until Abu Dhabi Autonomous Racing League

Formula 1

Everything that happened in Australian GP FP1

by Josh Suttill
3 min read

Max Verstappen led Lewis Hamilton in a fraught opening practice session at Formula 1’s Australian Grand Prix.

Key moments:

> Verstappen fastest, spins late on

> Hamilton beats Perez to P2 with late soft run

> GPS issues red flag FP1 for 10 minutes

> Late Sargeant stoppage ends FP1 early

Championship leader Verstappen topped FP1 on the soft tyres with a 1m18.790s – just under a second adrift of Charles Leclerc’s 2022 pole position time at Albert Park.

And he survived a big moment with six minutes of the session remaining when he spun his RB19 on the kerbs at the Turn 4 left-hander.

His Red Bull team-mate Perez also had a lairy moment as he ran wide onto the grass at the Turn 3 right-hander while on his soft-tyre run.

This left his fastest effort on the mediums – 0.503s adrift of Verstappen – as his best time and allowed Lewis Hamilton to jump him for second place with a late soft-tyre run of his own for Mercedes.

Hamilton set that lap after FP1 had to be red flagged for 10 minutes due to GPS issues.

Just over 10 minutes after the session resumed it was red flagged again and ended prematurely when Logan Sargeant’s Williams ground to a halt on the exit of the high-speed Turns 11/12.

Fernando Alonso was fourth for Aston Martin, 0.527s slower than Verstappen on the soft tyres.

Ferrari drivers Leclerc and Carlos Sainz completed the top six, with 2022 race winner Leclerc 0.061s slower than Alonso.

Lando Norris – he and his McLaren team without a point in the first two races of 2023 – was one of only a handful of drivers to set a lap after the initial red flag as he went sixth quickest, just 0.031s adrift of Sainz.

Alpine’s Pierre Gasly was eighth ahead of the Mercedes of George Russell and the Aston Martin of Lance Stroll, who rounded out the top 10.

Motor Racing Formula One World Championship Australian Grand Prix Practice Day Melbourne, Australia

Gasly’s former team-mate Yuki Tsunoda narrowly avoided hitting the barriers when he spun across the grass on the exit of Turn 1. He ended up 17th after missing the second half of that session with damage to his car.

Kevin Magnussen was slowest of all after an error-strewn session which included off-track moments at Turn 3 and Turn 10.

Practice 1 Results

Pos Name Car Best Time Gap Leader
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m18.79s
2 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m19.223s +0.433s
3 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1m19.293s +0.503s
4 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m19.317s +0.527s
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m19.378s +0.588s
6 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m19.505s +0.715s
7 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.536s +0.746s
8 Pierre Gasly Alpine-Renault 1m19.646s +0.856s
9 George Russell Mercedes 1m19.699s +0.909s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m19.766s +0.976s
11 Alex Albon Williams-Mercedes 1m19.766s +0.976s
12 Oscar Piastri McLaren-Mercedes 1m19.777s +0.987s
13 Nico Hülkenberg Haas-Ferrari 1m19.806s +1.016s
14 Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m19.933s +1.143s
15 Logan Sargeant Williams-Mercedes 1m20.074s +1.284s
16 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m20.175s +1.385s
17 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda RBPT 1m20.399s +1.609s
18 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m20.419s +1.629s
19 Guanyu Zhou Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m20.569s +1.779s
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1m21.147s +2.357s
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