Hamilton tops the timings as Bottas hits trouble
Nico Hulkenberg leaves his garage in FP1 (photo credit: Lars Baron, Getty images)

Hamilton tops the timings as Bottas hits trouble

Lewis Hamilton was the man to beat in the opening practice session, whilst his teammate Valtteri Bottas was unable to post a time after engine troubles.

charlie-fox
Charlie Fox

The front three drivers of Hamilton, Max Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel were covered by just 0.166 seconds, ahead of Pierre Gasly who finished the session in fourth.

With Bottas running into trouble and Charles Leclerc struggling to impress in sixth, it gave Kevin Magnussen a chance to give the Haas team something to cheer about, putting his car in a solid fifth position.

New weekend, new parts

Some of the teams have been able to bring new parts to help with the high-downforce circuit. 

Ferrari  have brought a new style of 'boomerang wings' for the bargeboard, on top of being able to update some of the parts on the aerodynamics package. 

Racing Point have added some new parts to the car, with one of the biggest changes being updates to the suspension package in the hope of closing the gap to best-of-the-rest McLaren.

Intermediate Conditions 

Not even two laps into practice and speculation of rain was being thrown around the paddock. Most drivers started on the softer compound tires, with a few teams changing to intermediates later on in the session. 

McLaren's Carlos Sainz reported rain early in the session and the likes of Renault and Red Bull went onto the intermediate tyres to confirm the changing on-track conditions.

There were even reports of lightning, with stormy conditions threatening the session throughout.

Reliability Woes 

Following on from his poor showing in the German Grand Prix last time out, it doesn't seem as if things are getting any easier this weekend for Finnish driver Bottas. 

After one lap he was forced to pull into the pits with engine trouble and just moments later he was out of the car and the power unit was being swapped over in the garage.

Sainz also had a substantial issue with his car, complaining of water pressure issues. With around ten-minutes to go in the session, his McLaren was also in pieces in the garage.

Kerb Issues 

Some of the kerbs on the track had caused some drivers issues with their front wings. Turn four was a particular hotbed for problems, however it seemed that many of the drivers were struggling across the track on the raised kerbs.

Racing Point's Lance Stroll and Sergio Perez were struggling through the tricky left-right complex towards the back of the lap. Whereas both Haas and Red Bull seemed to pick up some damage at some point during the lap due to the kerbs.

First Practice results:

  1. Lewis Hamilton - 1.17.233
  2. Max Verstappen +0.165s
  3. Sebastian Vettel +0.166s
  4. Pierre Gasly +0.449s
  5. Kevin Magnussen +0.709s
  6. Charles Leclerc +0.955s
  7. Nico Hulkenberg +1.184s
  8. Lando Norris +1.298s
  9. Carlos Sainz +1.469s
  10. Kimi Raikkonen +1.554s
  11. Daniel Ricciardo +1.661s
  12. Romain Grosjean +1.740s
  13. Daniil Kvyat +1.749s
  14. Alexander Albon +1.990s
  15. Sergio Perez +2.092s
  16. Antonio Giovinazzi +2.255s
  17. George Russell +2.416s
  18. Lance Stroll +2.489s
  19. Robert Kubica +3.089s
  20. Valtteri Bottas - No Time 

 

 

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