Max Verstappen tops the timesheets in a rain-affected FP1 session in Sepang

29 September 2017

Max Verstappen tops the timesheets in a rain-affected FP1 session in Sepang

In the first practice session for the Malaysian GP, Max Verstappen topped the timesheets ahead of his team mate Daniel Ricciardo and Fernando Alonso in a session that saw the drivers perfecting their set ups and seeing where they need to improve before FP2, FP3 and Qualifying on Saturday.

With the heavy rain affecting the session (even though it briefly eased), intensity increased just as the session was due to begin. As a result of this, FIA F1 race director Charlie Whiting chose to delay the session “indefinitely” because of the conditions.
The safety car completed several reconnaissance laps to assess the track and after 20 minutes it was deemed the conditions had improved.

But we managed to get some running in the session, with a hour left to go as McLaren-Honda driver Fernando Alonso being the first driver to try out the conditions on a set of wet Pirelli tyres.

The thirteen other drivers headed out and completed an installation lap before pitting, with the Mercedes, Red Bull and Force India duos choosing to stay in their respective garages at first.

The rain eventually stopped and the track dried sufficiently for Force India pair Esteban Ocon and Sergio Perez to head out on the intermediate tyres.
But it was Max Verstappen who was fastest with a lap time of 1:48.962 ahead of Daniel Ricciardo in second place who was 0.757 seconds behind him and ahead of Fernando Alonso in third place who was 1.635 seconds behind Verstappen.

Kimi Raikkonen finished the session in fourth place ahead of Sebastian Vettel in fifth place, Lewis Hamilton in sixth place, Valtteri Bottas in seventh place, Lance Stroll in eighth place, Pierre Gasly in ninth place and Sergey Sirotkin who rounded off the top ten finishers.

Jolyon Palmer ended the session in eleventh place ahead of Stoffel Vandoorne in twelfth place, Esteban Ocon in thirteenth place, Sean Gelael in fourteenth place and Sergio Perez in fifteenth place.

As we head into the latter stages of the grid, Charles Leclerc ended the session in sixteenth place ahead of Pascal Wehrlein in seventeenth place, Romain Grosjean in eighteenth place, Antonio Giovinazzi in nineteenth place and Felipe Massa in twentieth place.

The classification of FP1 for the Malaysian GP is as follows:-

1.Max Verstappen, Red-Bull-TAG Heuer, 1.48.962
2.Daniel Ricciardo, Red Bull-TAG Heuer, 0.757s
3.Fernando Alonso, McLaren-Honda, 1.635s
4.Kimi Raikkonen, Ferrari, 1.772s
5.Sebastian Vettel, Ferrari, 2.047s
6.Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, 2.556s
7.Valtteri Bottas, Mercedes, 3.045s
8.Lance Stroll, Williams-Mercedes, 3.333s
9.Pierre Gasly, Toro Rosso, 3.418s
10.Sergey Sirotkin, Renault, 4.559s
11.Jolyon Palmer, Renault, 4.663s
12.Stoffel Vandoorne, McLaren-Honda, 4.809s
13.Esteban Ocon, Force India-Mercedes, 4.934s
14.Sean Gelael, Toro Rosso, 5.648s
15.Sergio Perez, Force India-Mercedes, 5.707s
16.Charles Leclerc, Haas Ferrari, 6.318s
17.Pascal Wehrlein, Sauber-Ferrari, 6.690s
18.Romain Grosjean, Haas Ferrari, 7.249s
19.Antonio Giovinazzi, Sauber-Ferrari, 7.377s
20.Felipe Massa, Williams-Mercedes, No Time Set

Driving for Pleasure will be covering the Malaysian GP weekend with our practice, qualifying and race reports alongside the latest news.

Sarah Jones- @jonesy_laaa