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Verstappen leads Red Bull 1-2 in wet session – FP1 Report

Red Bulls top shortened first practice

Malaysian Grand Prix – Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo headed the field in a Red Bull Racing one-two in the opening practice session in Sepang.

With wet weather forecast for the entire weekend, it was Red Bull Racing who showed their strengths in a first practice session that was shortened to half an hour.

With the track declared too wet for the first 30 minutes of the session, the two Red Bulls were the ones to capitalise on a gradually-drying track, trading fastest laps throughout the session in tricky conditions.

Verstappen’s time of 1:48.962 was good enough to claim top spot, some seven tenths ahead of Ricciardo.

McLaren’s Fernando Alonso had a great session in the wet weather, posting a 1:50.597 to go third, narrowly ahead of Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen. These were the only drivers to finish within two seconds of Verstappen’s time.

Championship rivals Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton finished fifth and sixth respectively – with the former having an off at turn nine late on – ahead of the second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas.

Lance Stroll placed his Williams in eighth place ahead of Toro Rosso newcomer Pierre Gasly and Renault reserve driver Sergey Sirotkin, who was one of several spinners but marginally faster than regular driver Jolyon Palmer.

McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne finished the session in eleventh ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon, who was five seconds down on Verstappen’s time, albeit with only six laps completed.

Sean Gelael, who was subbing in for Carlos Sainz at Toro Rosso, finished fourteenth ahead of Sergio Perez (Force India).

Charles Leclerc – standing in Marcus Ericsson – finished ahead of temporary team-mate Pascal Wehrlein at Sauber, whilst Romain Grosjean and Antonio Giovinazzi (both Haas) completed the final runners.

Felipe Massa was bottom of the time sheets having failed to set a lap time after the team discovered a hydraulics issue.

To view the full results from free practice one, 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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