Australian GP

Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in First Practice

Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two as the team started from where they left off, Valtteri Bottas slotting in second.

With the 90 minute session, the first of the season showed, it is still the usual names at the front of the field. It was only Mercedes though who would sample the ultrasoft tyre, which would see Hamilton do a time of 1:24.2. New driver Bottas didn’t match the time of Hamilton and was half a second down, but clearly ahead of the chasing pack.

Many expected Ferrari to be chasing Mercedes, or even beating Mercedes at the front of the field, but it was actually Red Bull with a revised package since winter testing. With Ricciardo just a tenth down on Bottas, the gap between him and his teammate was again half a second. Max Verstappen didn’t have a totally easy session though, with a gear sync problem.

Ferrari were actually a second down on the Mercedes, although on a different tyre compound. Kimi Raikkonen faster than Sebastian Vettel, but with only a couple of tenths between them.

As predicted, the midfield fight is tight, led by Williams’ Felipe Massa, but it was extremely close between him Romain Grosjean’s Haas, Nico Hulkenberg’s Renault and Sergio Perez’s pink Force India. The Mexicans teammate Esteban Ocon had breaking problems and fell to the bottom of the order.

McLaren didn’t finish at the bottom of the order, although the team brought out the testing rake on Stoffel Vandoornes car after they lost time in testing.

1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes 1m24.220s 22
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes 1m24.803s 0.583s 25
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1m24.886s 0.666s 19
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1m25.246s 1.026s 19
5 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 1m25.372s 1.152s 16
6 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 1m25.464s 1.244s 10
7 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1m26.142s 1.922s 28
8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1m26.168s 1.948s 20
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1m26.183s 1.963s 15
10 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1m26.276s 2.056s 29
11 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1m26.450s 2.230s 24
12 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1m26.514s 2.294s 25
13 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1m26.734s 2.514s 29
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1m27.116s 2.896s 18
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1m27.348s 3.128s 30
16 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1m27.656s 3.436s 23
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1m27.667s 3.447s 20
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1m28.539s 4.319s 22
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1m28.585s 4.365s 6
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1m28.695s 4.475s 14

About the author

Ashley Quint

Ashley founded the Purple Sector website back in 2012, later renamed to SpeedMajor which now covers both Formula 1 and Formula E. As well as writing on Formula 1, Ashley also works within the world of luxury travel and was a finalist in the Aspire Travel Trade Writer of the Year competition in 2013.

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