FP1: Sainz heads Ferrari one-two in Brazil FP1 as Red Bull and McLaren hide their pace

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

Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz topped the single one-hour practice session at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix, edging out his team-mate Charles Leclerc. Red Bull and McLaren drivers were reluctant to show their pace ahead of the qualifying session. F1Technical's senior writer Balázs Szabó reports on Free Practice 1.

With the Sao Paulo Grand Prix featuring the sixth and final special sprint weekend format of the 2023 F1 season, teams and drivers were once again in rush to fine-tune their cars before parc ferme rules kick in later on today.

Although Ferrari appeared to be slightly off the pace in the opening stages of the session, Carlos Sainz jumped to the top when he switched to the soft compound. The Spaniard clocked in a 1m11.732s on Pirelli's C4 compound, beating his team-mate Charles Leclerc by 0.108s.

Mercedes displayed encouraging pace both on the hard and the medium compound and both on high and low fuel. George Russell ended up third fastest with a lap on the yellow-banded tyre that he posted much earlier than the Ferraris.

His team-mate Lewis Hamilton concentrated on race set-up in the middle part of the session before performing a qualifying run on the medium compound. The seven-time world champion was very quick in the second and third sector, but he made a mistake in the opening part of the track that is referred to as Senna S. As a result of his mistake, he ended up down in P12.

The Red Bull pair of Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez finished an unusually-low 16th and 18th in the order as the Dutchman and the Mexican opted against running the soft tyre.

McLaren drivers Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri came out on a set of fresh medium and soft tyres for a qualifying simulation respectively, but they did not complete their hot laps and they ended up bottom of the timesheets in 19th and 20th.

As a result of Red Bull's and McLaren's run plan, the sharp end of the timing sheets featured unusual names. Haas drivers Nico Hulkenberg and Kevin Magnussen took fourth and tenth with Alexander Albon, Lance Stroll, Pierre Gasly, Zhou Guanyu and Logan Sargeant slotting in between the German and the Dane drivers.

Following their strong showing in Mexico just a few days ago, AlphaTauri drivers Yuki Tsunoda and Daniel Ricciardo posted the 13th and 14th quickest lap.


155Carlos SainzFerrari1:11.73230
216Charles LeclercFerrari1:11.840+0.108s32
363George RussellMercedes1:11.865+0.133s31
427Nico HulkenbergHaas Ferrari1:11.928+0.196s19
523Alexander AlbonWilliams Mercedes1:12.044+0.312s28
618Lance StrollAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.136+0.404s26
710Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault1:12.184+0.452s31
824Zhou GuanyuAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:12.481+0.749s27
92Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes1:12.579+0.847s30
1020Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:12.592+0.860s24
1114Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Aramco Mercedes1:12.615+0.883s28
1244Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:12.638+0.906s30
1322Yuki TsunodaAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:12.714+0.982s29
143Daniel RicciardoAlphatauri Honda Rbpt1:12.778+1.046s27
1531Esteban OconAlpine Renault1:12.779+1.047s30
161Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:12.793+1.061s30
1777Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo Ferrari1:13.012+1.280s31
1811Sergio PerezRed Bull Racing Honda Rbpt1:13.056+1.324s31
194Lando NorrisMclaren Mercedes1:13.629+1.897s25
2081Oscar PiastriMclaren Mercedes1:13.838+2.106s28