F1: Perez tops opening practice for Sao Paulo GP

Red Bull’s Sergio Perez turned a lap of 1m11.853s to top Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc by just 0.004s and his Red Bull teammate Max Verstappen by just 0.008s.

Carlos Sainz was a close 4th, 0.186s back and just 0.001s ahead of Lewis Hamilton’s #44 Mercedes.

Charles Leclerc, Ferrari #16

Hamilton’s Mercedes teammate was 6th, 0.202s behind.

So it is the Red Bull man who finishes P1, despite being the first driver to bolt on the softs and running in arguably the least effective conditions. Interesting times going into qualifying, with very, very little in at the top.

With only one hour of running, qualifying is an unknown quantity, which makes it absolutely fascinating. Red Bull looked good both on track and on paper, if you didn’t listen to Verstappen’s radio messages, the Dutchman anything but happy out there with the handling of his RB18.

Ferrari looked good when they came out late on – but one piece of news that broke was that Sainz will be facing a 5-place grid drop for Sunday’s race after taking a new ICE for the weekend.

Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari #55 will take a 5-place grid penalty

Up next is qualifying that will set the grid for tomorrow’s Sprint race.

Practice 1 Results

1 Sergio Perez MEX Oracle Bull Racing 1m11.853s +0.000s
2 Charles Leclerc MON Scuderia Ferrari 1m11.857s +0.004
3 Max Verstappen NED Oracle Red Bull Racing 1m11.861s +0.008
4 Carlos Sainz ESP Scuderia Ferrari 1m12.039s +0.186
5 Lewis Hamilton GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas 1m12.040s +0.187
6 George Russell GBR Mercedes AMG Petronas 1m12.055s +0.202
7 Sebastian Vettel GER Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant 1m12.157s +0.304
8 Mick Schumacher GER Haas F1 Team 1m12.314s +0.461
9 Valtteri Bottas FIN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 1m12.466s +0.613
10 Pierre Gasly FRA Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m12.467s +0.614
11 Fernando Alonso ESP BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m12.554s +0.701
12 Alex Albon THA Williams Racing 1m12.633s +0.780
13 Esteban Ocon FRA BWT Alpine F1 Team 1m12.705s +0.852
14 Lance Stroll CAN Aston Martin Aramco Cognizant 1m12.759s +0.906
15 Lando Norris GBR McLaren F1 Team 1m12.955s +1.102
16 Kevin Magnussen DEN Haas F1 Team 1m12.997s +1.144
17 Nicholas Latifi CAN Williams Racing 1m13.019s +1.166
18 Zhou Guanyu CHN Alfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen 1m13.115s +1.262
19 Yuki Tsunoda JPN Scuderia AlphaTauri 1m13.347s +1.494
20 Daniel Ricciardo AUS McLaren F1 Team 1m13.359s +1.506


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