FP1 Report: Charles Leclerc tops eventful, three Red Flag session

06-09-2019 10:48 | Updated: 06-09-2019 11:45
by Louis Shaw
General
FP1 Report: Charles Leclerc tops eventful, three Red Flag session

Charles Leclerc has topped the timesheet in FP1 after an eventful session which saw three Red Flags. The weather conditions were tough causing Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez and Pierre Gasly all to crash. The track dried out as the session went on with Leclerc setting a fast lap on the slick tyre. Carlos Sainz finished the session second fastest with Lando Norris in third. 

The session started slowly with drivers going out on wet tyres for single laps. Sebastian Vettel locked up and Lando Norris also had a slide going into turn 1. 

The track started to dry out after about 25 minutes and the Red Bull of Max Verstappen headed out on the intermediate tyre. Much was made of the Red Bull's rear wing which is much smaller than usual. This should help the team reach higher speeds and have less drag for the high-speed circuit. 

Lando Norris spent some time at the top of the timesheet but it wasn't long before Daniil Kvyat took the top place with a 1m35.814s.

After 30 minutes of FP1, Kimi Raikkonen spun and crashed into the barrier causing the session to be Red Flagged. On the same lap Carlos Sainz did a 360 but managed to recover well and continue to the pit lane. 

Almost as soon as the session was restarted, Sergio Perez spun and crashed causing another Red Flag. The damage to his car was significant and Racing Point will be working hard to try and fix it in time for FP2. 

The session started again and Pierre Gasly caused another Red Flag! He managed to beach his Toro Rosso on a curb but managed to get going again after a push from the Marshals. 

As the track dried out more and more lap times started to get faster and faster. Kvyat spent some time at the top with a 1m32.724s but it was Charles Leclerc who was able to get a consistent run of fast laps and topped the timesheet with a 1m31.290s. 

Alex Albon then went 0.04 seconds faster than Leclerc but it was Mercedes who topped the timesheet at the end of the session.

Mercedes decided to sit out much of the session and waited until the track was dryer to head out on track. Lewis Hamilton set a 1.30.749 with Valtteri Bottas only 0.153 seconds behind him. 

Bottas then set a 1m30.596s to go fastest. 

Ferrari headed out on the slick medium tyre in the last 10 mins of the session but were unable to beat the times of the Mercedes. This prompted other teams to head out on the slicks and this helped dry the track out even more.

The session ended in a final lap shoot out between a number of cars with Charles Leclerc topping the shootout. Carlso Sainz and Lando Norris performed well in their McLaren and will gain great confidence in finishing second and third.  

Teams will be hoping for a dry FP2 so that they can do some more consistent practice.   

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