Max Verstappen is the quickest driver in the opening practice session of the Qatar Grand Prix.
The racing action at the inaugural Qatar GP kicked off on Friday afternoon with the FP1.
The Losail International Circuit is completely new for Formula 1, so the drivers left the pit lane straightaway to explore the new race track. Everyone was pushing to the limits, so we saw the drivers go wide at some sections.
Charles Leclerc took an early lead in the session, ahead of Lando Norris and Valtteri Bottas. A couple of minutes later, Max Verstappen went quicker than Norris. However, Daniel Ricciardo was even faster.
The day did not start well for Lewis Hamilton as reported through team radio that he had a loss of power. At the same time, Verstappen went to the top of the standings once again. Shortly after, Norris and Valtteri Bottas beat the Dutchman’s lap time. Verstappen responded with a lap, which was two-tenths quicker than Norris’. The Red Bull driver continued his run on hard tires and improved his lap time once again.
Lance Stroll faced a hydraulic issue in the second half of the session, so he had to go to the garage. The drivers started soft tire runs and Verstappen remained in front. Norris had mechanical problems after running through the curbs and slowly came back to the pits. Hamilton had to briefly go to the garage due to “a car issue”. Mick Schumacher went into the gravel in the final minutes of the session, bringing yellow flags out.
Verstappen remained the leader of FP1 at the checkered flag. Pierre Gasly went on to have the second fastest time of the session, while Bottas completed the top 3.
The results of the Qatar GP FP1:
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||1:23.723|
|8||Sergio Perez||Red Bull Racing||+1.192|
|12||Sebastian Vettel||Aston Martin||+1.605|
|14||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing||+2.034|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Racing||+2.105|
|19||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+2.989|