Shanghai, FP1: Vettel leads the way
F1’s 1000th race weekend begins in China
Sebastian Vettel set the fastest time of opening practice at China’s Shanghai International Circuit, as Formula 1 began preparations for its 1000thrace.
The Ferrari driver beat five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton by two tenths of a second despite using a harder compound tyre than the Mercedes man. Third place in the session went to Vettel’s team-mate Charles Leclerc.
Four-time champion Vettel set his best time of session, a lap of 1:33.911 on the C3 compound chosen as the medium tyres for this weekend. Hamilton’s best lap of 1:34.118, a little over two tenths of a second off the Ferrari driver’s benchmark was posted while using the C4 compound nominated as this race’s soft tyres.
Leclerc also used the medium tyres to set his quickest lap of the 90-minute session. The Monegasque driver posted a time of 1:34.167 to finish 0.049s behind soft-shod Hamilton.
Max Verstappen set the fourth quickest time of the morning, using the soft tyre to finish the session 0.167s behind Leclerc. The Red Bull driver was over four tenths slower than Vettel, however, despite being a step softer on tyres.
Championship leader Valtteri Bottas finished fifth with a time of 1:34.653 that left him almost eight tenths of a second off the pace but the Mercedes man then had more than half a second in hand over sixth-placed Daniel Ricciardo.
The Renault driver was followed by Pierre Gasly in the second Red Bull. The French driver was 1.5s down on Vettel’s benchmark but more painfully perhaps Gasly was almost 1.1s adrift off Red Bull team-mate Verstappen.
Toro Rosso’s Daniil Kvyat finished in eighth place ahead of Lance Stroll of Racing Point and Haas’ Romain Grosjean.
|01||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF90||1:33.911||19|
|02||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W10||1:34.118||21|
|03||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF90||1:34.167||21|
|04||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB15||1:34.334||20|
|05||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W10||1:34.653||22|
|06||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault RS19||1:35.239||23|
|07||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Honda RB15||1:35.428||23|
|08||Daniil Kvyat||Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:35.447||24|
|09||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Mercedes RP19||1:35.466||25|
|10||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari VF-19||1:35.507||24|
|11||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-19||1:35.517||25|
|12||Nico Hülkenberg||Renault RS19||1:35.591||22|
|13||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault MCL34||1:35.631||24|
|14||Alex Albon||Toro Rosso Honda STR14||1:35.695||26|
|15||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38||1:35.729||23|
|16||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault MCL34||1:35.756||24|
|17||Sergio Pérez||Racing Point Mercedes RP19||1:35.820||24|
|18||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes FW42||1:36.847||27|
|19||George Russell||Williams Mercedes FW42||1:37.619||28|
|20||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C38||-:—.---||2|