FP1: Mercedes tops first session at Paul Ricard

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F1 Grand Prix, GP France, Circuit Paul Ricardfr

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.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:32.231-25
277Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:32.371+0.140s29
33Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:32.527+0.296s25
47Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:33.003+0.772s23
55Sebastian VettelFerrari1:33.172+0.941s19
68Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:33.318+1.087s22
733Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:33.331+1.100s15
810Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:33.685+1.454s23
911Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:33.719+1.488s26
1020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:34.108+1.877s23
1155Carlos SainzRenault1:34.258+2.027s25
1231Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:34.484+2.253s14
1316Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:34.513+2.282s21
149Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:34.592+2.361s21
1528Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.664+2.433s25
1614Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault1:34.862+2.631s20
1718Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:34.881+2.650s28
1827Nico HulkenbergRenault1:34.993+2.762s24
192Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault1:35.021+2.790s24
2035Sergey SirotkinWilliams Mercedes1:35.105+2.874s25