Formula 1

Vettel kickstarts home race quickest in First Free Practice

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Sebastian Vettel - Scuderia Ferrari Mission Winnow at the 2019 Formula 1 German Grand Prix - Hockenheimring - Free Practice 1
Credit: Octane Photographic Ltd.

Sebastian Vettel was quickest in the first practice session for this weekend’s German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

His team-mate Charles Leclerc completed a one-two for Scuderia Ferrari, as the Italian team continue their pursuit of their first win this season. Lewis Hamilton who was fastest for five minutes of the session just before the hour mark, was three tenths off Vettel in third.

Max Verstappen in the Red Bull Racing was fourth ahead of Valtteri Bottas, who had topped the time sheets for the opening fifty-five minutes on the medium compound. The Finn’s session nearly ended on track though as a loss of grip due to extreme temperatures close to forty degrees celsius caused the Mercedes AMG Petronas Motorsport car to take an excursion into the gravel at the Sachs Kurve before re-joining. Pierre Gasly in the other Red Bull completed the top six and eight tenths off the pace.

Carlos Sainz Jr. was an impressive seventh for McLaren F1 Team in front of Romain Grosjean and Lance Stroll. Daniel Ricciardo was quickest of the Renault F1 Team cars in tenth, as the Australian spun at Turn 1 in the final couple of minutes.

Sergio Pérez was eleventh for Racing Point F1 Team ahead of Lando Norris, while Kevin Magnussen‘s session was curtailed due to a sensor issue on his Haas F1 Team car causing him to stop out on track after the first eighteen minutes and bringing out the red flag.

Daniil Kvyat and Alexander Albon were next for Scuderia Toro Rosso in fourteenth and fifteenth with almost identical lap times. Nico Hülkenberg and Kimi Räikkönen ensured that the gap between them and Ricciardo in tenth is four tenths.

Antonio Giovinazzi endured a tough session for Alfa Romeo Racing in eighteenth in front of Robert Kubica, who has used the upgrades that were brought in by Williams Racing to good effect. He finished over half a second ahead of George Russell, who was not using the upgrades during Free Practice 1.

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