Max fourth in Paul Ricard FP1

Published on 21 June 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen started his French Grand Prix weekend with a fourth place in the opening Friday practice session at the Paul Ricard Circuit. Lewis Hamilton was quickest ahead of Mercedes team mate Valtteri Bottas. Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) completed the top three.

Apart from the customary installation lap at the start of FP1, the fans have to wait for almost half an hour before seeking Max in action at Le Castellet. When the Aston Martin Red Bull Racing driver heads out in the RB15, he does so on the medium Pirelli compound. When the first set of tyres is handed back to Pirellis, Max is the quickest driver on the mediums and he is second overall. Valtteri Bottas is quickest up until that point. The Mercedes ace set his time on the soft compound.

The second part of the session sees the lap times improve as more drivers opt for the soft tyre. With less then half an hour to go, Max heads out on track for a stint of performance runs. This time his RB15 sports the soft Pirellis. The Dutchman utilises the extra grip with several purple sectors and, initially, P2. In an attempt to further better his lap time, Max spins in turn 8 and returns to the pits. In the remainder of the session, he opts for a used set of the soft tyres but is unable to improve upon his fastest lap and thus ends the session in fourth.

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Results first free practice France:

1Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:32.738 21
2Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:32.807+0.069s20
3Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:33.111+0.373s21
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:33.618+0.880s20
5Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:33.790+1.052s22
6Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:34.091+1.353s20
7Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:34.110+1.372s23
8Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:34.261+1.523s26
9Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:34.540+1.802s18
10Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:34.804+2.066s25
11Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:34.809+2.071s21
12Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:34.810+2.072s25
13Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:35.063+2.325s22
14Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:35.326+2.588s24
15Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:35.410+2.672s19
16Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:35.522+2.784s22
17Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:36.102+3.364s22
18Nicholas LatifiLATWilliams Mercedes1:37.147+4.409s25
19Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:37.172+4.434s27
20Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:37.620+4.882s9