Max Verstappen, Red Bull, Hungaroring, 2018

Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two as drivers suffer high degradation

2018 Mexican Grand Prix first practice

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Max Verstappen lapped within two-tenths of a second of the track record for the Autodromo Hermanos Rodriguez as he led a one-two for Red Bull in the first practice session.

Daniel Ricciardo led the times in the first part of the session after Verstappen was held up behind Antonio Giovinazzi at the end of his first flying lap on hyper-soft tyres. With the softest rubber degrading very quickly, drivers found they only had one lap to get the best out of them, and many were heard complaining on their radios about how quickly they went off.

Ricciardo lowered his best time on his next run but Verstappen took over a second off it when he returned to the track. The Red Bull pair ended up separated by less than half a second as the chequered flag fell.

The Renault drivers, who also did two runs on the hyper-softs, were next-quickest, albeit well over a second slower than the two RB14s.

Lewis Hamilton was fifth-quickest in the first of the Mercedes, but was plagued by power delivery glitches during the session. Valtteri Bottas was two-tenths off his team mate.

The Ferrari pair continued the two-by-two formation after running different version of their aerodynamic specification on their two cars. Kimi Raikkonen ran the newer floor and the United States Grand Prix winner had a quick spin at turn six.

Brendon Hartley was ninth for Toro Rosso while Pierre Gasly did a perfunctory run in the other car before having an engine change: He will start from the back of the grid again this weekend.

The two Force Indias were next, test driver Nicholas Latifi keeping home hero Sergio Perez out of the top 10 by four-hundredths of a second.

The second test driver in the session, Antonio Giovinazzi, was 12th for Sauber. Lando Norris put his McLaren 15th after a near-miss with Latifi.

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Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’16.656 19
2 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’17.139 0.483 19
3 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Renault 1’17.926 1.270 20
4 27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1’18.028 1.372 21
5 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’18.075 1.419 23
6 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’18.322 1.666 27
7 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’18.746 2.090 17
8 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’18.936 2.280 22
9 28 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso-Honda 1’19.024 2.368 29
10 34 Nicholas Latifi Force India-Mercedes 1’19.078 2.422 23
11 11 Sergio Perez Force India-Mercedes 1’19.124 2.468 29
12 36 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.134 2.478 25
13 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’19.276 2.620 26
14 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’19.312 2.656 28
15 47 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’19.646 2.990 23
16 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Renault 1’19.716 3.060 29
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’19.853 3.197 28
18 35 Sergey Sirotkin Williams-Mercedes 1’19.899 3.243 30
19 18 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’20.142 3.486 26
20 10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso-Honda

First practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’16.656

+0.483 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’17.139

+1.270 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’17.926

+1.372 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’18.028

+1.419 Lewis Hamilton – 1’18.075

+1.666 Valtteri Bottas – 1’18.322

+2.090 Sebastian Vettel – 1’18.746

+2.280 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’18.936

+2.368 Brendon Hartley – 1’19.024

+2.422 Nicholas Latifi – 1’19.078

+2.468 Sergio Perez – 1’19.124

+2.478 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’19.134

+2.620 Romain Grosjean – 1’19.276

+2.656 Marcus Ericsson – 1’19.312

+2.990 Lando Norris – 1’19.646

+3.060 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’19.716

+3.197 Kevin Magnussen – 1’19.853

+3.243 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’19.899

+3.486 Lance Stroll – 1’20.142

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2018 Mexican Grand Prix

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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19 comments on “Verstappen leads Red Bull one-two as drivers suffer high degradation”

  1. Friday drivers looking good.

    1. Really good…

  2. Again tyre info would be really useful. Also a green and slippery track would lead to high degradation. I just hope it really rains as predicted on sunday just to spice up the proceedings.

  3. Red Bull 1-2? Renault 3-4? Has the high altitude just given the Renault engine a 50bhp boost relative to the others or something? Typically, seems like McLaren missed the memo.

    1. @mashia: On the other hand, this proves the McLaren high drag concept works just as effectively at high altitude as at low. Through thick or thin air, the MCL33 delivers consistent results.

  4. But in all seriousness, Red Bull is looking seriously good. It would be nice to see someone other than a Mercedes or a Ferrari win again. I predict that Max will win here for a second consecutive year. Vandoorne has been beaten by Norris in FP1 again, so he clearly is not doing any future prospects in F1 any favors if he keeps underperforming like this.

    1. Vandoorne has been beaten by Norris in FP1 again

      @mashiat – Ouch! That does not look good, does it? Were either of testing parts to explain the difference?

    2. Check F1’s twitter feed for tires used. Norris ran a softer compound then Vandoorne.

      1. Except he didn’t? I just checked their twitter feed, and Vandoorne set his time on the hypersofts. In fact, Vandoorne had more stints on the hypersofts than Norris did.

    3. Actually, the last time a car that is not RBR, MB, or Ferrari won was when Kimi won Australia in 2013? Let’s have a statistical Christmas and have Hulkenberg win in a Renault, that is not the Renault that last won as a Renault.

      1. @dmw Yes, that’s the most recent race that was won by a team other than RBR, MB, or Ferrari.

      2. Unrealistic, raikkonen winning was already hard due to his age and general unluck, this is absolutely impossible: renault is at best the 4th team in performance, this requires all 6 top team’s drivers to retire, it never happened in recent times that more than 3 retire, so we’re still far off.

        1. @esploratore

          To be fair. Hulkenberg was really in contention for a win in the 5th or 6th quickest car at Brazil 2012. That was actually just a race before Kimi’s win in Australia.

          1. @todfod 2012 was an exception. That, along with 2009, were two years in which the competition was unbelievably close, and you had multiple winners (and podium finishers). Last season, there were only 7 different podium finishers. 2012 had 8 winners alone. You had races where Hulkenberg, Perez, Schumacher, Rosberg, Maldonado, Grosjean, Massa and Raikkonen all capable of winning, in addition to the usual five of Alonso, Webber, Vettel, Hamilton, and Button.

    4. This is FP1, don’t read too much in it (fuel load, engine power mode, etc.).

  5. And not only does the Red Bull seem fast here but especially in the VES-RB combo it seems very easy on its tires. Will be less and less as the track rubbers in, but can Verstappen get that elusive pole? Ideally for him it rains a lot the next few days to get the track more green again.

  6. meet Max, the tyre whisperer!

  7. Will we ever see the hard tyre / super-hard tyre this season ??

  8. Got to hand it to McLaren. If there’s been one manufacturer this year that has consistently underperformed under all varied conditions and circuits, it’s been McLaren.

Comments are closed.