Istanbul, FP1: Hamilton quickest in FP1 for Turkish Grand Prix
But will take engine-related grid penalty
Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton beat title rival Max Verstappen to the top of the timesheet in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Turkish Grand Prix, outpacing the Red Bull driver by over four tenths of a second. Charles Leclerc was third for Ferrari.
Following an extreme lack of grip last year on a brand new surface, this year’s first session took place on a track that has been water blasted to reveal more of the underlying material and drivers reported significant improvement in the levels of adhesion available around the 5.3km circuit.
So much so that Hamilton was able to set a new track record with a lap of 1:24.178, just under six tenths faster than Juan Pablo Montoya’s previous benchmark dating from all the way back in 2005.
The positives of Hamilton’s were softened, however, by the revelation at the start of the session that Mercedes have made an engine change to his car and he will take a 10-place grid penalty for Sunday’s race.
Hamilton led the early running in FP1 with a lap of 1:24.511 but when he moved to soft tyres soon after the midpoint of the session he quickly found his way to the new record time to eclipse Verstappen by 0.425 seconds.
Verstappen’s deficit to the champion was largely due to handling difficulties with his RB16B, with the Dutch driver saying that he was struggling with front-end grip throughout.
Leclerc ended the session just five-hundredths of a second behind the Red Bull, while Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas took fourth place, six-tenths of a second off teammate Hamilton, while Carlos Sainz took the second Ferrari to fifth place. Sainz will also take an engine-related penalty on Sunday when he takes the upgraded PU introduced on Leclerc’s car in Russia.
Sixth place in the session went to Alpine’s Esteban Ocon, with McLaren’s Lando Norris seventh ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly. Fernando Alonso finished ninth in the second Alpine and the final top 10 place was taken by Red Bull’s Sergio Pérez.
|01||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W12||1:24.178||26|
|02||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:24.603||24|
|03||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF21||1:24.654||27|
|04||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W12||1:24.842||28|
|05||Carlos Sainz||Ferrari SF21||1:24.860||25|
|06||Esteban Ocon||Alpine Renault A521||1:24.909||30|
|07||Lando Norris||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:25.347||26|
|08||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:25.382||30|
|09||Fernando Alonso||Alpine Renault A521||1:25.383||26|
|10||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull Honda RB16B||1:25.459||24|
|11||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:25.685||25|
|12||Daniel Ricciardo||McLaren Mercedes MCL35M||1:25.750||26|
|13||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:25.810||26|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:25.813||24|
|15||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW43B||1:25.863||28|
|16||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C41||1:25.933||23|
|17||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin Mercedes AMR21||1:26.361||29|
|18||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri Honda AT02||1:26.424||28|
|19||Mick Schumacher||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:26.636||25|
|20||Nikita Mazepin||Haas Ferrari VF-21||1:27.019||28|
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