Lewis Hamilton is the fastest driver of the opening free practice session of the Sao Paulo Grand Prix.

The third and final Sprint race weekend kicked off at Interlagos with the opening free practice session.

FP1 was the only session ahead of the qualifying, which increased its value. That’s why we saw a lot of drivers leaving their garages straightaway. Weather was a concern as well because heavy clouds were around the track.

Red Bull was expected to be the favorite in Brazil and they did not waste any time – Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez locked out the first two positions in the timesheets straightaway. Valtteri Bottas split the Red Bull duo a bit later.

Despite tire vibrations, Verstappen showed impressive pace on medium tires, going quicker and quicker. Lewis Hamilton temporarily got to 2nd but was eventually dropped down to 3rd by Perez. The Briton was not happy with the car set-up and the front suspension. At the same time, Bottas reported that there were drops of rain at the track.

Alpine felt comfortable at Interlagos – Fernando Alonso was sitting in 9th, while Esteban Ocon got to P4 with hard tires on. Ferrari also had good performance in the practice – Sainz was 4th and Leclerc was 2nd, just 0.005 seconds away from Verstappen.

Verstappen and Perez had a run on soft tires and they improved their lap times dramatically. Hamilton and Bottas also decided to put the softest compound on and they followed their championship rivals in the standings.

With less than 10 minutes to go, Hamilton managed to collect a good lap and also got a tow in the final sector – he became the new leader of the session. Several minutes later, he went three-tenths quicker.

Hamilton’s lap time remained unreachable until the checkered flag, so the Mercedes driver topped the standings of the session. Verstappen was second, while Perez had the third-best time of the session.

The results of the F1 Sao Paulo GP FP1:

Pos.DriverTeamTime/Gap
1Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:09.050
2Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing+0.367
3Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing+0.442
4Valtteri BottasMercedes+0.517
5Pierre GaslyAlphaTauri+0.830
6Carlos SainzFerrari+1.074
7Charles LeclercFerrari+1.092
8Esteban OconAlpine+1.095
9Fernando AlonsoAlpine+1.151
10Lance StrollAston Martin+1.302
11Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri+1.324
12Sebastian VettelAston Martin+1.363
13Kimi RaikkonenAlfa Romeo Racing+1.393
14Antonio GiovinazziAlfa Romeo Racing+1.537
15Lando NorrisMcLaren+1.560
16Mick SchumacherHaas+1.835
17Nicholas LatifiWilliams+1.852
18George RussellWilliams+1.888
19Daniel RicciardoMcLaren+1.940
20Nikita MazepinHaas+2.292

Hi everyone! My name is Anton, I am 19 years old and I am an aspiring motorsports journalist. I love motorsports for those emotions and excitement it brings.