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Verstappen tops session of minimal running – FP1 Report

Chinese Grand Prix – Max Verstappen ended a truncated first free practice as the fastest driver as poor weather conditions resulted in minimal running time.

Moments after the session had been started, the red flags were deployed. The reasons were initially unclear, but it was soon confirmed that due to the wet weather and poor visibility, the medical helicopter would be unable to land at the hospital in Shanghai, should it be needed. The session was delayed by 45 minutes.

There were spins for both Haas drivers Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean in the opening minutes of the delayed session as the intermediate-shod drivers struggled in the low-speed corners.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen set the early pace with a 1:50.491, but there were no immediate efforts from Mercedes or Ferrari.

With less than half-an-hour of first practice to go, Nico Hulkenberg became the only driver to retire from the session after spinning into the gravel trap.

The Renault driver lost the rear of the car part-way round turn two and became beached in the gravel trap, causing a virtual safety car.

However, the red flags were out once again as race control had once again decided that the medical helicopter would not be able to operate in the conditions, which had worsened slightly whilst the cars were on-track.

With no opportunities for running in the final 20 minutes, Verstappen remained the fastest driver, ahead of the Williams duo of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll.

Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen all refrained from setting a competitive lap time.

To view the results of the session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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