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F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice SUZUKA, JAPAN - SEPTEMBER 22: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Japan at Suzuka International Racing Course on September 22, 2023 in Suzuka, Japan.

Japanese Grand Prix: F1 Free Practice 1 Results

After Singapore last weekend, Formula 1 heads to Japan for the Japanese Grand Prix, where Red Bull will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing race at the Marina Bay Circuit

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Red Bull driver Max Verstappen comfortably set the fastest time in Free Practice 1 of the Japanese Grand Prix ahead of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz and McLaren driver Lando Norris.

Max Verstappen, Japanese Grand Prix, Red Bull
Verstappen leading the way out of the pitlane (Image Credit: @F1 on X)

Formula 1 returns straight back into action for the Japanese Grand Prix just a week after the Singapore Grand Prix. Will Red Bull bounce back from last weekend’s disappointing weekend at the Marina Bay Circuit?

Green light

Championship leader Max Verstappen set the first lap time of the session. The Red Bull driver set a time of 1:33.719 on the hard tyre. The Dutchman’s teammate Sergio Perez would find himself 1.9 seconds off the reigning world champions’ time.

Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso would move himself up to second, being 1.359 seconds off from the top. The Spaniard was on the prototype tyre as Pirelli are testing their tyres for the 2024 season next year.

Meanwhile, Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc complained of having flow viz sprayed onto him from the McLaren car ahead.

Verstappen would improve his time on the hard tyre, setting a 1:33.354. Both McLaren drivers Oscar Piastri and Lando Norris would improve to go second and third – behind the Dutchman by over eight tenths.

The reigning world champion would go back out on track with the prototype tyre. He would improve his time on the hard tyre, setting a 1:32.597 – a quarter of the way into the session. Perez would set a time only good enough to be 1.2 seconds behind his teammate on the same tyre.

Alonso would, yet again, rise up to second. The Spaniard found himself 0.569 seconds behind Verstappen, setting his lap time on the medium tyres. However, the Red Bull driver would, once again, go quicker by two tenths.

Soft tyre runs

Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg was the first driver to set a time on the soft compound. The German went up to third, setting a 1:33.448, which was still one second off Verstappen’s time at the top on the prototype tyre.

Perez would be the next driver to set a lap on the softs. He would rise to second – still being six tenths off his teammates time, despite being on the fastest compound. The Mexican’s time would be obliterated by Verstappen, after the Dutchman went over 1.3 seconds quicker, setting a 1:31.647 on the soft tyre.

Both Ferrari drivers would set a lap time on the soft compound. Leclerc found himself one second off the pace, whereas the inform Carlos Sainz set a time good enough to go second and just over six tenths off the top.

Williams driver Alex Albon would go up to fourth in his Williams FW44, which is not expected to go round well here. The Thai found himself 1.344 seconds off the Dutch driver’s time at the top.

Alonso would then rise back up to third after a lap on the soft tyre also. The Aston Martin driver found himself 1.003 seconds off the top of the timesheets. However, Leclerc would quickly take third off the Spaniard, going a tenth quicker.

AlphaTauri driver Yuki Tsunoda produced a fine lap to move himself up into fourth. The Japanese driver will be hoping for a better race at his home race after not completing a racing lap in the previous two races.

Both McLaren drivers would have one final push lap right at the end of the session on the soft compound. Norris improved to third with Piastri also improving to fifth.

  1. Max Verstappen
  2. Carlos Sainz
  3. Lando Norris
  4. Charles Leclerc
  5. Yuki Tsunoda
  6. Fernando Alonso
  7. Oscar Piastri
  8. Alex Albon
  9. Liam Lawson
  10. Lance Stroll
  11. Sergio Perez
  12. Pierre Gasly
  13. George Russell
  14. Nico Hulkenberg
  15. Esteban Ocon
  16. Lewis Hamilton
  17. Valtteri Bottas
  18.  Kevin Magnussen
  19. Logan Sargeant
  20. Zhou Guanyu

Feature Image Credit: Clive Rose via Getty Images

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