Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Qatar at Lusail International Circuit on October 06, 2023 in Lusail City, Qatar. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

F1: Verstappen tops slippery Qatar GP Practice

Max Verstappen, on the verge of becoming a 3-time F1 World Champion, turned the fastest lap in the only practice session for the Qatar GP.

–by Mark Cipolloni–

With drivers sliding off the track everywhere around the track due to slippery and windy conditions on the Lusail circuit, Verstappen turned a lap of 1m27.428s in his Red Bull Honda.

The Ferraris of Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc were 2nd and 3rd, 0.334s and 0.481s behind Verstappen respectively.

Fernando Alonso put his Aston Martin in 4th, 0491s behind, while Sergio Perez rounded out the top-5, 0.588s behind his Red Bull Honda teammate.

Logan Sargeant nipped his highly rated Williams teammate Alex Albon to go 11th quick, but can the American stay fast without crashing this weekend?

Red Bull and Ferrari both sampled the softs, but McLaren, Aston Martin and Mercedes did not. Does that leave them short of data, or with a much-needed extra set of soft Pirelli in their back pockets?

The wind was also a factor, with both Leclerc and Russell complaining about it. That could create a much unwanted variable later on too, while the teams will have to adjust on the fly to the changing track temperatures.

Up next is qualifying and with the drivers predicting chaos yesterday while a few bosses are preparing for a mixed up grid.

Qatar GP Practice 1 Results

1 1 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda 1:27.428 +0.000s 26
2 55 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:27.762 +0.334s 27
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:27.909 +0.481s 27
4 14 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes 1:27.919 +0.491s 28
5 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull Racing Honda 1:28.016 +0.588s 24
6 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Honda 1:28.027 +0.599s 28
7 27 Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 1:28.171 +0.743s 22
8 63 George Russell Mercedes 1:28.336 +0.908s 28
9 81 Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 1:28.380 +0.952s 20
10 4 Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1:28.441 +1.013s 24
11 2 Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 1:28.550 +1.122s 25
12 23 Alexander Albon Williams Mercedes 1:28.590 +1.162s 26
13 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:28.679 +1.251s 26
14 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1:28.690 +1.262s 28
15 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1:28.732 +1.304s 25
16 10 Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 1:28.821 +1.393s 23
17 77 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:29.041 +1.613s 27
18 24 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1:29.106 +1.678s 29
19 40 Liam Lawson Alphatauri Honda 1:29.238 +1.810s 29
20 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1:29.502 +2.074s 26
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