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F1: Leclerc leads 1st practice session for Monaco GP

MONACO (AP) — Charles Leclerc was quickest in Friday's first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix and the Ferrari driver hopes a home track victory w


MONACO (AP) — Charles Leclerc was quickest in Friday’s first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix and the Ferrari driver hopes a home track victory will return him to the top of the Formula 1 standings. One.

Leclerc lost the F1 points lead last week in Spain. Reigning champion Max Verstappen has won three races in a row to replace Leclerc at the top.

Leclerc has never completed an F1 race at his home track. He took pole last year but couldn’t even race due to mechanical problems in his Ferrari.

In Friday’s first practice he beat Red Bull’s Mexican Sergio Pérez by 0.04 seconds. Carlos Sainz Jr. was third fastest in a Ferrari, followed by Verstappen’s Red Bull.

Verstappen and Leclerc have combined for six wins this season – four for the Dutchman and two for the Monegasque.

Mercedes didn’t have the session it wanted with George Russell eighth fastest and seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton 10th. The new Mercedes has struggled with what’s known as “porpoising,” an aerodynamic problem in which cars jump and bounce around the track.

A second practice session is scheduled for later on Friday.