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Brazil GP: Verstappen leads Vettel & Hamilton in Practice 1

Written by  Nov 09, 2018

Max Verstappen continued where he left off from Mexico as he led a tight opening practice session for the Brazilian Grand Prix.

Using the Supersoft tyre, the Red Bull driver used a healthy advantage over their rivals in the technical middle sector to post a 1m09.011s on a cool and overcast morning at Interlagos.

Ferrari and Mercedes were right on his tail, however, with Sebastian Vettel waiting a little later to set his best time which saw him just 0.049s behind in second for the Scuderia and Lewis Hamilton also within a tenth of the Dutchman in third.

Daniel Ricciardo had a five-place grid penalty confirmed by the FIA for a new turbocharger being used this weekend and the Australian ended Practice 1 almost four-tenths down on his teammate in fourth.

Kimi Raikkonen focused on the Soft compound for the second half of the session but still out-paced Valtteri Bottas, who suffered an oil leak early on, as the two Finn's wrapped up the top six places.

The midfield would be led by the two Haas cars as Romain Grosjean was within a second of the leading pace in seventh while teammate Kevin Magnussen ended his session early after flat-spotting his tyres in a nervy moment approaching the tight right at Laranja.

Charles Leclerc followed in ninth for Sauber with Esteban Ocon completing the top 10 for Force India.

Incidents were largely minor with plenty of drivers locking up into the usual corners at Turn 1 and through the twisty infield, on a short lap, traffic was also an issue with drivers complaining of others getting in their way.

Renault appear to have work to do to continue their recent strong form as Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg both had a few moments running wide and sat P11 and P12.

Two 2019 drivers also made appearances for their new teams with Antonio Giovinazzi a respectable 12th in the Sauber and Lando Norris out-pacing Stoffel Vandoorne by four-tenths as he got another opportunity in the McLaren.

Toro Rosso had a tricky session with Pierre Gasly best placed in 15th and Brendon Hartley 18th.

Bringing up the field was F2 racer Nicholas Latifi as the Canadian replaced Sergio Perez in the Force India.

A full look at the lap times can be seen below:

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