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Verstappen leads Hamilton in tense opening practice session at Australian GP



Verstappen leads Hamilton in tense opening practice session at Australian GP

Max Verstappen topped the first practice session at the Australian GP F1 2023, with Lewis Hamilton close behind.

At the opening practice session of the Australian GP F1 2023, which was filled with tension, Max Verstappen was ahead of Lewis Hamilton. The session had some noteworthy events, such as Verstappen being the fastest driver despite spinning late on. Hamilton managed to secure second place by outpacing Perez with a late run on soft tyres. The session was halted for ten minutes due to GPS issues, and it was cut short due to a late stoppage by Sargeant.

Max Verstappen, who is currently leading the championship, clocked the fastest lap time in FP1 using soft tyres, recording 1m18.790s. However, his time was almost a second slower than Charles Leclerc’s pole position time from the 2022 race at Albert Park.

With only six minutes left in the session, Verstappen had a near miss when he spun his RB19 on the kerbs while navigating the left-hander at Turn 4.

While on his soft tyre run, Max Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate Sergio Perez had a frightful moment as he went wide onto the grass at the Turn 3 right-hander.

As a result, his fastest lap time was achieved using the medium tyres, which put him 0.503 seconds behind Verstappen. This allowed Lewis Hamilton to move up to second place on the timesheets, using a late soft-tyre run for Mercedes.

Lewis Hamilton’s lap time was set after FP1 was halted for 10 minutes due to GPS issues. However, the session was soon resumed, but after just over 10 minutes, it was red-flagged again. The session was ultimately cut short due to Logan Sargeant’s Williams coming to a halt on the exit of the high-speed Turns 11/12.


Aston Martin’s Fernando Alonso secured the fourth fastest time, 0.527 seconds behind Verstappen on the soft tyres. Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz finished in the top six, with Leclerc, the 2022 race winner, only 0.061 seconds slower than Alonso. McLaren’s Lando Norris, who has yet to score a point in the first two races of the 2023 season, managed to set a lap time after the initial red flag and secured the sixth quickest time, just 0.031 seconds behind Sainz.

Pierre Gasly of Alpine secured the eighth fastest time, followed by George Russell of Mercedes and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin, completing the top 10. Yuki Tsunoda, Gasly’s former teammate, had a narrow escape when he spun across the grass on the exit of Turn 1, but managed to avoid hitting the barriers. However, he could only secure the 17th position on the timesheets due to damage to his car, which caused him to miss the second half of the session. Kevin Magnussen had a difficult session, making errors and going off-track at Turn 3 and Turn 10. He ended up as the slowest driver of the session.

the results from the first practice session at the Australian Grand Prix of Formula 1:

PosNameCarBest TimeGap Leader
1Max VerstappenRed Bull1m18.79s
2Lewis HamiltonMercedes1m19.223s+0.433s
3Sergio PérezRed Bull1m19.293s+0.503s
4Fernando AlonsoAston Martin-Mercedes1m19.317s+0.527s
5Charles LeclercFerrari1m19.378s+0.588s
6Carlos SainzFerrari1m19.505s+0.715s
7Lando NorrisMcLaren-Mercedes1m19.536s+0.746s
8Pierre GaslyAlpine-Renault1m19.646s+0.856s
9George RussellMercedes1m19.699s+0.909s
10Lance StrollAston Martin-Mercedes1m19.766s+0.976s
11Alex AlbonWilliams-Mercedes1m19.766s+0.976s
12Oscar PiastriMcLaren-Mercedes1m19.777s+0.987s
13Nico HülkenbergHaas-Ferrari1m19.806s+1.016s
14Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m19.933s+1.143s
15Logan SargeantWilliams-Mercedes1m20.074s+1.284s
16Esteban OconAlpine-Renault1m20.175s+1.385s
17Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri-Honda RBPT1m20.399s+1.609s
18Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m20.419s+1.629s
19Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo-Ferrari1m20.569s+1.779s
20Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1m21.147s+2.357s

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