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Verstappen dominates amid GPS chaos in Australian GP first practice

Verstappen dominates amid GPS chaos in Australian GP first practice

F1 News

Verstappen dominates amid GPS chaos in Australian GP first practice

Verstappen dominates amid GPS chaos in Australian GP first practice

Max Verstappen has laid down an early marker at the Australian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman set the fastest time in the opening session of the Albert Park weekend with an effort of one-minute 18.790secs.

Despite his pace, the Red Bull driver was not faultless as he spun his RB19 with six minutes remaining in the session.

Much to the dissatisfaction of the teams, the opening hour of running was interrupted by a pair of red flags - the first for a GPS problem that caused a number of near-miss moments between drivers on hot laps and those on slower efforts.

The second instance came after Williams' rookie Logan Sargeant stopped at the side of the track as his car shut down on the run to turn 11. With four minutes remaining on the clock, the session did not resume after this interruption.

Moments for many!

Kevin Magnussen had the first real moment of the weekend after locking the rears of his Haas and sliding into the gravel at turn three.

Just one minute later, Lewis Hamilton had a scare of his own as he lost the rear at the high-speed turn nine. After catching this moment, the seven-time champion had a second near-miss as he touched the grass on the entry to turn 11.

With half of the session remaining and back on soft tyres, Perez mimicked Magnussen's earlier off at turn three, taking a trip across the gravel before continuing.

Another driver suffering was Yuki Tsunoda as he threw his AlphaTauri at the scenery at the turn one-two chicane, sending it bouncing through the air before it came to a stop just before the barriers.

With 23 minutes on the clock, the red flags were shown due to a 'lack of GPS', something that had caused a number of near-misses between those on hot laps and others on warmup or cooldown efforts.

The FIA confirmed this stoppage was for 'safety reasons'.

Just before the session was paused, Fernando Alonso registered a one-minute 19.317s effort to go third-fastest.

After the session resumed, Hamilton pushed the Aston Martin driver back one position as he climbed to P2 before the session came to a premature close.

Australian Grand Prix first practice results

1. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] - 1:18.790

2. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] - +0.433

3. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] - +0.503

4. Fernando Alonso [Aston Martin] - +0.527

5. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] - +0.588

6. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] - +0.715

7. Lando Norris [McLaren] - +0.746

8. Pierre Gasly [Alpine] - +0.856

9. George Russell [Mercedes] - +0.909

10. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] - +0.976

11. Alex Albon [Williams] - +0.976

12. Oscar Piastri [McLaren] - +0.987

13. Nico Hulkenberg [Haas] - +1.016

14. Nyck de Vries [AlphaTauri] - +1.143

15. Logan Sargeant [Williams] - +1.284

16. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] - +1.385

17. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] - +1.609

18. Valtteri Bottas [Alfa Romeo] - +1.629

19. Zhou Guanyu [Alfa Romeo] - +1.779

20. Kevin Magnussen [Haas] -+2.357

READ MORE: Verstappen explains Saudi Arabian GP illness - 'I felt like I was just missing a lung'

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