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BC-CAR--F1-Monaco GP,1st Ld-Writethru

May 23, 2019

MONACO (AP) — Formula One champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time Thursday in first practice for the Monaco Grand Prix.

The Mercedes driver and championship leader was .059 seconds quicker than Red Bull driver Max Verstappen on the sinewy 3.3-kilometer (2-mile) street circuit.

Mercedes teammate Valterri Bottas was third quickest and finished .072 behind Hamilton.

Ferrari again looked off the pace with Charles Leclerc fourth ahead of teammate Sebastian Vettel.

Leclerc, who is from Monaco, and Vettel were both fined 300 euros ($334) for exceeding the pit lane speed limit of 60 kph (37 mph).

A second practice is scheduled for later Thursday.

Mercedes has been dominant so far, placing 1-2 in all five races and with Bottas second in the title race.

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