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Alonso fastest in first Monaco GP practice session

india Updated: May 24, 2012 16:35 IST
Agencies
Formula One

Ferrari-s-Fernando-Alonso-is-the-joint-leader-in-this-year-s-drivers-world-championship-AP-Photo

Formula One co-leader Fernando Alonso powered his Ferrari to the fastest time in a shortened first practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday, finishing ahead of rookie Lotus driver Romain Grosjean and Sauber's Sergio Perez.

The two-time former champion, second behind Sebastian Vettel in last year's race, drove smoothly as he posted a time of 1 minute, 16.265 seconds.

Vettel, who shares the championship lead with Alonso after five races, was only ninth quickest and nearly a second slower.

The session stopped with just under 10 minutes remaining after Finnish driver Heikki Kovalainen blew his engine and smoke billowed out of his Caterham as he flew through the tunnel section. After the red flag went up, the session did not restart.

Five-time Monaco winner Schumacher ended up 11th, just behind Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg who was 10th, after damaging his front wing while driving hard on the kerbs. The 2010 winner of the race, Mark Webber was 13th.

Kimi Raikkonen completed just a single installation lap before deciding to concentrate on the set-up of his car for the second practice session.