Running kicked off in the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend with Max Verstappen topping the first free practice session of Friday. The Dutch Red Bull driver narrowly edged Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton.
Though the early times are usually not a perfect view on the pecking order, having the top three drivers within a tenth of a second bodes well for the rest of the weekend.
The team mate of those three were fourth, fifth and sixth, and could potentially make the battle at the front even closer that it looked in this first session. It was however already confirmed that Daniel Ricciardo would face a 5-place grid penalty on Sunday due to taking on new power unit elements.
In the battle for best of the rest, Haas made the best start of the race weekend as they comfortably saw their drivers take 7th and 8th, ahead of another promising performance from Charles Leclerc, readying himself for his penultimate race with Sauber before setting off to join Ferrari next season.
Esteban Ocon recorded the 10th fastest time, keeping both Renaults out of the top 10.
As always, there were again some Friday drivers, with Lando Norris running Fernando Alonso's car. The youngster repeatedly had trouble to find space on the track, frequently requiring him to back off. At Sauber, Giovinazzi took the wheel of Ericsson's car. Nicholas Latifi replaced Sergio Perez at Racing Point Force India.
|1||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:09.011||-||16|
|3||44||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:09.107||+0.096s||28|
|4||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Racing TAG Heuer||1:09.395||+0.384s||23|
|6||77||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:09.679||+0.668s||23|
|7||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:09.922||+0.911s||28|
|8||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:10.236||+1.225s||15|
|9||16||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:10.346||+1.335s||28|
|10||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:10.361||+1.350s||34|
|13||36||Antonio Giovinazzi||Sauber Ferrari||1:10.685||+1.674s||29|
|14||18||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:10.799||+1.788s||30|
|15||10||Pierre Gasly||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:10.934||+1.923s||30|
|16||47||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:11.013||+2.002s||28|
|17||35||Sergey Sirotkin||Williams Mercedes||1:11.037||+2.026s||30|
|18||28||Brendon Hartley||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:11.176||+2.165s||32|
|19||2||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:11.452||+2.441s||23|
|20||34||Nicholas Latifi||Force India Mercedes||1:11.493||+2.482s||34|