Max quickest in Melbourne FP1
Published on 31 March 2023 by Stefan Meens
Max Verstappen topped the timing sheets after the first practice session of the Australian grand Prix. In a session marred by two red flags, the reigning champion was four tenths quicker than Lewis Hamilton in his Mercedes. Max’ Oracle Red Bull Racing team mate Sergio Perez completed the top three.
As the session gets underway, it is busy on track early on. Max is one of the drivers taking to the streets of Albert Park in Melbourne. Sporting the soft Pirelli tyres, he complains to the team about the up and down-shifts in the RB19. Nevertheless, the Dutchman sets the pace early on in the session.
As FP1 progresses, more drivers opt for the soft compound, resulting in the lap times dropping. Max remains quickest, despite still not being happy with the handling of his car. After clocking the quickest lap of the session (1:18.790) Max expresses his discontent with the rear brakes.
Halfway into the session, several drivers have near-misses, subsequently explained by a glitch in the GPS-system resulting in the teams being unable to inform the drivers of other cars in their vicinity. To address the issue, the session is red-flagged.
The problem is swiftly solved and ten minutes later the drivers head back out on track. Max does so on four new softs. With five minutes on the clock, Max spins on this set of the red side-walled Pirellis and informs the team these tyres are now a write-off.
The session ends under a red flag with Logan Sargeant’s Williams grinding to a halt in the final sector. It confirms Max in P1 at the end of FP1.
|1||Max Verstappen||VER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:18.790||17|
|3||Sergio Perez||PER||Red Bull Racing Honda RBPT||1:19.293||+0.503s||19|
|4||Fernando Alonso||ALO||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:19.317||+0.527s||23|
|7||Lando Norris||NOR||McLaren Mercedes||1:19.536||+0.746s||16|
|8||Pierre Gasly||GAS||Alpine Renault||1:19.646||+0.856s||22|
|10||Lance Stroll||STR||Aston Martin Mercedes||1:19.766||+0.976s||19|
|11||Alexander Albon||ALB||Williams Mercedes||1:19.766||+0.976s||21|
|12||Oscar Piastri||PIA||McLaren Mercedes||1:19.777||+0.987s||22|
|13||Nico Hulkenberg||HUL||Haas Ferrari||1:19.806||+1.016s||19|
|14||Nyck De Vries||DEV||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:19.933||+1.143s||25|
|15||Logan Sargeant||SAR||Williams Mercedes||1:20.074||+1.284s||21|
|16||Esteban Ocon||OCO||Alpine Renault||1:20.175||+1.385s||20|
|17||Yuki Tsunoda||TSU||AlphaTauri Honda RBPT||1:20.399||+1.609s||14|
|18||Valtteri Bottas||BOT||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:20.419||+1.629s||21|
|19||Zhou Guanyu||ZHO||Alfa Romeo Ferrari||1:20.569||+1.779s||22|
|20||Kevin Magnussen||MAG||Haas Ferrari||1:21.147||+2.357s||17|