Red Bull’s Max Verstappen was fastest in the first practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix. The session was heavily interrupted by the weather which created poor visibility on track, preventing the cars from running.
The Dutchman set his fastest early on in the session going one and a half seconds faster than Williams’s Felipe Massa, before the red flag. The session was stopped for forty minutes before the cars went back out.
Massa was 1.5 seconds down on Verstappen and was .5 of a second faster than his team-mate Lance Stroll in third. Only thirteen drivers were able to set a time, and that didn’t include the Ferrari’s and the Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton.
During that window of track running, Renault’s Nico Hulkenberg spun into the gravel at turn two however, he didn’t make contact with the tyre barrier.
Both Haas’s Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean, also had early spins, although both managed to return to the circuit without damage.
This weekend looks set to interrupted by poor weather as rain and poor visibility is forecast for the rest of the weekend. The FIA have confirmed P2 would not be extended beyond its allotted 90-minute schedule if the medical helicopter could not take off in time.
All these delays could benefit for the smaller teams as it will mean every team will be on the back foot for Sunday’s race. One team, looking to take advantage will be McLaren, with executive director Zak Brown acknowledging a wet weekend would present their best chance of a satisfactory result.