FP1: Hamilton holds off Vettel to claim first P1


All the talk in the build up to Melbourne was of Ferrari being the team to beat, however, in Friday’s first practice that proved to be Mercedes.

Heading out on to a warm Albert Park circuit, at least 20′ hotter than what the teams experienced in testing, it was Valtteri Bottas who came to the fore.

The Finn set the day’s first flying lap and held onto P1 throughout the first hour of play.

But with new Pirellis bolted to his W10, Lewis Hamilton ventured out for a second run and a first P1 of the campaign.

The Brit posted a 1:23.599 while moments later Sebastian Vettel also upped his pace to go second, 0.038s down.

Charles Leclerc followed his team-mate up the order as he finished a further 0.036s off the pace.

Max Verstappen was fourth for Red Bull Racing while Bottas dropped to fifth – and had a close encounter with the wall

He spun to work his way out of an escape road and missed the wall by a hair’s breadth.

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