The season is under way! Formula 1’s 2017 season got off to a familiar start today as Lewis Hamilton set the pace in the first practice session. In fact, Mercedes managed to take the top two spots of the session with Lewis’s teammate, Valtterin Bottas, right behind him.
The Mercs were in the Ultra-soft tire compounds but no other team used the purple banded tires. While much of the talk was centered on Ferrari but it was the Red Bull’s of Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen who followed Mercedes in the first session. Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel were 5th and 6th.
Free Practice 1 results
|1||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||Mercedes||1m24.220s||–||22|
|2||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport||Mercedes||1m24.803s||0.583s||25|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m24.886s||0.666s||19|
|4||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing||Red Bull/Renault||1m25.246s||1.026s||19|
|5||Kimi Raikkonen||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m25.372s||1.152s||16|
|6||Sebastian Vettel||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari||1m25.464s||1.244s||10|
|7||Felipe Massa||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m26.142s||1.922s||28|
|8||Romain Grosjean||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m26.168s||1.948s||20|
|9||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m26.183s||1.963s||15|
|10||Sergio Perez||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m26.276s||2.056s||29|
|11||Carlos Sainz||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.450s||2.230s||24|
|12||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso||Toro Rosso/Renault||1m26.514s||2.294s||25|
|13||Lance Stroll||Williams Martini Racing||Williams/Mercedes||1m26.734s||2.514s||29|
|14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m27.116s||2.896s||18|
|15||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m27.348s||3.128s||30|
|16||Esteban Ocon||Sahara Force India F1 Team||Force India/Mercedes||1m27.656s||3.436s||23|
|17||Kevin Magnussen||Haas F1 Team||Haas/Ferrari||1m27.667s||3.447s||20|
|18||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber F1 Team||Sauber/Ferrari||1m28.539s||4.319s||22|
|19||Jolyon Palmer||Renault Sport F1 Team||Renault||1m28.585s||4.365s||6|
|20||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||McLaren/Honda||1m28.695s||4.475s||14|
The second practice session picked up where the first left off. Lewis Hamilton set a blistering 1:23.620s and even ran over 20 laps on the Ultra-soft tire compound. Sebastian Vettel managed to get close to Hamilton but was still +0.547 and that brings back memories of 2016 as the delta often present week in and week out.
Most teams were using the Ultra-soft tires and ran long stints giving some consideration to not only Australia but perhaps typical two-stopper races as a one stop.
The Red Bull duo were in 5th and 6th, swapping places with both Ferrari’s from the first session although Vettel was able to split the Mercedes of Hamilton and Bottas who finished 3rd.
Renault’s Jolyon Palmer had a lurid crash under acceleration that ended his day while his teammate, Nico Hulkenberg, finished in 9th. Haas F1’s Romain Grosjean had a decent run to 8th and both Toro Rosso drivers were in the top ten as well.
McLaren managed 12th for Alonso and 17th for Vandoorne. Not a brilliant start to the weekend but at least they didn’t crahs or beach the car like Marcus Ericsson did in the final moments of the session.