Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen started Formula 1 Brazil GP on a fine note topping the first practice session from Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton.
The top spot changed hands multiple times during the course of the session with Verstappen eventually taking it with a best of 1m09.011s ahead of Vettel (1m09.060s) and Hamilton (1m09.107s) – the trio only separated by 0.096s.
Almost the drivers had several moments in the session whether understeer or oversteer with locks-up also common. Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo (1m09.395s) was fourth with a new turbocharger fitted on his car.
Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen (1m09.573s) and Mercedes’ Valtteri Bottas (1m09.679s) completed the Top 6 runners with the Haas duo leading the best of the rest pack with Romain Grosjean (1m09.922s) ahead of Kevin Magnussen (1m10.236s).
The Top 10 was then rounded out by Sauber’s Charles Leclerc (1m10.346s) and Racing Point Force India’s Esteban Ocon (1m10.361s) with both Renault drivers Carlos Sainz (1m10.662s) and Nico Hulkenberg (1m10.679s) in 11th and 12th respectively.
The first of the Friday runner was Sauber’s Antonio Giovinazzi (1m10.685s) in 13th with Williams’ Lance Stroll (1m10.799s) in 14th from Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly (1m10.934s) in 15th and McLaren’s Lando Norris (1m11.013s) 16th.
The British driver had an off moment late in the session driving Fernando Alonso’s car. Elsewhere, Giovinazzi was driving Marcus Ericsson’s car with another of the Friday runner Racing Point Force India’s Nicholas Latifi in Sergio Perez’s car.
Williams’ Sergey Sirotkin (1m11.037s) was 17th with Toro Rosso’s Brendon Hartley (1m11.176s) in 18th while McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne (1m11.452s) in 19th and Latifi (1m11.493s) 20th.
While the majority set their time on the supersoft compound, Gasly, Norris and Hartley had set their times on the soft compound with Vandoorne on the medium.