Interlagos, FP1: Verstappen edges Vettel and Hamilton to top first practice

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By Olivier Ferret

9 November 2018 - 15:35

Max Verstappen went quickest in a closely contested opening practice session for the Brazlian Grand Prix, with the Red Bull Racing driver finishing just five hundredths of a second ahead of Ferrari’s Sebsatian Vettel and just under a tenth of a second clear of recently crowned 2018 champion Lewis Hamilton of Mercedes.

Drivers from the top three teams traded fast laps throughout the opening hour of the session, with Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo initially leading the way with a time of 1m10.139s. That mark was soon bypassed by Ferrari’s Kimi Räikkönen and then by Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas.

All three would be eventually eclipsed by their team-mates, however, with Hamilton rising to top of the order just after the hour mark on supersoft tyres with a lap of 1:09.107.

Verstappen was close behind on track, though, and when he crossed the line he managed to shave 0.049s off Hamilton’s benchmark to claim honours in the session with a time of 1:09.011. Vettel then split the Red Bull and Mercedes driver with a lap of 1:09.060s.

Early pacesetter Ricciardo finished fourth, almost four tenths of a second off the pace of his teammate, while Räikkönen ended the session in fifth place 0.562 adrift of Verstappen. The Finn set his best times on soft tyres, however. Was left to anchor the top six with a best time of 1:09.679.

Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen gave Haas definitive best-of-the-rest stus with the Frenchman finishing in seventh place, three tenths of a second ahead of his Danish team-mate. Grosjean was the last driver within a second of Verstappen’s best time.

Sauber’s Charles Leclerc took ninth place in the session with a time of 1:10.346m while Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon was tenth, 1.3s behind Verstappen.

Pos.DriverTeamTimeLaps
01 Max Verstappen Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:09.011 16
02 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:09.060 20
03 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes AMG 1:09.107 28
04 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Tag Heuer 1:09.395 23
05 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:09.573 28
06 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes AMG 1:09.679 23
07 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:09.922 28
08 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:10.236 15
09 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:10.346 28
10 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:10.361 34
11 Carlos Sainz Renault F1 1:10.662 34
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault F1 1:10.679 34
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber Ferrari 1:10.685 29
14 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:10.799 30
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:10.934 30
16 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:11.013 28
17 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:11.037 30
18 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:11.176 32
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Renault 1:11.452 23
20 Nicholas Latifi Force India Mercedes 1:11.493 34

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