Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice for the Brazilian Grand Prix, the Red Bull driver was four-hundredths of a second faster than the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel with Lewis Hamilton third. The Dutchman edged out the two world champions within minutes of them going fastest.
All three drivers set there best times within a few moments of each other, Hamilton went fastest on a 09.1 before Verstappen went nine hundredths faster. Then Vettel snuck in between the two with a 09.06, this weekend is expected to be a close fight between the top three teams.
Mercedes are also keen to rebound from disappointing races in Austin and Mexico, which were won by Ferrari and Red Bull respectively. While the five times champion is looking to win for the first time since sealing a championship before the last race, something he has never done.
Their teammates Daniel Ricciardo, Kimi Raikkonen and Valtteri Bottas were all within a second off the top three. Ricciardo was the first to set a time, which was over a second off the outright pace, before the top six all improved to top the times at various points in the session,
Ricciardo was the first out, to immediately activate a five-place grid penalty for a turbocharger change. He also became the first to set a representative time, a 1m10.139s, that was initially bettered by Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen and then Valtteri Bottas.
The Australian will take a five-place grid penalty this weekend for exceeding engine limits.
Haas duo Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen were best of the rest, but the Frenchman was a further two and a half tenths off Bottas. Magnussen was a tenth faster than the Sauber of Charles Leclerc with the Force India of Esteban Ocon tenth.
Renault failed to match the speed they showed in Mexico City, the French manufacturer just outside the top ten with Carlos Sainz three tenths faster than teammate Nico Hulkenberg.
Antonio Giovinazzi, who will race full-time next year for Sauber, was thirteenth, three hundredths off his teammate Leclerc. Ahead of Lance Stroll’s Williams, Pierre Gasly.
Also in action ahead of his debut next year was Lando Norris the Bristolian sixteenth three tenths faster than teammate Stoffel Vandoorne. Norris has outpaced the Belgian in every practice session where they have gone head to head.
Sergey Sirotkin was seventeenth for Williams ahead of under-pressure Brendon Hartley, who still appears to be attempting to prove to Toro Rosso he deserves another chance with the team in 2019. Force India’s Nicholas Latifi stepped in for Sergio Perez and finished bottom of the order.