Brazilian GP F1 practice: Verstappen tops close battle in FP1

Max Verstappen edged a tight battle between Red Bull, Ferrari and Mercedes to top the opening practice session for Formula 1's Brazilian Grand Prix

Brazilian GP F1 practice: Verstappen tops close battle in FP1

Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel and 2018 champion Lewis Hamilton were covered by less than a tenth of a second in first practice at Interlagos.

Hamilton and Verstappen set their fastest laps moments apart from one another, with the Briton initially going quickest on a 1m09.107s before Verstappen snuck ahead on a 1m09.011s. Vettel then split the pair by posting a 1m09.060s.

The close fight between the three leading teams took place through the first hour of the 90-minute session, as all six of their drivers took turns at the top.

Daniel Ricciardo was first out as he looked to immediately activate a five-place grid penalty for a turbocharger change.

He also became the first big gun to set a representative time, a 1m10.139s, that was initially bettered by Ferrari's Kimi Raikkonen and then Valtteri Bottas.

Mercedes briefly interrupted Bottas's running to investigate an oil leak, and though he returned to the track before the session's end he only made a minor improvement.

That dropped him to the tail of the top six as Verstappen, Vettel and Hamilton all moved ahead of their team-mates on their second sets of supersoft tyres.

Ricciardo wound up fourth-quickest, 0.384s slower than his team-mate, while Raikkonen was half a second off the pace in fifth having switched to (and improved on) soft tyres for the second part of the session.

Bottas trimmed three tenths off his earlier benchmark but was a further tenth adrift of his fellow Finn.

Haas led the way in the battle to be best-of-the-rest thanks to early laps after the mid-session lull from Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen.

Grosjean was the last driver within a second of Verstappen's time, while Magnussen was three tenths slower than his team-mate.

Sauber's Charles Leclerc and Racing Point Force India driver Esteban Ocon completed the top 10.

Three regular drivers stepped aside in FP1: Marcus Ericsson was replaced by Antonio Giovinazzi at Sauber, Fernando Alonso gave his McLaren to Lando Norris and Sergio Perez was sidelined so Nicholas Latifi could drive for Force India.

Giovinazzi was the quickest of the trio. The 2019 Sauber driver set the 13th-fastest time, three tenths adrift of team-mate Leclerc.

Norris outpaced Vandoorne with the 16th-best lap, while Latifi was the slowest of the 20 runners and over a second slower than Ocon.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m09.011s - 16
2 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m09.060s 0.049s 20
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.107s 0.096s 28
4 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m09.395s 0.384s 23
5 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m09.573s 0.562s 28
6 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m09.679s 0.668s 23
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m09.922s 0.911s 28
8 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m10.236s 1.225s 15
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m10.346s 1.335s 28
10 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m10.361s 1.350s 34
11 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m10.662s 1.651s 34
12 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m10.679s 1.668s 34
13 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber/Ferrari 1m10.685s 1.674s 29
14 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m10.799s 1.788s 30
15 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m10.934s 1.923s 30
16 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1m11.013s 2.002s 28
17 Sergey Sirotkin Williams/Mercedes 1m11.037s 2.026s 30
18 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m11.176s 2.165s 32
19 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m11.452s 2.441s 23
20 Nicholas Latifi Force India/Mercedes 1m11.493s 2.482s 34


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Series Formula 1
Drivers Jos Verstappen , Max Verstappen
Author Scott Mitchell
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