2019 F1 season starts with Hamilton-Vettel one-two - FP1 summary & results

15-03-2019 02:29 | Updated: 15-03-2019 03:25
by Nicolás Quarles van Ufford
General
2019 F1 season starts with Hamilton-Vettel one-two - FP1 summary & results

Lewis Hamilton has started the 2019 Formula 1 season by topping the tables in Free Practice 1, with the Brit beating Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc to it in the first session in Australia.

It was actually Valtteri Bottas who was on top of the tables for the first half of the session, with the Finn keeping his teammate and Max Verstappen at bay. Ferrari were nowhere near and running a different program, with Leclerc and Vettel barely cracking the top 10 in the opening half. 

In the second run of the grid further in the session, we got to see quicker times. Hamilton passed Bottas to put his W10 on P1, with Vettel and Leclerc closely following. Verstappen followed before Bottas rounded off the top five, which was separated by just over a quarter of a second. Best of the rest in P6 was Kimi Raikkonen for Alfa Romeo, who beat Pierre Gasly's Red Bull to the punch.

Rough start for Williams 

Robert Kubica was visibly struggling to control his Williams in the opening minutes of the session, going off track several times. It could be solved with set-up tweaks or it could be fundamental, we don't know yet, but the Williams cars were at the bottom of the table, five seconds slower than the top dogs, but more concerningly, two and a half seconds slower than Lando Norris in P18.

Renault's early struggles

At least, not until the final part of the session, as Nico Hülkenberg's Renault was in the garage for almost the entire session. Renault reported an electronic issue which kept the German off track for over an hour, until he finally put his RS19 in P10, way in front of his new teammate Daniel Ricciardo in P17. Danny Ric won't be happy to be as low as 17th, although he's probably used to starting from there by now with the number of grid penalties he's received in 2018.

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