Verstappen thrilled by first Monaco experience

By on Thursday, May 21, 2015
Red Bull/Getty Images

Red Bull/Getty Images

Toro Rosso rookie Max Verstappen says it was 'great' to claim second position in the first practice session in Monaco as he received his first taste of the Principality.

Verstappen, 17, had never driven around the circuit in junior formula - having spent just a solitary season in Formula 3 - but finished the opening 90 minute session in second place, 0.149s down on Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen was seventh quickest in the second session, with the only representative times coming in the opening 15 minutes, prior to rain hitting the circuit.

"It was a good day today," he said. "I built it up slowly in the first practice because it was all new for me, but I felt really good in the car immediately.

"This gave me a lot of confidence and to finish the morning session in P2 made me feel great! In the afternoon it was a bit of a shame that it rained, as we couldn’t complete as many laps as we wanted, but to still finish in P7 is not bad, I can be happy with my first day driving here in Monaco."

Carlos Sainz Jr. also sampled the circuit in Formula 1 machinery for the first time and was fifth in the first session before claiming sixth position later in the day.

"The first time driving a Formula 1 car in Monaco is always special and something I had been dreaming for many years," he said.

"In terms of performance, we were not too bad and maybe even better than where I expected to be on my first day here.

"But it’s still early days and we don’t really know what the others have done. It was a shame that we couldn’t do more laps in FP2 due to the rain, because this is very important for a rookie driver like me but, all in all, the car feels good and I feel confident."

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