FP1: Perez edges Leclerc in opening practice

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F1 Grand Prix, GP Brazil, Autódromo José Carlos Pace, Interlagosbr

Red Bull Racing's Mexican driver Sergio Perez pipped Charles Leclerc to top the opening practice for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix with freshly crowned double world chamion Max Verstappen taking third.

With the Sao Paulo Grand Prix weekend featuring the sprint format, the opening practice took on greater importance than the usual Friday programme, with only 60 minutes available for teams to understand and fine-tune their cars ahead of qualifying at the technical Interlagos circuit.

After drivers spent the early stages gathering data on the hard and medium tyre compounds, drivers started to sample Pirelli’s red-walled compound in preparation for qualifying.

Despite deciding for a relatively early run on the softs, Sergio Perez set the benchmark with a time of 1m11.853, edging Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc by just four thousands of a second. Double world champion Max Verstappen finished in P3 by only eight thousands of a second adrift of his Mexican teammate.

It was extremely tight behind the top three with Carlos Sainz, Lewis Hamilton and George Russell ending the session within three tenths of a second behind Perez.

Sebastian Vettel put his Aston Martin seventh with Mick Schumacher, the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas and AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly rounding out the top 10 positions.

There was nothing to chose behind the top ten with Fernando Alonso leading this group. Williams appeared to be in good form with Alexander Albon finishing the session in a promising P12 while his teammate Nicholas Latifi set the 17th quickest lap.

Behind the Canadian was Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu, followed by Yuki Tsunoda, who seemed to struggle for grip in the one-hour session. McLaren’s Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo completed the field, which was covered by 1.5 seconds around the 4.309km venue.


111Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:11.85328
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:11.857+0.004s30
31Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Rbpt1:11.861+0.008s27
455Carlos SainzFerrari1:12.039+0.186s29
544Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.040+0.187s24
663George RussellMercedes1:12.055+0.202s23
75Sebastian VettelAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.157+0.304s29
847Mick SchumacherHaas Ferrari1:12.314+0.461s26
977Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:12.466+0.613s30
1010Pierre GaslyAlphatauri Rbpt1:12.467+0.614s31
1114Fernando AlonsoAlpine Renault1:12.554+0.701s24
1223Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:12.633+0.780s28
1331Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:12.705+0.852s29
1418Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.759+0.906s25
154Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:12.955+1.102s27
1620Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:12.997+1.144s24
176Nicholas LatifiWilliams Mercedes1:13.019+1.166s31
1824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:13.115+1.262s29
1922Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Rbpt1:13.347+1.494s31
203Daniel RicciardoMclaren Mercedes1:13.359+1.506s27