FP1 Report: Verstappen heads weather-impacted first practice

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Red Bull's Max Verstappen topped the timesheet of the first practice session of the Chinese Grand Prix marked by two lengthy red-flag periods and limited running.

The Dutchman got his timing right, achieving his best lap on intermediate tyres to end up 1.5s cleaf of Williams duo Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll.

The first red flag was initiated at the outset when adverse weather conditions prevented the medical helicopter from potentially flying.

When proceedings finally got underway after a 45-minute delay, rookie Lance Stroll went fastest on the still damp track before Verstappen took command.

Nico Hulkenberg's beached in the gravel trap at Turn 3 Renault brought out a virtual safety car, but when crews finally retrieved the Germans' car, weather once again grounded the helicopter.

In the end, with four minutes to go the session was called off, leaving neither the Mercedes or Ferrari drivers anywhere near the head of the field

Bottas succeeded in posting a timed lap but team mate Lewis Hamilton, and Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen never accomplished a flying lap.

FP1 results

Pos Driver Team Time Gap Laps
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:50.491s 4
2 Felipe Massa Williams 1:52.086s + 1.595s 7
3 Lance Stroll Williams 1:52.507s + 2.016s 7
4 Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso 1:52.840s + 2.349s 5
5 Romain Grosjean Haas 1:53.039s + 2.548s 6
6 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso 1:53.314s + 2.823s 4
7 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1:53.520s + 3.029s 5
8 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 1:54.038s + 3.547s 7
9 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:54.664s + 4.173s 4
10 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:55.104s + 4.613s 8
11 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:55.608s + 5.117s 6
12 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1:57.445s + 6.954s 4
13 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 2:15.138s + 24.647s 4
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Sauber 2:15.281s + 24.790s 4
15 Jolyon Palmer Renault 3
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 2
17 Kimi Räikkönen Ferrari 1
18 Esteban Ocon Force India 2
19 Sergio Pérez Force India 3
20 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 2

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