On the weekend when he can secure the 2023 Drivers’ Championship, Max Verstappen laid down the gauntlet to the rest of the Formula 1 field by topping Practice 1 at the Qatar Grand Prix.
Sandy conditions at the start of FP1 made things difficult for the drivers, with Verstappen, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc among those who has moments off track.
But as the session went on the times plummeted, though grip continued to be an issue, and the Red Bull ending up 0.334s ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari on the soft tyre.
Fernando Alonso was fourth fastest in the Aston Martin, but his best time was set on medium tyres rather than the softs and was just one hundredth of a second behind Leclerc in the Ferrari.
F1 2023 Qatar GP – Practice 1 results
|1||Max Verstappen||Red Bull||1:27.428|
|4||Fernando Alonso||Aston Martin||+0.491|
|5||Sergio Perez||Red Bull||+0.588|
|14||Lance Stroll||Aston Martin||+1.262|
|17||Valtteri Bottas||Alfa Romeo||+1.613|
|18||Zhou Guanyu||Alfa Romeo||+1.678|