," Pirelli motorsport director Paul Hembery said.

    "In particular, the way that drivers use the new super-soft tyre, with its notable performance advantage, will be crucial."

  51. Post update

    James Allen

    BBC Radio 5 live commentator in Monaco

    "I was super impressed by Max Verstappen this morning, right from the get go. He was absolutely on it from the start on a circuit he has never visited before. For a rookie to be second in practice in his first time round here is quite a statement."

  52. Go! Go! Go!

    FP2 is green and Nico Rosberg leads the drivers out on to the circuit for another 90 minutes of practice.

  53. Monaco's memorable moments

    Nigel Mansell

    Could we be in for as thrilling a battle as the one at the 1992 Monaco Grand Prix this Sunday?

    That race saw arguably one of the greatest battles in Formula 1 history unfold between Nigel Mansell and Ayrton Senna.

    Mansell started on pole but an unexpected tyre stop for the British driver during the final stages saw Senna take the lead.

    However, with fresh rubber and a faster car, Mansell was soon right on the back of his rival. He battled hard for the final three laps but could not find a way past Senna, who won the race by just two tenths of a second.

  54. Post update

    If you click on the 'Live Coverage' tab right now you can pop on live commentary and analysis with James Allen, Allan McNish and Jennie Gow.

  55. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved via the BBC Sport Facebook page

    Ben Wallcroft: All cars the same! Simple. May the best driver win. OR, each race, a driver has a different car, so every driver gets the chance to drive in the top cars etc. This will prove the best driver and also the best car. If the top drivers are good, they should be able to score points with the less performing cars.

    Ben J D Reynolds: Take away all the restrictions and let the teams make the cars as fast as possible. I'd watch it if it had more overtaking and crashing! It's pretty dull in its current format.

    Andrew L. Marks: Coulthard was correct in his comments last week; F1 should be about the fastest cars possible being driven by the best drivers possible. It's not rocket science.

  56. Build it, and they will come

    Formula 1

    A heck of a lot of effort and resources goes into turning the streets of Monaco into a circuit each year.

    Around 650 marshals take up their positions around the track on a race weekend, while 33km of safety rails, 20,000 square metres of wire fencing and 3,600 tyres for tyre barriers are brought in and set up.

    Work usually gets under way as far back as March too.

  57. Post update

    Felipe Massa

    Just 10 minutes until second practice gets under way and the drivers are all zipping up their race suits.

  58. How to make F1 more entertaining

    What the drivers say

    Formula 1

    Felipe Massa: "Maybe we need to make the tyres wider to give more mechanical grip. We need to be a little bit quicker, through the years the cars are getting slower and slower, maybe we need to make the cars a bit quicker and maybe make them look nicer, they looked amazing with the aerodynamic pieces in 06 and 07, after 2004 the car just got slower year on year."

    Jenson Button: "Refuelling can be unsafe but I love the racing we had with refuelling, you can make the racing more fun it will bring something different to the sport."

    Daniel Ricciardo: "No-one's going to say they don't want to go faster, I don't think we're fast enough, and we're well within the limits, go quicker that would be awesome, bit more noise might put us back up to more heroic status' as drivers."

    Watch what the drivers say about how they would improve F1

  59. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Formula 1

    If you have just joined us, we were chatting about ways to make Formula 1 more exciting throughout first practice and we'll carry on with that theme for FP2.

    What can be done to make it a more enjoyable spectacle? This morning we had homing turtle shells, and Wacky Races-style antics, while one naysayer even went as far as to suggest getting rid of the Monaco GP!

    What do you think should be done? Serious and silly suggests welcome so get involved via #bbcf1, text us on 81111 (UK only) and join the debate on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  60. Post update

    Senna Monaco
  61. Chasing the perfect weekend

    Formula 1

    It will have been a pleasing first practice session for Lewis Hamilton, with everything having gone swimmingly for the reigning world champion.

    If there is one place Hamilton is desperate to have a "perfect" race, it is Monaco, as he explains in his latest BBC column.

    "Whatever I feel about my abilities, somehow I have never executed a perfect weekend in Monaco," he says. "Will I ever have one of those perfect weekends here? I don't know, but I am going to give it everything I have got over these next four days."

    Hamilton also talks about his new Mercedes contract, and Ayrton Senna in his latest column which, as ever, is well worth a read.

  62. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    Formula 1

    "The talk between the sessions over a chilly lunch time in Monaco has been all about two men - Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen. Both had striking sessions this morning. Hamilton was absolutely on it from the minute he hit the track, as if he was trying to send a message to team-mate Nico Rosberg. It seemed to work. Rosberg hit the barrier at Tabac trying to match Hamilton's time, and when the German got to within a couple of tenths, Hamilton knocked another second off his best.

    "Meanwhile, Verstappen continues to prove the hype is real. To be second fastest on his first ever experience of Monaco, regardless of fuel loads, is making quite a statement."

  63. Attacking to the Max?

    Formula 1

    "You can't just attack it in the first free practice session, you need to build up to it gradually."

    That is what Max Verstappen said before producing a stand-out performance in first practice for the Monaco GP this morning, finishing second fastest to Lewis Hamilton.

    If that is 17-year-old not attacking, what does the rest of the weekend have in store for the impressive rookie?

  64. Post update

    Formula 1

    Smooth sailing for Lewis Hamilton so far in Monaco. Very early days though.

    We are going to put the brakes on this live text commentary for a short while but we will back up and running at 12:30 BST for second practice, which gets under way at 13:00 BST.

    In the meantime, have a read of Andrew Benson's report and we'll see you after lunch! Au revoir for now.

  65. Post update

    Mercedes
  66. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst in Monaco

    "Max looked very good right from the off. I watched him at the second part of the swimming pool section and he was very aggressive with his steering but also very precise. The kid can drive, clearly, but he has good confidence in the Toro Rosso too."

  67. Hamilton on top, Verstappen shines

    So Lewis Hamilton tops the timesheet for first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix, as he did last year although his time of 1:18.750 is half a second slower than his 2014 effort, suggesting he has more in hand.

    However, the standout performer has to be Max Verstappen who, in his first foray on the Monaco circuit, clocked the second fastest time, just 0.149 off Hamilton's benchmark.

    Max Verstappen
  68. FP1 RESULT

    1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Max Verstappen 3) Daniel Ricciardo 4) Sebastian Vettel 5) Carlos Sainz 6) Pastor Maldonado 7) Daniil Kvyat 8) Kimi Raikkonen 9) Nico Rosberg 10) Felipe Massa

    11) Fernando Alonso 12) Jenson Button 13) Romain Grosjean 14) Sergio Perez 15) Nico Hulkenberg 16) Felipe Nasr 17) Valtteri Bottas 18) Marcus Ericsson 19) Will Stevens 20) Roberto Merhi

  69. Chequered flag

    LEWIS HAMILTON FINISHES FASTEST IN FIRST PRACTICE FOR THE MONACO GRAND PRIX.

  70. Chequered flag

    Max Verstappen leaps up to P2 as the chequered flag is waved.

  71. Get involved #bbcf1

    Joseph Murphy Every driver has to drive each of the other team cars at least once. The driver's championship and team championship are separate.

    Paul Beverley F1 teams should be made to drop their lowest scoring driver each season, you'd be guaranteed a fight between team-mates then.

    Chris Hopgood Have missiles and banana skins like Mario kart?

    Shaun Hughes Let the engineers go nuts. Only rules that cars have four wheels, one driver and a set size engine. Anything else goes!

  72. Post update

    The traffic may be of no bother for Max Verstappen, but it is getting under the skin of Daniil Kvyat, whose message over team radio is bleeped as he uses a bit of colourful language during a complaint of traffic behind him. "Calm down," he is told over team radio.

  73. Memorable Monaco moments

    Formula 1

    Sir Stirling Moss has his name etched in Monaco history. He became the first British winner of the race in 1956 but produced arguably one of the greatest drives of his career on the street circuit five years later.

    He was in an ageing Lotus but successfully managed to hold off a far superior trio of Ferraris with a stunning drive round the twisty streets to take victory in the opening race of the 1961 season.

    That achieved with overheating problems with his Lotus - an issue managed by Moss by removing the sidepanels from his car and dousing himself in water.

  74. Lotus via Twitter

    "Ready... What the...! THERE'S SOMEONE ON OUR BALCONY"

    Someone is on Lotus balcony
  75. Post update

    With just over eight minutes to go, everyone is out on the circuit except for Fernando Alonso.

    Max Verstappen is unperturbed by a bit of traffic as he climbs back into P3 with a 1:19.365. The 17-year-old is just six tenths off Lewis Hamilton's time.

  76. Post update

    Formula 1

    Formula 1.com: It's the Force India cars who are burning up the track in FP1.

  77. Post update

    Manor

    Manor: Our in-garage tree seems to have caught your attention, so here's another couple of branches for you...

  78. Post update

    So far so good for Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso, with the former fifth fastest and the latter sixth fastest.

    There's barely anything between Massa and Nico Rosberg, who is fourth fastest, 0.004s to be exact. All looking good for Williams in Monaco.

  79. Post update

    Formula 1

    Into the last 15 minutes of this session and it has been a trouble free one so far for Pastor Maldonado. He has been ticking along nicely, minding his own business, and has the 14th best time so far with 1:21.267, 2.5s down on Lewis Hamilton's benchmark.

  80. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Mark Scales Have half the cars go round the track in the opposite direction.

    Kel Start the grid backwards with lowest qualified on pole, so the fastest cars have to make their way through the pack!

    Ashley Cusack Tighten the Technical rules so that the small teams can develop their car to the same extent of the big teams, would also reduce cost.

    Gideon Cresswell More grip and cars so demanding to drive that drivers get out the car and look shattered!

  81. Post update

    In contrast, Fernando Alonso improves to go sixth fastest with 1:20.262.

    "We'll stay out and keep pushing while the tyres are improving," the Spaniard is told over team radio.

  82. Post update

    Formula 1

    Jenson Button is up and running with a 1:25.890, the 18th fastest time, but is quickly told to head back in. Another problem?

  83. Memorable Monaco moments

    Formula 1

    The Monaco Grand Prix is an absolute goldmine for lovers of old grand prix pictures.

    Here's a snap from the 1958 race, won by French driver Maurice Trintignant with just six cars finishing and 10 retiring, including Sir Stirling Moss and Graham Hill.

    Moss is one of a few people still able to recall the very early days of F1 racing in Monaco. He once told me how he and Mike Hawthorn got a ticking off by an old lady in a coffee shop for making "an awful racket" on the streets.

    Now residents will be as familiar with that "racket" as they will be with yachts mooring up at the harbour...

  84. Post update

    McLaren

    McLaren: A single-lap install done and dusted for Jenson Button. He's now ready to begin his run-programme.

  85. Red Bull team radio

    Daniel Kvyat: "I have no brakes basically."

  86. Post update

    Mercedes: Both cars back in the garage giving feedback to engineers; a few tweaks here and there ordered! Striving for the best...

  87. Post update

    A hairy moment for Sebastian Vettel as he runs sideways through Casino Square, just about managing to keep his Ferrari from clipping the barrier. "It looked more like a rally car for a moment," says BBC F1 commentator Ben Edwards.

    Meanwhile, both Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg are back in the Mercedes garage.

  88. Post update

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Dan Slade Loads more Horsepower, Loads more torque, Wider Tyres and a London Street Circuit!

    Terry Davoren Bring back the "old" qualifying format of 12 laps. It was a skill for drivers/teams to navigate traffic and time the runs.

    Philip Aston Cars from 2004 and 2005 were the best. Bodywork like those as well as screaming engine power will boost TV audiences.

    Max Baggins-Craig Following a lap checkpoint, drivers go into pits & play spider solitaire - sounds good to me...

  89. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel rattles off a new personal best with 1:19.382 to nudge Nico Rosberg out of P2. Vettel is now six tenths of a second off Lewis Hamilton's benchmark of 1:18.750.

  90. Post update

    Sebastian Vettel

    McLaren have indeed got Jenson Button out on to the circuit for the first time in this session.

    Meanwhile, Sebastian Vettel navigates his way through a fair bit of traffic and is still able to clock the third fastest time so far with 1:19.950.

  91. Everybody needs good neighbours...

    Formula 1

    Williams: It's not just the barriers that are close in Monaco, your neighbours aren't far away either as Valtteri heads out.

  92. Post update

    As I post that, Max Verstappen leaps up to third fastest with 1:21.715 in the Toro Rosso.

    It would be easy to forget that this is the rookie's first taste of this circuit, and he is apparently having to contend with a bruise on a, shall we say, delicate area after taking part in soapbox derby before travelling to Monaco...

  93. Latest standings

    Formula 1

    With 45 minutes gone, it is still the Mercedes pair who lead the way.

    Nico Rosberg
  94. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    "Jenson Button caused a bit of a stir with his comments after the race in Spain, saying he was "scared" of the wayward behaviour of the McLaren.

    "The Englishman has rowed back from those remarks here, clearly aware that they did not exactly set the right tone. 'I was very outspoken,' Button said. 'When emotions are running high you always exaggerate things. It was a tough race for me. It was good to have the test three days later to really put everything right. The car felt much nicer to drive, much more consistent.

    "'We also had some new parts to test for this season, but especially for here. It was a good test. So, really, end of test, happy and you could see how far we have come since February, as a whole team but especially Honda and the Japanese side of the team. There was so much more confidence within.'"

  95. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter in Monaco

    "I have good news for Jenson Button fans. McLaren have the car down from the stands and it looks like the estimation of getting his car out before 11am local time (10:00 BST) looks correct. Hopefully he will be out on track in the next 15 minutes."

  96. Post update

    Still no sign of Jenson Button and his McLaren, 45 minutes to go. Will he get out in this session?

  97. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Jessica C: It's always gotta be Mario Kart style tortoise shells!

    Laurent Cossa: Less aero reliance, simpler front wings, no fins & boards, points for 3 drivers who've made up most places from their grid position.

    Jamie Dunmore: Get rid of gimmicks like DRS, give free choice of tyres, simplified aero, more mechanical grip and bring back gravel traps.

  98. Post update

    Monaco

    Nico Rosberg can equal the record of a Formula 1 legend if he secures pole and wins this weekend.

    He has converted pole into victory in each of the last two Monaco GPs, doing it for a third time in as many years will match the achievement of Ayrton Senna.

    Rosberg briefly vaults into P1 with 1:20.970 but his team-mate Lewis Hamilton is straight back on top with a 1:19.762. The pair have completed more laps than any other driver this morning, with 16 under their belts.

    Early days, but Hamilton is looking very impressive.

  99. Post update

    Meanwhile, Jennie Gow has just grabbed a word with Red Bull's Daniel Ricciardo to get his thoughts on practice so far.

    "It is still a bit damp in some areas but it dries pretty quickly and if the rain stays away we should see the times come down quickly," he says.

    "I think if we put the weekend together here we should get our best result here."

  100. Post update

    Nico Rosberg is back out on the circuit after a spell in the pits as his Mercedes was checked over following that brief contact with the barriers earlier. No damage done, reports Allan McNish, who refers to Rosberg's incident as "a bit of a smooch".

    Rosberg takes full advantage of the clear track to jump up to third fastest with 1:22.449.

  101. Stop getting F1 wrong...

    Fernando Alonso

    McLaren driver Fernando Alonso has had a more productive session than his team-mate Jenson Button so far this morning. He had the sixth fastest time at one point with 1:23.744, but has now dropped outside of the top 10.

    Speaking of making F1 more entertaining and feels the planned rule changes, Alonso suggests that is an admission the sport has been going "in the wrong direction".

    "If the [the rule changes] happen, we will get rules like seven or eight years ago," he said. "For the last four or five years we've been going in the wrong direction."

  102. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Danny Taylor: Running the season through the winter. The #RussianGP and #AustrianGP would be very interesting with a bit of ice #bbcf1

    James Bray: Have someone sitting on the rear wing, spitting fuel into the engine to get a boost. More exciting than DRS.

    Simon Rudd: Have you seen the film death race!! Seriously though get back to the early 90's cars make it about the driver.

  103. Post update

    "I have zero grip on the front," relays Felipe Massa over team radio, something a few drivers seem to be struggling with as Valtteri Bottas takes a brief detour off the circuit at Turn One.

    Massa's best effort so far is 1:27.074, the 15th best with just under 30 minutes gone.

  104. Fighting tooth and nail for seats

    Adam Hay Nicholls

    A track side seat for Monaco Grand Prix is the hottest ticket in town, but one erstwhile fan has taken impressive measures to secure his viewing position.

    Metro F1 journalist Adam Hay Nicholls tweeted this picture of a bench with nails pointing upwards, meaning you can only sit on it if you happen to have a hammer handy, or are one of those characters capable of lying on a bed of nails.

  105. Post update

    Formula 1

    Sparks are flying as Lewis Hamilton continues to the lead the way. Meanwhile, following on from Nico Rosberg's little contact with the barrier, Kimi Raikkonen, currently fourth fastest, locks up coming out of the swimming pool section before Felipe Nasr runs wide at Turn One.

  106. Post update

    Lewis Hamilton is out with soft tyres bolted on his Mercedes and improves his P1 time with a 1:22.103. Several other drivers, also on the soft tyres, have clocked their first timed efforts and Daniel Ricciardo goes second fastest with a time 1.6s down on Hamilton's best.

    Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, has a bit of a wiggle and glances the barriers, pitting immediately afterwards as a result.

  107. Post update

    Jennie Gow

    BBC Radio 5 live pit-lane reporter in Monaco

    "Speaking to McLaren they are telling me they are finishing a systems check on Jenson Button's car. That is what they are saying and that is why it is up in the air, but I am sure it is a little frustrating that everyone else has been out."

  108. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    "This is an event to be savoured, but in one unfortunate way this year's Monaco race brings back some poignant memories. It was here last year that Jules Bianchi scored Manor Marussia's first and only points, with a superb ninth place finish. By rights, the Frenchman should be racing this weekend for Sauber, as that is what had been agreed last year.

    "As it is, Bianchi remains in a coma in hospital in Nice with the head injuries he suffered in his crash during last year's Japanese Grand Prix.

    "McLaren's Fernando Alonso, who knew Bianchi well because of their relationship with Ferrari, paid tribute to his former colleague's achievement a year ago. 'When you are in a car that is not competitive to get some points is some kind of miracle and it is what Jules did here,' Alonso said. 'Ninth place here. To come here again and not see him together with us is very sad but it is not only here we remember him, it is every weekend, but here it is a little more difficult. He is in Nice, he is half an hour away, so hopefully he can hear some extra power we send him.'"

  109. Forza Jules

    Formula 1

    This will be an emotional weekend for the Manor F1 team.

    One year ago Jules Bianchi, at present hospitalised after a horrific crash in the 2014 Japanese GP, secured eighth place for the team, then known as Marussia, in Monaco.

    It remains their only points finish in five-and-a-half years in the sport and Manor F1 will pay tribute to Bianchi with specially-commissioned wristbands carrying the words 'MONACO 2014. P8. #JB17'.

  110. Post update

    The Manors of Will Stevens and Roberto Merhi are the only cars out on the circuit at the moment, with everyone else back in the pits. All the drivers have been out on the circuit this morning apart from Jenson Button, whose McLaren is on the jacks.

  111. Revenge on the mind?

    Formula 1

    Lewis Hamilton doesn't need reminding of a little tiff between himself and Nico Rosberg in qualifying for last year's Monaco Grand Prix, but he was any way in Wednesday's news conference.

    A mistake by Rosberg saw him miss a corner and take an escape road, causing a yellow flag and forcing Hamilton to slow down, preventing him from challenging his Mercedes team-mate's pole time.

    "I'm confident that last year's episode will not re-occur and so I don't feel pressured either way," says Hamilton. "I'm just going with the mindset of trying to be even better than I was last year and do a better lap."

  112. Post update

    Everyone headed straight back into the pits after their installation laps, except for Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.

    They stayed out to complete flying laps and Rosberg sets the first time of the day with 1:33.180s, before Hamilton swiftly pops into Pi with 1:27.842.

  113. Monaco's memorable moments

    On this day

    Monaco

    Monaco is steeped in history and today is particularly significant because, on this day in 1950, the first ever Monaco Grand Prix was won by Juan Manuel Fangio, driving for Alfa Romeo.

  114. Post update

    There's still a few dark patches but the track looks to be drying up quickly as the sun muscles its way between the clouds to beam down on the circuit. Everyone is out on intermediates.

  115. What chance of rain?

    Monaco GP
  116. Go! Go! Go!

    The circuit is open and first practice for the Monaco GP is under way. Straight away there's a stream of cars venturing out on to the circuit for an exploratory lap.

  117. Nico's the man in Monaco

    Monaco

    Lewis Hamilton will no doubt be desperate to get back to winning ways this weekend, after seeing his championship lead cut to 20 points by team-mate Nico Rosberg, who won in Barcelona last time out.

    That, though, will be easier said than done considering Rosberg looks to have got driving round this circuit nailed.

    He has converted pole into victory in each of the last two Monaco GPs, and a third win there this weekend would certainly make the title race very spicy indeed.

  118. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    "Everywhere you look in Monaco, there is a reminder that this race is something unique. And in his pre-event news conference, Nico Rosberg provided another. "A lot of memories," said the Mercedes driver. "My mum always drove me to school through the tunnel so my way to school is the race track.

    "'My school was right above the paddock here on the first floor so every year there would be a couple of days when the paddock was built up and Thursday/Friday we would be at school and everybody would be working on the cars and at the time the cars were still here and you had to push them up and I wasn't listening at all those two days. Normally I would be. Just looking at the F1 cars down below. Hakkinen, Coulthard especially in the McLaren at the time.

    "'And just it was always so fascinating for me to see the grand prix come to my city here. To think I am now racing and having a chance to win is very spectacular."

  119. Post update

    Allan McNish

    BBC Radio 5 live analyst

    "For many of the drivers, Monaco is a home grand prix - Lewis Hamilton, Nico Rosberg, Jenson Button, Daniel Ricciardo and Felipe Massa are just some of the drivers who live there year-round.

    "That brings its own comforts - you can sleep in your own bed at night, rather than a hotel, for example.

    "But there is another side to it. Just as every driver wants to win Monaco, every fan wants to go there. And quite right, too. There is, quite simply, nothing else like it."

    Read more from Allan McNish in his column about the race that is "like nowhere else on Earth".

  120. Post update

    Sparkly ferrari

    Speaking of Monaco's residents, this is a 'home' race for a fair number of drivers who live in the principality meaning they could stroll down from their own apartments to the track.

    Some, though, still rock up in cars, perhaps to avoid some keen early morning photographers...

  121. Post update

    BBC Radio 5 live

    There's a little over 10 minutes until Monaco's residents wake to the sounds of engines firing up with 90 minutes of first practice getting under way at 09:00 BST.

    You can listen to commentary online via the 'Live coverage' tab on this very page.

  122. Post update

    Twitter
  123. It's cloudy

    Formula 1

    Wish you were in Monaco? Well, if you are not, this might make you feel slightly better.

    It is a damp morning in the principality after showers overnight and currently overcast, with the prospect of more rain today.

  124. Post update

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    "Every Thursday before a grand prix (or Wednesday in the case of Monaco), I sit down with Lewis Hamilton to prepare his column for this website. Normally, he is prompt pretty much to the minute. But not this weekend.

    "When I walked upstairs in the Mercedes motorhome, the world champion was sitting with his engineering group discussing the weekend ahead. Twenty minutes later, with the scheduled time for our chat rapidly evaporating, he was still there, and had to be dragged away to join me. That gives some impression of how much winning this race means to Hamilton.

    "The last time he won around these streets was seven years ago. He clearly feels his record should be better than that on a circuit he loves, and he intends to do something about it. There is also the little matter of the controversy surrounding team-mate Nico Rosberg qualifying last year, of course. Hamilton is too professional to talk about that in public other than in the most general of terms, though."

  125. Hamilton's new deal

    Lewis Hamilton

    The big news in the build-up to this weekend is, of course, the fact Lewis Hamilton has finally confirmed his long-term future will be at Mercedes, after signing a new contract with the team on Wednesday that will take him up to 2018.

    The deal is worth up to £27m a year for the 30-year-old which not only means he is the richest sportsman in the UK, but also means he will earn more than twice the sum team-mate Nico Rosberg makes under an agreement he signed in July 2014.

    Added team-mate awkwardness...

  126. How to make F1 more entertaining?

    Get involved #bbcf1

    Formula 1
    Image caption: Maybe Lotus have the right idea...?

    Tell you what, let's get the jump on the GPDA and conduct our own little survey. What do you think is wrong with Formula 1 and what would you like to see introduced to make it more entertaining?

    Send in anything and everything that comes into your head, from the serious to the silly, we'll take it all.

    Let us know via #bbcf1, text in on 81111 (UK only) or have your say on the BBC Sport Facebook page.

  127. Are you not entertained?

    Formula 1

    Formula 1 arrives in Monaco at perhaps the right time.

    After a pretty forgettable Spanish Grand Prix, the entertainment value of the sport has come into question once again.

    A few days ago, F1 bosses agreed to introduce a range of measures aimed at making the sport more exciting, including refuelling, higher revving and louder engines and changes aimed at making cars "five to six seconds a lap faster".

    That's not all, though, with the Grand Prix Drivers' Association today set to canvas fans about the sport and ask what it is they want to see.

  128. Post update

    Formula 1

    Ask pretty much any Formula 1driver, and the race they want to win is the Monaco Grand Prix.

    There might not be lots of racing and overtaking may be difficult, but the tight and twisty nature of the street circuit means there is always the potential for drama. Monaco is also as much about the glitz off the circuit, as it is the action on it.

    "Monaco is the jewel in the crown of the Formula 1 calendar in every sense," says Jenson Button. "It's a real test of man and machine working in harmony to hook up the best lap, and maintain that consistency lap after lap."

  129. "Nothing quite matches Monaco"

    Andrew Benson

    Chief F1 writer in Monaco

    Monaco

    "Monaco: a wonderful anachronism of a race, in which 900bhp Grand Prix cars are wrestled around narrow hillside streets barely wide enough to cycle on.

    "F1 has its problems at the moment but, however jaded you are, there is nothing quite like the barely controlled violence, the sense of impossibility suspended, of the very best drivers at work there.

    "In the Pirelli era, the race itself has become a bit of a joke - cars trundling around nose to tail, seconds a lap under the limit, to ensure the super-soft tyres can last long enough to do the ideal one-stop race.

    "But as an event, still nothing quite matches Monaco."

  130. History, glitz and glamour

    Historic...

    Monaco GP

    ...iconic...

    Monaco

    ...glamorous...

    Monaco GP

    ...home for many drivers, the destination for celebrities and the highlight of the year for fans.

    Welcome to Formula 1's jewel in the crown - the Monaco Grand Prix.