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Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time of first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix as the two Mercedes were separated by just 0.032s.

On an overcast morning in Monte Carlo, Hamilton set a best time of 1:18.271 to top the timesheets, only just edging out team-mate Nico Rosberg as the latter closed to within half a tenth late in the session. Daniel Ricciardo was third quickest as Red Bull looked a serious contender in the opening session, setting a time just 0.235s slower than Hamilton. Ricciardo also looked set to improve at the end of FP1 but was baulked by a Caterham in the final sector.

Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest for Ferrari after improving late on, setting a best time of 1:18.930 to beat Sebastian Vettel by just over 0.1s. However, Alonso's session ended with him having to reverse back up an escape road having run wide at Mirabeau.

Kimi Raikkonen was sixth to ensure Mercedes, Red Bull and Ferrari finished as the top three teams - although Raikkonen himself was over 1.1s slower than Hamilton - with Valtteri Bottas, Sergio Perez, Kevin Magnussen and Nico Hulkenberg rounding out the top ten.

While Bottas showed competitively for Williams, team-mate Felipe Massa was 2.3s off the pace as he ended the session 16th.

Drivers appeared to be cautious during the opening 45 minutes as they built up confidence around the tight streets in relatively new machinery, with Max Chilton the first to be caught out as he spun at Mirabeau and saw his session ended after just seven laps.

Adrian Sutil later followed suit, but lost the rear of his car on entry to Mirabeau and hit the barrier on the outside of the corner with his left rear, preventing him from continuing.

After Sutil's accident, Esteban Gutierrez also had trouble in the second Sauber as he ran wide at Ste Devote and was unable to rejoin after locking up and parking his car in the escape road.