Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz has been under some pressure in recent weeks, especially with rumours of Lewis hamilton replacing him have begun to intensify.
However, the Spaniard displayed great skill and set an early marker in Monaco by finishing FP 1 with the best lap time in what was a disrupted session.
Red Bull driver max Verstappen was once again left frustrated with how events transpired in Monaco and having initially struggled with his clutch on the way to the track, he was seen complaining about how his car was “unbelievably difficult to drive”.
Sainz, meanwhile, set a time of one-minute 13.372secs, which placed him ahead of Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton in second and third respectively.
While Verstappen went back to the pits and spent a considerable time in the garage, he was still left frustrated with the changes made.
He eventually finished with the sixth best time and his frustration was obvious as he flung his hands up in the car and was continuously shaking his head.
Once again, a red flag came to haunt Verstappen as he was forced to settle for P6 due a crash that signalled the end of the session.
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton go wheel-to-wheel
Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton did enough to whet the appetite of fans as they went wheel-to-wheel during FP1.
While action between the duo has been limited over the past year owing to Red Bull’s emergence as a leading force of the sport and Mercedes’ equally rapid decline.
While Verstappen has managed to win three of the five races so far, he has finished in the top two at every event.
Hamilton, meanwhile, is chasing a race win that has eluded him since 2021, after he was forced to spend the entire 2022 season without any victory.
Mercedes will be buoyed with their new upgraded W14, with a significant change in the zero-sidepod appearance.
Hamilton was ahead of Verstappen but the Dutchman started to gain speed as the duo entered the tunnel.
Hamilton immediately decided to cut the chicane as he was coming out of the tunnel, but Verstappen surprisingly followed him over the on-track run-off before passing the British driver.
It almost seemed like Hamilton allowed Verstappen through, but the 25-year-old was still far from happy with his car’s setup and was seen repeatedly complaining to his engineers over team radio.