Mercedes dominates opening practice in Suzuka

Aldo Costa's car dominating already
Aldo Costa's car dominating already

Running harder tires than Ferrari, Mercedes was 1-second per lap faster than the two Ferraris in opening practice for the Japanese GP at Suzuka.

Lewis Hamilton turned a lap of 1m28.691s on soft tires to beat his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas by 0.446s who was on medium tires.

The two Ferraris on Supersoft tires were 4th (Kimi Raikkonen) and 5th (Sebastian Vettel) and so far back they are out to lunch. However, Raikkonen spent much of his time in the garage while Vettel failed to manage a fully clean flying lap, so Ferrari's true pace remains a mystery… for now.

Down at Red Bull, Daniel Ricciardo spent more time out on track than anyone else and wound up third, with teammate Max Verstappen in P6.

The ‘best of the rest’ battle was won by Force India’s Esteban Ocon, who edged Haas’ Romain Grosjean by two tenths, with Charles Leclerc winning the battle for P9 ahead of his Sauber teammate Marcus Ericsson.

Dead last was McLaren's next great British hope, Lando Norris. You could see a smile on Stoffel Vandoorne's face.

Practice 1 Results

POS NO DRIVER CAR TIME GAP LAPS
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.691 +0.000s 25
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:29.137 +0.446s 26
3 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Renault 1:29.373 +0.682s 32
4 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1:29.627 +0.936s 20
5 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:29.685 +0.994s 20
6 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull Renault 1:29.841 +1.150s 30
7 31 Esteban Ocon Force India Mercedes 1:30.591 +1.900s 28
8 8 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari 1:30.814 +2.123s 22
9 16 Charles Leclerc Sauber Ferrari 1:30.929 +2.238s 27
10 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber Ferrari 1:31.073 +2.382s 29
11 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso Honda 1:31.073 +2.382s 20
12 55 Carlos Sainz Renault 1:31.100 +2.409s 23
13 11 Sergio Perez Force India Mercedes 1:31.272 +2.581s 29
14 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:31.274 +2.583s 28
15 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1:31.418 +2.727s 18
16 18 Lance Stroll Williams Mercedes 1:31.508 +2.817s 27
17 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso Honda 1:31.908 +3.217s 23
18 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Renault 1:32.034 +3.343s 21
19 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams Mercedes 1:32.513 +3.822s 26
20 47 Lando Norris McLaren Renault 1:32.683 +3.992s 30

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