Verstappen lead a Red Bull 1-2 in Japanese GP opening practice

Verstappen lead a Red Bull 1-2 in Japanese GP  opening practice


Max Verstappen led a Red Bull 1-2 in the opening practice session for this weekend’s 2024 FIA Formula One Japanese Grand Prix, beating Red Bull team-mate Sergio Pérez by just under two tenths of a second in a session that was red-flagged midway through for a crash involving Williams' Logan Sargeant. 

 

At the start of the session, held in cool, dry conditions, it was McLaren’s Lando Norris who set the early benchmark with a lap time of 1:32.767s, closely followed by Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton, with both on medium-compound C2 Pirelli tyres.

 

Norris continued to improve, working his way down to 1:31.781s, with Pérez 0.032s behind on this weekend’s C1 Hard compound . Verstappen, meanwhile, kept his powder dry in the opening stages and only appeared as the first quarter of the session elapsed when his opening time of 1:32.635 left him ninth.

 

The Dutchman was soon on the pace, however, rising to the top of the order with a Hard-tyre time of 1:31.463s, three-tenths quicker than Norris' previous best. 

 

However, just as Verstappen was asserting his dominance, the session was abruptly halted due to Sargeant's crash. The Williams driver lost control of his car in Turn 7 and slid off into the barriers, damaging both the front and rear of his FW44. Despite the crash, Sargeant reported being uninjured over the team radio.

 

After the red flag period, Verstappen continued to impress, setting the fastest time of the session with a strong lap of 1:30.056, closely followed by Pérez. Their performance cemented Red Bull's dominance in the session, with Carlos Sainz emerging as the closest challenger, albeit 0.181s adrift.

 

Behind the top three, George Russell was fourth for Mercedes, 0.261  a second off Sainz, with Hamilton three hundredths of a second behind his team-mate. Charles Lelcerc was sixth in the second Ferrari with Alonso in P7 ahead of Oscar Piastri of McLaren. Home hero Yuki Tsunoda was ninth for RB and the top 10 order was rounded out by Lando Norris in the second McLaren.

 

2024 FIA Formula One Japanese Grand Prix – Free Practice 1
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:30.056 18 232.135
2 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1:30.237 0.181 18 231.669
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:30.269 0.213 20 231.587
4 George Russell Mercedes 1:30.530 0.474 18 230.920
5 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:30.543 0.487 23 230.886
6 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:30.558 0.502 18 230.848
7 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:30.599 0.543 20 230.744
8 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:31.165 1.109 23 229.311
9 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:31.230 1.174 20 229.148
10 Lando Norris McLaren 1:31.240 1.184 22 229.123
11 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:31.935 1.879 19 227.391
12 Alexander Albon Williams 1:31.943 1.887 18 227.371
13 Nico Hülkenberg Haas 1:31.958 1.902 19 227.334
14 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:32.054 1.998 17 227.097
15 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:32.055 1.999 17 227.094
16 Ayumu Iwasa RB 1:32.103 2.047 22 226.976
17 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:32.277 2.221 23 226.548
18 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:32.638 2.582 18 225.665
19 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:32.803 2.747 21 225.264
20 Logan Sargeant Williams 1:33.204 3.148 10 224.295
 


Related Motorsport Articles

84,701 articles