All drivers quickly exited the lane. Therefore, the goal is to collect as much information as possible today, in dry weather, with enough running for the drivers.
Robert Kubica is the only driver not to start during free practice 1. He replaces Bottas at Alfa Roméo. The Polish driver is not far from home and brings a lot of money to Alfa Roméo where several free practice sessions 1 have been negotiated in exchange for his budget. Kubica is expected to replace Zhou at Interlagos also on Friday.
Verstappen is the first driver to set the fastest time of 1:21.235 however the first fastest lap is set by Sainz after 9 minutes at 1:20.696. We are still far from last year’s qualifying times of 1:15.419 set by Hamilton. The function prediction assumes a signed cluster interval of 1:16.300.
After 5 minutes of testing, Lance Stroll prevents Alonso from leaving the corner. The two pilots are about to collide. Stroll seemed to want to let Alonso pass but the two men disagreed.
The first practice session is suitable for aerodynamic testing. This is especially the case with Perez’s Red Bull and Norris’ McLaren, covered with sensors and Pitot probes.
Some new things tried
The Alfa Romeo comes with a modified front wing, with an attachment between the fins. Aston Martin also comes with a new rear wing which seems to raise questions about its validity. Indeed, the horizontal ridges must be rounded and connect with the horizontal fins. Here the vertical fins rise above the horizontal fins. Therefore, the design philosophy of 2022 will not be respected. But the technical rules he, yes. The FIA has yet to comment on the subject and Aston Martin has not submitted its intention to use it in racing.
Verstappen and Hamilton tried to find the limits of the track very quickly, perhaps too quickly. Verstappen went wide, hitting the flat bottoms and producing plenty of sparks and some damage. For his part, Hamilton at the age of 12 must widen his path so as not to enter the curb or block his tires. Yuki Tsunoda also shot in the first corner.
Verstappen, 16 minutes from the end of the session, is the first driver to go under 1m 19s.
10 minutes from the end of the session, it was Lance Stroll in Aston Martin who was scared. The Canadian climbs on the sides that are very high during the 11th turn. He hits the bottom of the flat several times and even takes it from the 4 wheels. A big shock for the driver and Aston Martin. Alonso also left at 11 so as not to lose grip.
Sainz sets the best time at 1:18.750 with 4 minutes remaining and no one will improve after that. Verstappen is very close, 130 thousand behind the Ferrari driver. Charles Leclerc signs for the third time this session. The best times will be set on soft tires.
Norris is ahead of Russell in 4th. Perez is 6th with the best sector first and Hamilton is 7th. Daniel Ricciardo in 8th is already more than a second off the fastest time. The two Alpines rounded out the top 10. Remember the good performance of the Aston Martins, 11 and 12 with the new rear wing being tested.