Mercedes' Lewis Hamilton was fastest as the new Formula One cars headed out for the first competitive running of the season. The World Champion ended up just a tiny bit faster than the Ferrari duo, headed by Vettel.
Just like on the final day of testing, both Mercedes and Ferrari were tightly matched, though this time it was Hamilton who edged his competition. That competition was fierce, with the gap to 5th placed Bottas as little as 0.267s.
Kimi Raikkonen was the fastest behind Bottas, confirming expectations that Alfa Romeo might become a strong midfield contender. The Finn edged out Kvyat and Gasly, albeit more than 1.2s slower than the pace setter.
Magnussen made sure Haas is represented in the top 10 while Nico Hulkenberg saved his session by going 10th fastest, after having had to sit out almost an entire hour as his Renault R.S.19 was suffering from electrical issues. Crucially, that was still 7 tenths faster than his new Australian team mate, Daniel Ricciardo.
Alexander Albon meanwhile became the first to hit the barriers in 2019 as he continued to get acquinted with the circuit and his Toro Rosso STR14. His shunt at Turn 2 caused the front wing to break off, but other than that, there was no major issue and he could limp back on his own to the pits while a red flag was waved.
|4||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:23.792||+0.193s||22|
|6||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:24.816||+1.217s||18|
|7||26||Daniil Kvyat||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:24.832||+1.233s||30|
|8||10||Pierre Gasly||Red Bull Racing Honda||1:24.932||+1.333s||23|
|9||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:24.934||+1.335s||24|
|11||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||1:25.166||+1.567s||23|
|12||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:25.224||+1.625s||18|
|13||23||Alexander Albon||Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda||1:25.230||+1.631s||21|
|14||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||1:25.285||+1.686s||19|
|15||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:25.288||+1.689s||26|
|16||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Bwt Mercedes||1:25.498||+1.899s||21|
|18||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||1:25.966||+2.367s||31|
|19||88||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:27.914||+4.315s||25|
|20||63||George Russell||Williams Mercedes||1:28.740||+5.141s||25|