Formula 1: Norris on top “Down Under”


Friday’s opening free practice session kicked off in Melbourne as McLaren’s Lando Norris set the pace from Max Verstappen and George Russell. In a stark contrast to the last two night-race events, the sunny Australian sky was a warm welcome for drivers and fans as the wild and eventful practice session kept everyone on their toes.

With 20 minutes remaining Alex Albon lost control of his Williams in turn seven, taking too much kerbing and catapulting him into the wall As he came to a stop in turn 8, officials threw a  red-flag to halt practice as the stricken Williams drifted back into the racing line. Once the green flag was back out, Norris narrowly held on to the top spot as Verstappen closed the gap to under two-tenths to the McLaren driver.

WATCH: Albon brings out the red flags after heavy crash during FP1 as he sits out FP2 in Australia

Carlos Sainz made his return to the grid, having missing the Saudi race as he recovered from an emergency appendectomy, piloting his Ferrari to 8th on the time sheets in his first session back, while teammate Charles LeClerc was 4th overall. Yuki Tsunoda showed strong form in 5th as he set his fast lap on a set of soft compound tires, and Sergio Perez followed in 6th ahead of Lance Stroll. Lewis Hamilton ended his session 9th after potentially damaging his W14 floor on the kerbs at turn 10 and was followed by Oscar Piastri in 10th.

The heat is on as free practice 2 goes green at 16:00 circuit time. Full weekend schedule and FP1 results are below.


DateSessionTime (Local Circuit)
Mar. 22ndPractice 112:30 – 13:30
Practice 216:00 – 17:00
Mar. 23rdPractice 312:30 – 13:30
Qualifying16:00 – 17:00
Mar. 24thRace15:00

Free Practice 1 Results:

14Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.56423
21Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:18.5820.018s19
363George RussellMERCEDES1:18.5970.033s21
416Charles LeclercFERRARI1:18.5990.035s22
522Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:18.6210.057s26
611Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:18.6420.078s23
718Lance StrollASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:18.6670.103s26
855Carlos SainzFERRARI1:18.6860.122s23
944Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:18.7710.207s20
1081Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:18.9180.354s25
113Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:19.2740.710s25
1223Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.4430.879s11
1320Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:19.4890.925s21
142Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:19.5190.955s22
1531Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:19.5610.997s25
1627Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:19.6041.040s21
1710Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:19.6221.058s25
1814Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:19.7161.152s16
1924Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:19.9891.425s23
2077Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:20.0141.450s21