Montoya Quickest in Practice 1 - Monaco

Juan Pablo Montoya proved McLaren will be on the pace in here this weekend when he outpaced championship leader Fernando Alonso to finish fastest in Thursday's opening practice session for the Monaco Grand Prix

Montoya Quickest in Practice 1 - Monaco

Spaniard Alonso led the session on a time of 1:17.301 for championship leaders Renault with seconds to go as the drivers took to the narrow harbourside track in bright sunshine and temperatures of 24 degrees Celsius.

But Colombian Montoya, whose teammate Kimi Raikkonen won the last race in Spain, outpaced him by 0.149 seconds to go top with a time of 1:17.152 in the closing seconds of the session.

Alonso finished 0.210 seconds clear of third-placed driver Christian Klien, in a Red Bull Racing car running a gaudy colour scheme to promote the new Star Wars film.

World Champion Michael Schumacher, who has struggled so far this season, finished fourth fastest for Ferrari with Giancarlo Fisichella fifth in the second Renault and McLaren test driver Alex Wurz sixth.

Australian Mark Webber finished seventh in the lead Williams with Ralf Schumacher the lead Toyota in eighth, David Coulthard ninth for Red Bull and Rubens Barrichello completing the top ten for Ferrari.

Wurz was the first of many to make a mistake at the chicane when he went straight on and with 20 minutes gone it was the Star Wars liveried Red Bull Racing machine of Christian Klien leading the times with a lap of 1:20.562.

With half an hour gone Wurz had moved to the top of the times with a lap 0.318 seconds faster than Klien and a total of 11 cars had ventured out to complete a full timed lap.

The top drivers then started to hit the top of the timesheets with Raikkonen, who won the last race in Spain, taking the top ahead of Webber and Michael Schumacher but Klien then stepped up to take top spot again.

Patrick Friesacher stopped at the end of the pitlane and had to be pushed back and Schumacher moved ahead on a time of 1:18.284 before Alonso came out for his first flying lap of the weekend.

Alonso immediately set a time of 1:18.493 to go third fastest then, after Klien had taken back the top spot, the Spaniard stepped up the pace to go two tenths faster on a time of 1:17.301.

The chicane continued to cause problems during the session with Klien, Trulli, Ricardo Zonta, Patrick Friesacher, Jordan duo Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro, David Coulthard and Nick Heidfeld all making mistakes.

Klien had an escape when he went straight on at Sainte Devote but, with BAR still absent after being banned for this race, all 22 drivers who ran in the session managed to avoid the barriers.

Pos Driver Team Time Laps 1. Montoya McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:17.152 14 2. Alonso Renault (M) 1:17.301 + 0.149 14 3. Klien Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:17.511 + 0.359 21 4. M.Schumacher Ferrari (B) 1:17.640 + 0.488 16 5. Fisichella Renault (M) 1:17.869 + 0.717 19 6. Wurz McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:18.059 + 0.907 26 7. Webber Williams-BMW (M) 1:18.244 + 1.092 18 8. R.Schumacher Toyota (M) 1:18.482 + 1.330 14 9. Coulthard Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:18.669 + 1.517 15 10. Barrichello Ferrari (B) 1:18.838 + 1.686 16 11. Heidfeld Williams-BMW (M) 1:18.859 + 1.707 17 12. Raikkonen McLaren-Mercedes (M) 1:19.055 + 1.903 16 13. Trulli Toyota (M) 1:19.255 + 2.103 13 14. Villeneuve Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:19.755 + 2.603 20 15. Liuzzi Red Bull-Cosworth (M) 1:19.844 + 2.692 21 16. Massa Sauber-Petronas (M) 1:20.180 + 3.028 15 17. Zonta Toyota (M) 1:20.979 + 3.827 21 18. Doornbos Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:21.511 + 4.359 28 19. Friesacher Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:21.968 + 4.816 17 20. Monteiro Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:22.388 + 5.236 25 21. Karthikeyan Jordan-Toyota (B) 1:23.521 + 6.369 20 22. Albers Minardi-Cosworth (B) 1:25.664 + 8.512 17 All timing unofficial 
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