France, FP1: Leclerc quickest in opening practice
Verstappen 2nd, Sainz 3rd
Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc went quickest in the opening Formula 1 practice session for the 2022 FIA Formula 1 French Grand Prix, narrowly beating Red Bull Racing driver and championship leader Max Verstappen by just under a tenth of a second.
Verstappen led the way in the opening part of the session, with the Dutch driver eclipsing an early Leclerc lap of 1:37.420 by more than 1.6s. Verstappen was then joined at the top of the order by team-mate Sergio Pérez who ran some four tenths off the pace of the world champion. The early phase was also proving useful for McLaren with Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris slotting into third and fourth place respectively as the British team tested a comprehensively updated package featuring a new floor and sidepods.
Verstappen then lowered the benchmark to 1:34.991s, while Leclerc edged closer to take P2 before he was once again ousted by Pérez who once again got to within half a second of his team-mate.
Verstappen retired to the garage around the midpoint of the session but soon emerged on soft compound tyres and he again lowered the benchmark, this time to 1:34.346.
Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz had the measure of that, however, and he snatched top spot with a lap of 1:34.268. Verstappen responded by taking back P1 with a lap of 1:34.021 but Leclerc was able to slip past the Dutchman’s time with his best time of 1:33.930.
Sainz finished the session in third place and fourth place went to Mercedes’ George Russell who set a best time of 1:34.881 that left him 0.951 off Leclerc. The Briton was the last man to get within a second of the lead Ferrari.
Fifth place in the session went to Pierre Gasly. The home hero made good use of a revised AlphaTauri to finish almost two tenths of a second ahead of Pérez. Norris claimed seventh place at the flag, while Williams’ Alex Albon finished eighth ahead of Formula E champion Nyck de Vries who took ninth place as he sat in for seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton. The top-10 order was rounded out by Ricciardo.
|01||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari F1-75||1:33.930||23|
|02||Max Verstappen||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:34.021||19|
|03||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari F1-75||1:34.268||21|
|04||George Russell||Mercedes W13||1:34.881||25|
|05||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:34.979||21|
|06||Sergio Perez||Red Bull RBPT RB18||1:35.174||21|
|07||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:35.232||21|
|08||Alex Albon||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:35.414||24|
|09||Nyck De Vries||Mercedes W13||1:35.426||23|
|10||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL36||1:35.660||21|
|11||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:35.676||21|
|12||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:35.810||19|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A522||1:35.828||21|
|14||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR22||1:35.851||24|
|15||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A522||1:35.875||22|
|16||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:36.022||19|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-22||1:36.104||22|
|18||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri RBPT AT03||1:36.127||26|
|19||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C42||1:36.332||19|
|20||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW44||1:37.043||23|