Australian GP: Hamilton fastest in first practice of F1 2017

Lewis Hamilton headed a Mercedes one-two in the opening practice session for the 2017 Formula 1 season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

Australian GP: Hamilton fastest in first practice of F1 2017
Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes AMG F1 W08
Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull Racing RB13
Lance Stroll, Williams FW40
Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB13
Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari SF70H
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber C36
Fernando Alonso, McLaren MCL32
Kevin Magnussen, Haas F1 Team VF-17
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10
Nico Hulkenberg, Renault Sport F1 Team RS17
Romain Grosjean, Haas F1 Team
Sergio Perez, Sahara Force India F1 VJM10

Hamilton led new teammate Valtteri Bottas as the German marque offered an early reality check in Melbourne after Ferrari dominated pre-season testing.

The Mercedes drivers led as soon as the class of 2017 started, posting representative laptimes, with Bottas holding the early advantage with a 1m25.142s on super-softs.

The Finn was the first to switch to ultra-soft tyres, and he improved to a 1m24.803s despite a mistake in the final sector on his best lap.

Hamilton made no such error when his turn came, and the three-time champion ended up more than half a second clear as he vaulted to the top on a 1m24.220s.

No other team bothered to run the softest-compound Pirellis, with Red Bull leading the super-soft charge.

Daniel Ricciardo kicked off his home grand prix with the third-fastest time, 0.6s slower than Hamilton and the only non-Mercedes driver to dip below the 1m25s barrier.

Max Verstappen reported an early gear selection problem in the other Red Bull but wound up fourth, just clear of the two Ferraris.

Having led the way in Barcelona testing, Kimi Raikkonen was more than a second off the pace in FP1 on a 1m25.372s, less than a tenth quicker than teammate Sebastian Vettel.

As the leading trio of teams ran two-by-two, the battle to be fourth proved as tight as anticipated.

Felipe Massa was seventh for Williams, but Haas driver Romain Grosjean and new Renault signing Nico Hulkenberg lapped to the same tenth as the Brazilian.

Force India’s Sergio Perez, barely a tenth slower than Massa, completed the top 10 ahead of Carlos Sainz in the first of the Toro Rossos.

Further down the order all eyes were on the two McLaren-Honda drivers to see if the MCL32 would run reliably after a disastrous pre-season.

Rookie Stoffel Vandoorne had a slow start in two ways, waiting almost an hour before setting a time and ending up bottom of the order.

His double champion teammate Fernando Alonso fared better in 14th with a laptime 2.8s off the pace.

Alonso finished ahead of both Saubers, Esteban Ocon’s Force India and Jolyon Palmer’s Renault, which managed only six laps after a gearbox problem.

Australian GP FP1

ClaDriverChassisEngineLapsTimeGap
1 united_kingdom  Lewis Hamilton  Mercedes Mercedes 22 1'24.220  
2 finland  Valtteri Bottas  Mercedes Mercedes 25 1'24.803 0.583
3 australia  Daniel Ricciardo  Red Bull TAG 19 1'24.886 0.666
4 netherlands  Max Verstappen  Red Bull TAG 19 1'25.246 1.026
5 finland  Kimi Raikkonen  Ferrari Ferrari 16 1'25.372 1.152
6 germany  Sebastian Vettel  Ferrari Ferrari 10 1'25.464 1.244
7 brazil  Felipe Massa  Williams Mercedes 28 1'26.142 1.922
8 france  Romain Grosjean  Haas Ferrari 20 1'26.168 1.948
9 germany  Nico Hulkenberg  Renault Renault 15 1'26.183 1.963
10 mexico  Sergio Perez  Force India Mercedes 29 1'26.276 2.056
11 spain  Carlos Sainz Jr.  Toro Rosso Renault 24 1'26.450 2.230
12 russia  Daniil Kvyat  Toro Rosso Renault 25 1'26.514 2.294
13 canada  Lance Stroll  Williams Mercedes 29 1'26.734 2.514
14 spain  Fernando Alonso  McLaren Honda 18 1'27.116 2.896
15 sweden  Marcus Ericsson  Sauber Ferrari 30 1'27.348 3.128
16 france  Esteban Ocon  Force India Mercedes 23 1'27.656 3.436
17 denmark  Kevin Magnussen  Haas Ferrari 20 1'27.667 3.447
18 germany  Pascal Wehrlein  Sauber Ferrari 22 1'28.539 4.319
19 united_kingdom  Jolyon Palmer  Renault Renault 6 1'28.585 4.365
20 belgium  Stoffel Vandoorne  McLaren Honda 14 1'28.695 4.475
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