Turkish GP: Hamilton outpaces Verstappen by 0.4s in FP1

Lewis Hamilton topped opening practice for the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix with a new track record as drivers found significantly more grip than last year at Istanbul Park.

Turkish GP: Hamilton outpaces Verstappen by 0.4s in FP1

F1's return to Turkey after a nine-year absence in 2020 saw drivers struggle for grip due to a late track resurfacing and cold temperatures in the middle of November, making conditions slippery.

The track was water-blasted ahead of this year's running to try and improve the grip levels, which were notably better throughout the first F1 running of the weekend on Friday morning.

It allowed Hamilton to set a new track record en route to the top of the timesheets in FP1, recording a best lap time of 1m24.178s for Mercedes.

The lap beat Juan Pablo Montoya's benchmark of 1m24.770s from the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in 2005, with all of the top three in opening practice setting a quicker time.

Following news at the start of FP1 that he will be taking a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday due to an engine change, Hamilton focused on soft-tyre running throughout the session.

Hamilton set the initial pace with a lap of 1m24.511s to lead proceedings early on ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon, who completed his early running on hard tyres and sat four tenths of a second back.

But Hamilton was able to improve his time twice more with subsequent runs on soft tyres, ultimately setting his best time with 25 minutes left on the clock.

The lap was enough to give Hamilton P1 by four tenths of a second from title rival Max Verstappen, who reported struggles for front-end grip throughout the session and was seen sawing at his wheel through the final two corners.

Verstappen ultimately got his best lap in not long after Hamilton to take second place ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who was just five-hundredths of a second behind the Red Bull in third place for Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas took fourth place in FP1, finishing six tenths of a second off teammate Hamilton in the sister Mercedes, while Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five in the session for Ferrari.

Ocon's lap on the hard tyre set early in the session proved to be his fastest after running off-track at Turn 9 during his first run on softs, forcing him to abandon the lap. His hard-tyre time was still enough to secure sixth place, seven tenths off Hamilton at the top.

Lando Norris finished FP1 in seventh place for McLaren ahead of AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, while Fernando Alonso was able to grab ninth for Alpine with his fastest time coming on mediums.

Sergio Perez completed the top 10 for Red Bull, but was also heard on team radio discussing flap adjustments in a bid to try and find more grip like his teammate.

George Russell placed 11th for Williams ahead of McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, while Antonio Giovinazzi jumped up to 14th late on for Alfa Romeo, moving ahead of Nicholas Latifi.

Kimi Raikkonen also put in a time in the closing stages to take 16th just behind his teammate, leap-frogging 2020 pole-sitter Lance Stroll, who ended the session in 17th place.

Yuki Tsunoda took 18th for AlphaTauri, but fumed over the radio late on after believing he was held up by Giovinazzi, calling him a "f**king idiot", while the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin propped up the running order in 19th and 20th place respectively.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 26 1'24.178  
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull 24 1'24.603 0.425
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari 27 1'24.654 0.476
4 Finland Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 28 1'24.842 0.664
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr. Ferrari 25 1'24.860 0.682
6 France Esteban Ocon Alpine 30 1'24.909 0.731
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren 26 1'25.347 1.169
8 France Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 30 1'25.382 1.204
9 Spain Fernando Alonso Alpine 26 1'25.383 1.205
10 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull 24 1'25.459 1.281
11 United Kingdom George Russell Williams 25 1'25.685 1.507
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 26 1'25.750 1.572
13 Germany Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 26 1'25.810 1.632
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 24 1'25.813 1.635
15 Canada Nicholas Latifi Williams 28 1'25.863 1.685
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo 24 1'25.933 1.755
17 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin 29 1'26.361 2.183
18 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 28 1'26.424 2.246
19 Germany Mick Schumacher Haas 25 1'26.636 2.458
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin Haas 28 1'27.019 2.841
shares
comments
How McLaren got back to winning ways in F1 and what comes next
Previous article

How McLaren got back to winning ways in F1 and what comes next

Next article

Ricciardo: Still track-dependent for McLaren to fight top teams

Ricciardo: Still track-dependent for McLaren to fight top teams
Load comments
Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings Prime

Saudi Arabian Grand Prix Driver Ratings

An ill-tempered Saudi Grand Prix made Formula 1 more soap opera than sporting spectacle at times, but there were some strong performances up and down the field on the world championship's first visit to Jeddah

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series Prime

How the Jeddah F1 race became a one-sitting Netflix drama series

The inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix was a race packed full of incident as Formula 1 2021's title contenders repeatedly clashed on track. Lewis Hamilton won out over Max Verstappen to level the scores heading into next weekend's Abu Dhabi finale, as Jeddah turned F1 into a drama series

Formula 1
Dec 6, 2021
The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance Prime

The impressive attitude that earned Albon his second F1 chance

Dropped by Red Bull last season, Alexander Albon has fought back into a Formula 1 seat with Williams. ALEX KALINAUCKAS explains what Albon has done to earn the place soon to be vacated by the highly rated George Russell

Formula 1
Dec 5, 2021
The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes Prime

The factors that could negate Red Bull's practice gap to Mercedes

Mercedes led the way in practice for Formula 1’s first race in Jeddah, where Red Bull was off the pace on both single-lap and long runs. But, if Max Verstappen can reverse the results on Saturday, factors familiar in motorsport’s main electric single-seater category could be decisive in another close battle with Lewis Hamilton...

Formula 1
Dec 4, 2021
Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer Prime

Why Norris doesn’t expect Mr Nice Guy praise for much longer

Earning praise from rivals has been a welcome sign that Lando Norris is becoming established among Formula 1's elite. But the McLaren driver is confident that his team's upward curve can put him in the mix to contend for titles in the future, when he's hoping the compliments will be replaced by being deemed an equal adversary

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention Prime

What Ferrari still needs to improve to return to F1 title contention

After a disastrous 2020 in which it slumped to sixth in the F1 constructors' standings, Ferrari has rebounded strongly and is on course to finish third - despite regulations that forced it to carryover much of its forgettable SF1000 machine. Yet while it can be pleased with its improvement, there are still steps it must make if 2022 is to yield a return to winning ways

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2021
How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations Prime

How F1 teams and personnel react in pressurised situations

OPINION: The pressure is firmly on Red Bull and Mercedes as Formula 1 2021 embarks on its final double-header. How the respective teams deal with that will be a crucial factor in deciding the outcome of the drivers' and constructors' championships, as Motorsport.com's technical consultant and ex-McLaren F1 engineer Tim Wright explains.

Formula 1
Dec 1, 2021
How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison Prime

How getting sacked from Benetton made Mercedes' Allison

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells Stuart Codling about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him.

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021