FP1 Suzuka: Red flag and best time by Max Verstappen / Formula 1

FP1 Suzuka: Red flag and best time by Max Verstappen / Formula 1

The first free practice session at Suzuka had to be cut short after Williams driver Logan Sargeant suffered a crash. After the forced break, Max Verstappen set the best time of the session.

The GP stars were allowed to face the race at the weekend at the Suzuka Circuit on a dry track, the sky was overcast and the thermometer showed an outside temperature of minus 17 degrees Celsius and a temperature of 28.2 degrees Celsius when the GP stars started work.

Most of the teams had new parts with them, only Mercedes and Haas did not make any improvements in the fourth GP weekend of the season. After the embarrassment in Melbourne, the Williams team was able to send two cars back on track because the team had repaired the chassis damaged in Alex Albon’s crash in Australia. Logan Sargeant was in it, while Albon accelerated in his teammate’s old car, which remained intact.

Lance Stroll got out with a large measuring grid behind his Aston Martin and collected data on new side pods and a new underbody. Lewis Hamilton had a new engine at the back because the drive unit that had caused the seven-time world champion to fail in Melbourne could no longer be used.

Daniel Ricciardo had to watch, because the Racing Bulls team had a second Japanese driver, Ayumu Iwasa, who arrived on the track in the first hour together with local hero Yuki Tsunoda. The 22-year-old is currently racing in the Japanese Super Formula and, unlike his compatriot, was racing with an older version of the lower body.

It didn’t take long for the track to fill up and at first Lando Norris was leading the time sheets. Behind him was Sergio Pérez, who was able to spend a good time on the hard tire – his Red Bull Racing teammate, however, had to settle for ninth place after his first fast attempt. The joy didn’t last long for Pérez either, with Fernando Alonso improving to second place. The two-time champion was as fast as Norris, but because he had set the time after the McLaren driver, he had to fall behind him.

A few minutes later, Verstappen was able to move into the top position. During the break the session was interrupted by a red flag because Sargeant had lost control of his car in the seventh corner. The runner was significantly damaged in the impact, and both wings were damaged. Shortly before, Lewis Hamilton had set a new record with 1:30.543 minutes on soft tyres.

The mandatory break lasted eleven minutes, and during this period the FIA ​​published a list of new car parts. In addition to Hamilton, Pérez, Esteban Ocon and Tsunoda can also look forward to a completely new driving unit.

Once the GP stars were allowed to accelerate again, Hamilton was passed. A quarter of an hour before the end of the session, Verstappen was leading the schedule by 1:30.056 minutes ahead of Pérez. Carlos Sainz, George Russell and Hamilton completed the top five, followed by Charles Leclerc, Alonso, Oscar Piastri, Tsunoda and Norris ahead of Albon, Nico Hülkenberg, Iwasa, Ocon, Pierre Gasly, Valtteri Bottas, Lance Stroll, Guanyu Zhou and Kevin Magnussen. and Sargeant.

Nothing changed in the top 10, Verstappen was able to celebrate the best time ahead of Pérez, Sainz, Russell and Hamilton. Leclerc, Alonso, Piastri, Tsunoda and Norris completed the top 10 ahead of Ocon, Albon, Hülkenberg, Bottas, Stroll, Iwasa, Gasly, Zhou, Magnussen and Sargeant.

1. Studies, Japan

01. Max Verstappen (NL), Red Bull Racing, 1:30,056 minutes
02. Sergio Pérez (MEX), Red Bull Racing, 1:30.237
03. Carlos Sainz (E), Ferrari, 1:30.269
04. George Russell (GB), Mercedes, 1:30,530
05. Lewis Hamilton (GB), Mercedes, 1:30,543
06. Charles Leclerc (MC), Ferrari, 1:30,558
07. Fernando Alonso (E), Aston Martin, 1:30.599
08. Oscar Piastri (AUS), McLaren, 1:31.165
09. Yuki Tsunoda (J), Racing Bulls, 1:31,230
10. Lando Norris (GB), McLaren, 1:31.240
11. Esteban Ocon (F), Alpine, 1:31,935
12. Alex Albon (T), Williams, 1:31,943
13. Nico Hülkenberg (D), Haas, +1:31.958
14. Valtteri Bottas (FIN), Sauber, 1:32.054
15. Lance Stroll (CDN), Aston Martin, 1:32,055
16. Ayumu Iwasa (J), Racing Bull, 1:32,103
17. Pierre Gasly (F), Alpine, 1:32,277
18. Guanyu Zhou (RCH), Sauber, 1:32,638
19. Kevin Magnussen (DK), Haas, 1:32.803
20. Logan Sargeant (USA), Williams, 1:33,204