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Featured Aus GP: Hamilton Tops Free Practice 1

Discussion in 'Formula 1' started by Bethonie Waring, Mar 24, 2017.

  1. Bethonie Waring

    Bethonie Waring
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    Hamilton Australia FP1.jpg Mercedes topped the times in the first free practice session of 2017 as Ferrari’s pre-season testing pace appears to have disappeared.

    There had been hope after a strong preseason testing and Lewis Hamilton trying to insist Ferrari were the fastest, that the Italian team would be able to challenge Mercedes this season, but the first blood has definitely gone to the Silver Arrows.

    Hamilton set the fastest time of the session with a 1:24.220. Teammate Valtteri Bottas was half a second slower, the pair locking out the “front row”. Mercedes were the only team to run on ultrasoft tyres, so their position at the front of the field isn’t too surprising, but the gap back to Red Bull and Ferrari is a little more worrying.

    Red Bull took the best of the rest position, with Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen slotting in in third and fourth.

    Ferrari left it late to put on super soft tyres, running a test programme that saw them in the bottom half of the timings for the majority of the session. Sebastian Vettel didn’t get much running early in the session when a problem with the German’s DRS. When Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen did head out to set flying laps, it was expected the team would be at the very least challenging Red Bull, who they had beaten in preseason testing, but the expectation wouldn’t be met.

    Further down the order, McLaren appeared to go through the whole session without an engine change. The team were running aero tests early in the session in an attempt to catch up on the time they lost out on due to mechanical problems in preseason testing. The team did complete 30 laps between the two drivers, prompting hope that they may be able to survive the first race of the season, but it was considerably less than most of the field.

    Force India did have mechanical problems. Esteban Ocon was late onto the track as the team were changing brake components at the start of the session, keeping him in the pits for the first 40 minutes. When Ocon did get out, the Frenchman had a productive session, completing 22 laps.

    Jolyon Palmer completed the fewest laps over the 90 minute session, with a transmission problem cutting the Brit’s running short. He completed only six laps.

    Free Practice One standings:
    1. Lewis Hamilton – Mercedes – 1:24.220
    2. Valtteri Bottas – Mercedes – 1:24.803
    3. Daniel Ricciardo – Red Bull – 1:24.886
    4. Max Verstappen – Red Bull – 1:25.246
    5. Kimi Raikkonen – Ferrari – 1:25.372
    6. Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari 1:25.464
    7. Felipe Massa – Williams – 1:26.142
    8. Romain Grosjean – Haas – 1:26.142
    9. Nico Hulkenberg – Renault – 1:26.183
    10. Sergio Perez – Force India – 1:26.276
    11. Carlos Sainz – Toro Rosso – 1:26.450
    12. Daniil Kvyat – Toro Rosso - 1:26.450
    13. Lance Stroll – Williams – 1:26.734
    14. Fernando Alonso – 1:27.116
    15. Marcus Ericsson – Sauber – 1:27.348
    16. Esteban Ocon – Force India – 1:27.656
    17. Kevin Magnussen – Haas – 1:27.667
    18. Pascal Wehrlein – Sauber – 1:28.539
    19. Jolyon Palmer – Renault – 1:28.585
    20. Stoffel Vandoorne – McLaren – 1:28.695

    For more Formula One news and discussions head over to the RaceDepartment Formula One sub forum and join in with your fellow community members.

    Do you think Ferrari will be challenging Red Bull this weekend? Do you think Bottas will close the gap to Hamilton? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 24, 2017
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  2. Chris

    Chris
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    The Mercs look mighty strong on the long runs and on qualifying pace. Lewis in a class of one. :D
    Loving the new aggressive look of the cars. Absolutely stunning :)
     
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  3. Yapci

    Yapci
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    It seems like Sainz is going to have a real test this year with his teammate.

    Kimi ahead of Vettel a little surprising for me, but definitely still has his pace.

    MClaren not being last...that's surprising too. A shame that they won't probably finish the race.

    And the difference between Hamilton and Bottas makes me understand how underrated Rosberg was!
     
  4. Nox

    Nox
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    The usual story, every year:

    Pre-Season: The media suggest Ferrari might have a fast car this year! They may compete! Ferrari are sandbagging in testing and are gonna win stuff this year, watch out Red Bull! Watch out Mercedes!
    New Season, Day 1: Mercedes set the fastest times, Red Bull are faster than Ferrari. No one on the planet is shocked or surprised.
     
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  5. Paul Glover

    Paul Glover
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    First race, Bottas may take some time to adjust to the car in race conditions. He may not be the most exciting driver on the grid but I think he has something about him.
     
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  6. aphidgod

    aphidgod
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    I'm not sure that was really so telling, FP2 was a bit disjointed. Mercedes looks strong but maybe not as far ahead of the pack as in recent years. We'll learn more soon enough.
     
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  7. Yapci

    Yapci
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    I know. Time will tell if he gets to that point. Hope so for the sake of entertainment
     
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  8. T_rac3

    T_rac3
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    Looks like Alonso take it in his own hands and build an good engine. It's not part of a team :laugh::laugh::laugh:
    This is he's best chance ;)
     
  9. Peter Hooper

    Peter Hooper
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    I agree re Bottas. I think it will take a coupe of races before we really see what he has in the Mercedes. But Hamilton does look on it already.
     
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  10. Rapala

    Rapala
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  11. Nox

    Nox
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  12. Rapala

    Rapala
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    Yeh I knew that so why are they not faster in Australia? I guess we haven't seen their absolute maximum attack mode?
     
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