Formula 1
May 22

Formula 1: Opposition appears closer to Mercedes in Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 22 May 2014. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid. World Copyright: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _R6T8962

Nico Rosberg during Thursday practice in his Mercedes F1 W05 Hybrid in Monte Carlo, Monaco on Thursday, May 22 2014. (Photo: Alastair Staley/LAT Photographic)

It was no surprise when Mercedes set the pace in Monaco today, but all the signs are that Red Bull and Ferrari are a lot closer at a track where the power unit is less critical.

In FP1 Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg were just 0.032s apart, although a disjointed FP2 meant that the times were not representative, with Hamilton half a second off Fernando Alonso, and Rosberg was only 20th.

May 22

Formula 1: Hamilton sets fastest time Thursday while Alonso tops FP2

during practice ahead of the Monaco Formula One Grand Prix at Circuit de Monaco on May 22, 2014 in Monte-Carlo, Monaco.

Lewis Hamilton has the fastest time of the weekend so far at a 1:18.271 (Photo: Getty images)

MONACO (AP) — Ferrari driver Fernando Alonso posted the fastest time in the rain-disrupted second practice session at the Monaco Grand Prix on Thursday, with Formula One leader Lewis Hamilton second. Yet Hamilton’s FP1 time remained the fastest time of the day.

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May 22

F1: Montezemolo denies tension with Alonso at Ferrari

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Thursday 22 May 2014. Fernando Alonso, Ferrari F14T. World Copyright: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _FER1586

Fernando Alonso wheels his Ferrari F14T around the circuit in Monte Carlo, Monaco. (Photo: Andrew Ferraro/LAT Photographic)

Fernando Alonso caused something of a stir yesterday when asked about a recent comment from Mercedes boss Dieter Zetsche to the effect that the Spaniard was the best driver in the world.

Alonso responded by saying that it was always good to hear such comments from outsiders –and pointed out, somewhat enigmatically, that he didn’t always feel such support from closer to home.

May 21

F1: Vettel pays tribute to Sir Jack Brabham

during the Bahrain Formula One Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 14, 2010 in Sakir, Bahrain.

Sebastian Vettel meets Sir Jack Brabham during the Bahrain Grand Prix at the Bahrain International Circuit on March 14, 2010. (Photo: Getty Images)

Sebastian Vettel is known for having a greater appreciation of F1 history than many of his colleagues, and today the German demonstrated that when he paid tribute to the late Sir Jack Brabham.

He acknowledged that the Australian’s feat of winning the World Championship in his own car (the 1966 Brabham BT19) was a special one.

May 21

F1: Rosberg looks to end Hamilton winning streak in Monaco

Monte Carlo, Monaco. Wednesday 21 May 2014. Nico Rosberg, Mercedes AMG. World Copyright: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic. ref: Digital Image _J5R6411

Nico Rosberg in the paddock in Monte Carlo, Monaco on Wednesday, 21 May 2014. (Photo: Charles Coates/LAT Photographic)

Nico Rosberg says he’s not worried about Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton seizing the initiative with his run of four wins over the past four races.

“I’m not too focused on that,” he said of losing the championship lead in Spain. “Of course I would prefer to be ahead than behind but it’s very, very close and there still a long way to go.