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Hamilton dominates opening AGP practice

Tom Howard

Friday 24th March, 2017 - 1:56pm

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Lewis Hamilton

Lewis Hamilton produced an ominous display as Mercedes dominated the opening practice session of the season at the Australian Grand Prix.

The three-time world champion set the pace from the outset with a 1:25.535s before going on to shave a further 1.3s from the time during the 90 minute session.

Hamilton produced his session best 1:24.220s on ultra-soft tyres not long after the hour mark which stood for the remainder of the running.

His time was an impressive 5.505s faster than the effort he produced on softs to top opening practice last year.

The Brit’s new team-mate Valtteri Bottas enjoyed a brief period at the top of the times before Hamilton blitzed his time by more than half a second.

Daniel Ricciardo produced encouraging pace in his revised Red Bull RB13 to finish the session in third 0.6s adrift of the pace.

The Australian, who set his best time on super-softs, also held top spot briefly in the session.

After revealing his Red Bull would have a raft of upgrades this weekend, the RB13 rolled out with a new front wing and other noticeable aerodynamic upgrades.

Max Verstappen was fourth in the sister car despite suffering a small gearbox glitch earlier in the session.

Kimi Raikkonen was fifth ahead of team-mate Sebastien Vettel as Ferrari elected to conduct less running on a dusty track compared to its rivals.

The top 10 was completed by Felipe Masa (Williams), Romain Grosjean (Haas F1), Nico Hulkenberg (Renault) and Sergio Perez (Force India).

Toro Rosso featured just outside the top 10 with Carlos Sainz 11th and Daniil Kvyat in 12th position.

Debutant Lance Stroll put his Williams in 124th ahead of Fernando Alonso, who was the fastest McLaren, albeit 2.8s shy of the pace.

Jolyon Palmer’s session ended prematurely with a gearbox issue on his Renault, while Esteban Ocon (Force India) suffered brake problem earlier in the session.

Srtoffel Vandoorne was limited to running in the second half of practice due to a reliability concern on his McLaren that kept him in the garage for a sustained period.

The second 90 minute practice session is scheduled for 1600 local time.

Result: Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix Practice 1 

Position Driver Team Car Time ap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes 1:24.220s 22
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport Mercedes 1:24.803s 0.583s 25
3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1:24.886s 0.666s 19
4 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Red Bull/Renault 1:25.246s 1.026s 19
5 Kimi Raikkonen Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 1:25.372s 1.152s 16
6 Sebastian Vettel Scuderia Ferrari Ferrari 1:25.464s 1.244s 10
7 Felipe Massa Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1:26.142s 1.922s 28
8 Romain Grosjean Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1:26.168s 1.948s 20
9 Nico Hulkenberg Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1:26.183s 1.963s 15
10 Sergio Perez Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1:26.276s 2.056s 29
11 Carlos Sainz Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1:26.450s 2.230s 24
12 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Toro Rosso/Renault 1:26.514s 2.294s 25
13 Lance Stroll Williams Martini Racing Williams/Mercedes 1:26.734s 2.514s 29
14 Fernando Alonso McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1:27.116s 2.896s 18
15 Marcus Ericsson Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1:27.348s 3.128s 30
16 Esteban Ocon Sahara Force India F1 Team Force India/Mercedes 1:27.656s 3.436s 23
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas F1 Team Haas/Ferrari 1:27.667s 3.447s 20
18 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber F1 Team Sauber/Ferrari 1:28.539s 4.319s 22
19 Jolyon Palmer Renault Sport F1 Team Renault 1:28.585s 4.365s 6
20 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren Honda McLaren/Honda 1:28.695s 4.475s 14

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