Formula One has made its grand return to France, with Paul Ricard hosting the first French Grand Prix in years this Sunday. In preparation for this, the first practice was run around noon on Friday with Lewis Hamilton topping the times, ahead of his Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas.
Today's hot topic on the driver market, Daniel Ricciardo, was third fastest, 3 tenths shy of the pace setter, but half a second quicker than the Ferrari duo.
Romain Grosjean, who is able to re-use the engine that spit out lots of white smoke ahead of the Canadian GP qualifying 2 weeks ago, set the 6th best time, topping Max Verstappen. The latter was stuck in the garage for a large part of the session as his mechanics resolved issues on his RB14.
Pierre Gasly was 8th fastest for Toro Rosso, followed by Sergio Perez and Kevin Magnussen.
Overall, conditions were very tricky, with strong winds causing issues for numerous drivers. This resulted in several spins, most of which were harmless thanks to the extremely wide run-off zones at Circuit Paul Ricard. Still, it wasn't enough for Marcus Ericsson, who caused an end to the session 3 minutes earlier than expected. The Swede lost the rear at Turn 11, his Sauber hitting the safety barriers and catching fire. Fortunately the driver escaped unharmed, although it remains to be seen if his car will be repaired in time for FP2.
|1||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:32.231||-||25|
|2||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:32.371||+0.140s||29|
|3||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:32.527||+0.296s||25|
|6||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:33.318||+1.087s||22|
|7||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:33.331||+1.100s||15|
|8||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:33.685||+1.454s||23|
|9||11||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:33.719||+1.488s||26|
|10||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:34.108||+1.877s||23|
|12||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:34.484||+2.253s||14|
|13||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:34.513||+2.282s||21|
|14||9||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:34.592||+2.361s||21|
|15||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:34.664||+2.433s||25|
|16||14||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:34.862||+2.631s||20|
|17||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:34.881||+2.650s||28|
|19||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:35.021||+2.790s||24|
|20||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:35.105||+2.874s||25|