Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc both saw their sessions curtailed, the Mercedes man crashing hard into the barriers at Turn 19, after the Ferrari ran into gearbox trouble.
The Silver Arrows had reason to smile, however, as Lewis Hamilton ran third-fastest, despite running most of the session on the hard tyre, with Verstappen and Sebastian Vettel ahead on the softs.
With FP1 ran in the day time, data will not be hugely representative, as qualifying and the race are ran after dark, so expect a greater focus from teams in Friday's second session.
Nico Hulkenberg took an eye-catching sixth place for Renault, beginning the weekend in style shortly after another chance to race in 2020 closed on the German as Haas snubbed him to retain Romain Grosjean's services.
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