Ferrari was fastest in opening practice for Formula 1’s United States Grand Prix at Austin with Carlos Sainz, as a host of rookies and stand-in drivers joined the field.
– Early Giovinazzi crash causes red flag
– FP1 debuts for Palou, Shwartzman, Sargeant and Pourchaire
– Sainz fastest by 0.2s over Verstappen
Newly-crowned 2022 F1 world champion Max Verstappen was nearly a second clear of the field for much of the session, having been a class apart on the early runs.
But with track evolution considerable, there was a later spell with Alpines and Aston Martins near the front and even Lance Stroll fastest for a while by 0.002s over the Red Bull.
Relative normality was restored by the end, with Sainz’s 1m36.857s lap 0.224s ahead of Verstappen’s final quick time.
Stroll stayed among the frontrunners in fourth, just behind the leading Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez was fifth. He will have a five-place grid penalty this weekend having taken a new internal combustion engine. Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu faces the same, and there are suggestions the Ferraris may also be in that position come Saturday.
Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel ended up sixth and 10th having each spent a while in second mid-session.
Pacesetter Sainz was joined at Ferrari by test driver Robert Shwartzman in this session as the team used the first of its mandatory rookie appearances.
He was the quickest of the group of five ‘guest drivers’ that filled the final five spots in the field.
There was plenty of attention on 2021 IndyCar champion Alex Palou as he made his first appearance for McLaren in Daniel Ricciardo’s car.
Though Palou ended the hour 17th, he had earlier been just over two tenths of a second off Lando Norris when they appeared to be on similar programmes.
Theo Pourchaire was 18th in Valtteri Bottas’s Alfa Romeo, just ahead of fellow Formula 2 racer Logan Sargeant – who may well be announced as Williams’s second 2023 race driver tomorrow.
Antonio Giovinazzi was last on his return to Haas Friday duties in Kevin Magnussen’s usual car.
He crashed at the downhill S-bends on only his fourth lap, causing a red flag, and though he was able to drive the car back to the pits there was too much damage for it to run again.
🚩 RED FLAG 🚩
We have a brief stoppage, as Antonio Giovinazzi spins into the wall at Turn 6
— Formula 1 (@F1) October 21, 2022
Second practice today is extended from the usual 60 minutes to 90, but will be focused on testing 2023 tyre compounds for Pirelli.
Practice 1 Results
|Pos||Name||Car||Best Time||Gap Leader|
|2||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1m37.081s||+0.224s|
|4||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m37.46s||+0.603s|
|5||Sergio Pérez||Red Bull||1m37.515s||+0.658s|
|8||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||1m37.81s||+0.953s|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin-Mercedes||1m38.041s||+1.184s|
|12||Guanyu Zhou||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m38.276s||+1.419s|
|14||Yuki Tsunoda||AlphaTauri-Red Bull||1m38.898s||+2.041s|
|18||Théo Pourchaire||Alfa Romeo-Ferrari||1m40.175s||+3.318s|