Max Verstappen topped the first practice session at Malaysia, topping Daniel Ricciardo in very tricky conditions. Heavy rain caused the session to be delayed by 30 minutes, but even when the session started, Red Bull rapidly showed who were the team to beat.
While gaps were perhaps less important, the forecast of rain for the entire remainder of the weekend made this an interesting session for sure, as teams are likely to focus on wet weather set-up.
Conditions improved throughout the session, and both Red Bull team mates switched at the top of the timesheet until Max Verstappen put in a 1:48.962 in intermediates late in the session. Nobody could beat that, and only 3 drivers got to within two seconds of the Duchtman's laptime.
Fernando Alonso was the fastest driver not in a Red Bull, despite having completed just 6 laps. He was trailed by the Ferrari, of which Kimi Raikkonen was the faster driver. Lewis Hamilton and Vallteri Bottas are up next in 6th and 7th.
Sergei Sirotkin completed the top 10 in Nico Hulkenberg's Renault, closely followed by team mate Jolyon Palmer.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:48.962||-||11|
|2||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:49.719||+0.757s||12|
|3||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Honda||1:50.597||+1.635s||6|
|6||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:51.518||+2.556s||8|
|7||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:52.007||+3.045s||10|
|8||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:52.295||+3.333s||9|
|9||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso||1:52.380||+3.418s||14|
|12||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Honda||1:53.771||+4.809s||10|
|13||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:53.896||+4.934s||6|
|14||38||Sean Gelael||Toro Rosso||1:54.610||+5.648s||13|
|15||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:54.669||+5.707s||4|
|16||37||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:55.280||+6.318s||10|
|17||94||Pascal Wehrlein||Sauber Ferrari||1:55.652||+6.690s||10|
|18||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:56.211||+7.249s||8|
|19||50||Antonio Giovinazzi||Haas Ferrari||1:56.339||+7.377s||6|
|20||19||Felipe Massa||Williams Mercedes||-||-||3|