Max fourth quickest in Hockenheim FP1

Published on 26 July 2019 by Stefan Meens

Max Verstappen started his German Grand Prix weekend with a fourth place in the opening practice session on Friday morning. Quickest around the Hockenheimring was Sebastian Vettel ahead of Ferrari team mate Charles Leclerc. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton completed the top three.

The track conditions on Friday do not match the wet weather predictions for Sunday’s Grand Prix; the Hockenheimring is being battered by the sun with track temperatures up to 50 degrees.

Nevertheless, the teams and drivers go out to try to gather data. Max’ RB15 sports the aero racks for his first two runs before switching to the car’s conventional trim.

After fourteen laps, Max has climbed in to fourth place with his fastest effort completed on the yellow medium Pirelli tyre.

The session is shortly red-flagged after Kevin Magnussen is forced to park his Haas with technical issues. 

With 25 minutes on the clock, Max heads out on a brand new set of the soft Pirellis, resulting in his fastest lap of the session (1:14.330). Meanwhile, Hamilton and Bottas have switched to the medium compound. Both Mercedes are pushing beyond the grip of the tyre with Hamilton exploring various parts of the circuit’s run-off and Valtteri Bottas hitting the gravel traps at the Sachs Kurve. Fortunately, the Finn is able to keep his Mercedes out of the tyre wall.

In the closing stages, local hero Vettel ups the pace and sets the quickest lap of the morning (1:14.013).

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Results first free practice Germany:

1Sebastian VettelVETFerrari1:14.013 21
2Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:14.268+0.255s25
3Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:14.315+0.302s32
4Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda1:14.330+0.317s28
5Valtteri BottasBOTMercedes1:14.660+0.647s28
6Pierre GaslyGASRed Bull Racing Honda1:14.813+0.800s23
7Carlos SainzSAIMcLaren Renault1:15.062+1.049s30
8Romain GrosjeanGROHaas Ferrari1:15.074+1.061s30
9Lance StrollSTRRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:15.191+1.178s26
10Daniel RicciardoRICRenault1:15.567+1.554s23
11Sergio PerezPERRacing Point BWT Mercedes1:15.604+1.591s24
12Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Renault1:15.616+1.603s26
13Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:15.759+1.746s27
14Daniil KvyatKVYScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:15.776+1.763s30
15Alexander AlbonALBScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:15.777+1.764s24
16Nico HulkenbergHULRenault1:15.823+1.810s23
17Kimi RäikkönenRAIAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:15.953+1.940s26
18Antonio GiovinazziGIOAlfa Romeo Racing Ferrari1:16.382+2.369s31
19Robert KubicaKUBWilliams Mercedes1:16.559+2.546s27
20George RussellRUSWilliams Mercedes1:17.126+3.113s23