Mercedes once again demonstrated its dominance by setting the fastest lap courtesy of Lewis Hamilton who posted a time of 1'25.606 on the yellow-walled medium Pirelli compound.
Despite the threat of rain, drivers remained calm when the green lights appeared at the end of the pit lane, waiting in their cars for several minutes. Eight minutes passed before the first timed lap was posted.
Racing Point drivers Lance Stroll and Nico Hülkenberg set the pace in the early stages of the session. The 32-year-old clearly settled in well at his new team following his shock return to F1 last weekend.
However, the dominance of the Pink Mercedes did not last long after Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas set a 1m25.917. While the Finn used the medium compound, his team-mate Lewis Hamilton opted for the red-walled soft rubber as Mercedes wanted to make a direct comparison between the two compounds.
While the FP1 saw drivers prefer the soft tyres, they were keen to trial the two other compounds in the afternoon session too, expecting a tough race in terms of tyre wear.
In the closing stages of the session, drivers concentrated on race runs, preparing themselves for Sunday’s race that should pose a challenge to teams in terms of tyre degradation.
At the end of his race run, Sebastian Vettel’s Ferrari stopped on the track, leaving a huge amount of oil on the national pit straight. Vettel parked his car down at the exit of the national pit complex, triggering a virtual safety car period. Ferrari confirmed that the quadruple champion suffered an engine problem.
Just moments after the session resumed, Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo stopped on the circuit, enforcing a red flag. As there were just 90 seconds left on the clock, the race direction decided to stop the session.
|4||33||Max Verstappen||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:26.437||+0.831s||15|
|5||18||Lance Stroll||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:26.501||+0.895s||24|
|6||27||Nico Hulkenberg||RACING POINT BWT MERCEDES||1:26.746||+1.140s||26|
|8||4||Lando Norris||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:26.867||+1.261s||26|
|9||55||Carlos Sainz||MCLAREN RENAULT||1:26.918||+1.312s||24|
|11||23||Alexander Albon||RED BULL RACING HONDA||1:26.960||+1.354s||25|
|12||26||Daniil Kvyat||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:27.002||+1.396s||33|
|13||10||Pierre Gasly||ALPHATAURI HONDA||1:27.128||+1.522s||31|
|15||8||Romain Grosjean||HAAS FERRARI||1:27.294||+1.688s||28|
|16||63||George Russell||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:27.320||+1.714s||31|
|17||7||Kimi Räikkönen||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:27.535||+1.929s||30|
|18||20||Kevin Magnussen||HAAS FERRARI||1:27.582||+1.976s||28|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||WILLIAMS MERCEDES||1:27.683||+2.077s||32|
|20||99||Antonio Giovinazzi||ALFA ROMEO RACING FERRARI||1:27.955||+2.349s||26|