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Perez tops first Brazilian GP practice

SAO PAULO, BRAZIL - NOVEMBER 11: Sergio Perez of Mexico and Oracle Red Bull Racing prepares to drive in the garage during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Brazil at Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on November 11, 2022 in Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Sergio Perez has topped the Free Practice 1 session of the Brazilian Grand Prix, with Charles Leclerc in second and Max Verstappen third.

The first practice session at the Grand Prix of Sao Paulo began under cloudy, misty conditions as the cars went out to the track right at the start, as they needed to gather as much data as possible in preparation for Qualifying later in the day.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was the driver on top of the time chart halfway through the session, with an impressive Valteri Bottas behind him in second. His teammate, Sergio Perez, was sitting in third place ahead of Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.

Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc placed 5th and 6th respectively. Both drivers struggled to have a smooth running in the first half. The Monegasque, especially, had issues with Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll, who blocked him.

Mick Schumacher and Nicholas Latifi both filled the last two spots on the charts with poor performance.

The second half of the session saw Sergio Perez top the timing charts with Charles Leclerc close behind by only 0.004s. Max Verstappen was third, just by 0.008s. Sainz, meanwhile, finished the session in fourth.

The Mercedes duo of Hamilton and George Russell finished 5th and 6th respectively, both ahead of Sebastian Vettel.

Schumacher, who had a poor start to the session, improved to finish in P8 ahead of Bottas, who dropped down from second as the times improved throughout the session. His teammate, Guanyu Zhou, achieved an uncharacteristic P18, ahead of Yuki Tsunoda.

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