Verstappen quickest as one-tenth covers top three teams | 2018 Brazilian Grand Prix first practice

Max Verstappen led a close first practice session at Interlagos where the top three teams were covered by less than a tenth of a second.

The Mexican Grand Prix winner set a scorching pace through the twisty middle sector of the lap, almost four-tenths of a second faster than anyone including his team mate. That was enough to overcome the times lost to the Ferraris and Mercedes in the other two sectors.

Sebastian Vettel got within five-hundredths of a second of Verstappen. Lewis Hamilton, now sporting five stars on his helmet following his world championship victory in Mexico, had a similar gap to Vettel in third place.

All three set their best times on the super-soft tyres as did Daniel Ricciardo, who was almost four-tenths of a second off his team mate. Kimi Raikkonen over half a second off Verstappen but set his best time on the soft tyres. Valtteri Bottas, who lost some time while Mercedes investigated an oil leak, rounded off the usual top six.

Haas were conclusively ‘best of the ‘rest’, the pair running super-softs throughout the session. Seventh-placed Romain Grosjean got within a second off Verstappen’s benchmark, with Kevin Magnussen three-tenths behind,

Five of the six Ferrari-powered cars appeared in the top 10. Charles Leclerc was ninth for Sauber, while test driver Antonio Giovinazzi was a few tenths slower. Esteban Ocon also put his Force India in the top 10 while Nicholas Latifi drove Sergio Perez’s car.

The third test driver in action during the session was Lando Norris. While Stoffel Vandoorne ran the medium tyres for much of the session, Norris was four-tenths of a second quicker on the softs, despite an off at turn four.

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First practice visual gaps

Max Verstappen – 1’09.011

+0.049 Sebastian Vettel – 1’09.060

+0.096 Lewis Hamilton – 1’09.107

+0.384 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’09.395

+0.562 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’09.573

+0.668 Valtteri Bottas – 1’09.679

+0.911 Romain Grosjean – 1’09.922

+1.225 Kevin Magnussen – 1’10.236

+1.335 Charles Leclerc – 1’10.346

+1.350 Esteban Ocon – 1’10.361

+1.651 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’10.662

+1.668 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’10.679

+1.674 Marcus Ericsson – 1’10.685

+1.788 Lance Stroll – 1’10.799

+1.923 Pierre Gasly – 1’10.934

+2.002 Lando Norris – 1’11.013

+2.026 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’11.037

+2.165 Brendon Hartley – 1’11.176

+2.441 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’11.452

+2.482 Nicholas Latifi – 1’11.493

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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2018 Brazilian Grand Prix

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