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Formula 1

All you need to know about Brazilian GP’s only Friday practice

by Valentin Khorounzhiy
2 min read

Lewis Hamilton edged out his Formula 1 championship rival Max Verstappen by almost four tenths to top the sole practice session before qualifying for the Brazilian Grand Prix on Friday.

Key moments:

> Penalty-hit Hamilton nearly four tenths ahead of Verstappen

> Perez and Bottas third and fourth

> Ferrari, Alpine, Aston Martin and AlphaTauri also feature in top 10

Hamilton is looking to overturn a 19-point deficit to championship leader Verstappen this weekend at Interlagos, but he’ll have to serve a five-place grid penalty for the grand prix after taking a new internal combustion engine.

Verstappen led the majority of the first 50 minutes of the session before Hamilton claimed top spot on a 1m09.348s, going just under a tenth quicker than the Red Bull driver.

Hamilton then went even quicker a few moments later to improve to a 1m09.050s.

The seven-time world champion lamented issues with the front end of his Mercedes throughout the session, but was still able to take the top spot in the only practice outing before qualifying on Friday afternoon.

Qualifying will set the grid for the third and final sprint race of the 2021 season, with the results of that sprint race deciding the grid for the grand prix.

Sergio Perez made it two Red Bulls in the top three, with a lap just 0.075s slower than team-mate Verstappen.

Outgoing Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas was fourth ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, the former of which set the fastest sector one time of the session.

Eighth and ninth were occupied by the Alpine duo of Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso, who set their fastest times on the medium tyre. The French outfit is currently tied on points with AlphaTauri in their fight for fifth place in the constructors’ championship.

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda split the Aston Martin duo of Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel to take 11th in the session.

McLaren had a characteristically low-key start to the weekend with Lando Norris 15th and Daniel Ricciardo 19th, but neither driver used the soft tyres.

Mick Schumacher was faster than the Williams duo, Ricciardo and his Haas team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m09.05s
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m09.417s +0.367s
3 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 1m09.492s +0.442s
4 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m09.567s +0.517s
5 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m09.88s +0.83s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m10.124s +1.074s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m10.142s +1.092s
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m10.145s +1.095s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m10.201s +1.151s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m10.352s +1.302s
11 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1m10.374s +1.324s
12 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m10.413s +1.363s
13 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m10.443s +1.393s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m10.587s +1.537s
15 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.61s +1.56s
16 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m10.885s +1.835s
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m10.902s +1.852s
18 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m10.938s +1.888s
19 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m10.99s +1.94s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1m11.342s +2.292s
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