Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen started the 2018 F1 final weekend topping the first practice session ahead of teammate Daniel Ricciardo with Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas finishing third.

It was a solid start from the two Red Bull drivers with Verstappen (1m38.491s) heading Ricciardo (1m38.945s) at the front, followed by the two Mercedes drivers with Bottas (1m39.452s) ahead of Lewis Hamilton (1m39.543s).

While Red Bull ran a normal programme, Mercedes used up all of the three compounds between the two drivers in FP1 itself. Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon (1m40.102s) popped into fifth from Haas’ Kevin Magnussen (1m40.235s).

The two managed to beat the two Ferrari cars with Kimi Raikkonen (1m40.417s) in seventh ahead of Sebastian Vettel (1m40.453s) as they ran two extreme tyres – the hypersoft as well as the supersoft compounds.

Renault’s Carlos Sainz (1m40.588s) was ninth with Haas’ Romain Grosjean (1m40.663s) completing the Top 10. Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (1m40.671s) missed out to be 11th ahead of Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg (1m41.023s) and Racing Point Force India’s Sergio Perez (1m41.075s).

The two Renault drivers only used the ultrasoft compounds in the session – towards the end of the session, Sainz had a small moment out of Turn 19. Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley (1m41.137s) slotted in 14th with Williams’ Lance Stroll (1m41.493s) in 15th.

Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi (1m41.662s) in Charles Leclerc’s car was 16th from teammate Marcus Ericsson (1m41.928s) after the Swede has an early hit with the barrier. McLaren saw Stoffel Vandoorne (1m42.114s) ahead of Fernando Alonso (1m42.313s).

It was Williams’ Robert Kubica (1m42.992s) rounding out the 20 drivers with the Polish driver replacing Lance Stroll for FP1. It was a smooth run for most of the drivers but they had a tough time with the new ’50mm’ high sausage kerb in Turn 20.

Host of drivers went over it which included Vettel, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Ocon and Verstappen – this prompted teams to caution their drivers to not cross over the kerb which would damage the cars.