Stepping into the last race of the triple header, Max Verstappen was fastest in FP1. He was 0.4 secs faster than Pierre Gasly in second. The Frenchman leading the Mercedes duo of Valtteri Bottas (P3) and Lewis Hamilton (P4).
His AlphaTauri teammate, Yuki Tsunoda was at P5. The rookie ahead of the Ferraris’ of Sainz (P6) and Leclerc (P7) respectively. On the other hand, Sergio Perez with the other Red Bull was behind in P8.
The Losail International Circuit also saw drivers going a little off-track which compromised their drive. It also damaged the floor of their cars. Additionally, Mick Schumacher of Haas went into the gravel traps.
The drivers also went past the track limits. However, no action was taken against them in terms of deleting their laps. This happened as a result of F1 being new to Qatar. The track is used for the first time by the drivers so they were given a little space to figure out their way.
Lance Stroll had to stop his session early as his Aston Martin suffered a hydraulic leak. So he stood at P19 whereas his teammate, Sebastian Vettel was at P12.
The seven-time world champion, Lewis Hamilton who won the last race at São Paulo GP struggled with power. Despite him being massively down on power today, we can still expect him to get back up like he did last weekend.
The McLaren boys, who have turned a 3.5 point lead over the prancing horses into a 31.5 deficit, showed good pace. Despite showing extreme pace in mid FP1 session, they found themselves behind the Ferraris. Lando Norris rounded off the top 10 with Daniel Ricciardo at P11.
It’ll be interesting to see how they drive at night. Will they still go past the track limits or are they quick enough to learn the new track?
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