Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes during practice (Photo: Reuters)
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton celebrated signing his new deal with Mercedes by topping the times in Thursday’s opening free practice session for Sunday’s Monaco Grand Prix ahead of Dutch teenager Max Verstappen in a Toro Rosso.
The two-time champion, who announced on Wednesday a three-year extension of his contract to 2018, had a best lap time of one minute and 18.750 seconds.
This left him 0.149 seconds ahead of Verstappen while his Mercedes team-mate and championship rival German Nico Rosberg was ninth fastest.
Australian Daniel Ricciardo was third quickest for Red Bull ahead of four-time champion German Sebastian Vettel in his Ferrari and Spaniard Carlos Sainz in the second Toro Rosso.
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