2024 Australian Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 Results & Summary

Friday, 22 March 2024 at 06:38
norris lando mclaren car12
The 2024 Australian Grand Prix is around the corner, and with it, the first Free Practice session of the week was completed.
After Max Verstappen was the fastest man in the first two races of the season and dominated to win both Grands Prix, his rivals are looking to challenge him at the Albert Park Circuit.
While that may be difficult to do in the race, they managed to do that in the first Free Practice session, which was one of the closest sessions in a very long time, with the first eight drivers placing within 0.122 seconds.
And it wasn't the three-time World Champion who was the fastest man on the track, as Lando Norris in McLaren managed to complete a lap in the fastest time of 1:18.564 with the Dutch driver in Red Bull 0.018 seconds behind him.
George Russell in Mercedes came in third, 0.033 seconds behind the fellow Brit, while Charles Leclerc put his Ferrari onto the fourth place, only 0.002 seconds behind Russell, with Yuki Tsunoda in RB completing the Top 5, 0.057 seconds behind Norris.
But it wasn't only a session of fast lap times and close competing for the fastest time in the first Free Practice session. Alex Albon crashed when exiting Turn 6 and damaged his Williams, causing the red flag.
Many other drivers had problems to keep their cars on the track, including Verstappen, but also his teammate Sergio Perez, who placed sixth with 0.078-second deficit to the leader in McLaren.
Both Mercedes drivers also had a big moment, with Lewis Hamilton finishing the first Free Practice session ninth. On the other hand, Fernando Alonso's session went much more, as he, too, left the track, and finished the session only 18th, 1.152 seconds off the pace.
His Aston Martin teammate, however, Lance Stroll, was one of the fastest men on the track, finishing seventh, only 0.103 seconds behind the fastest driver of Free Practice 1.
Carlos Sainz returned to his Ferrari after the Spanish driver was forced to miss the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix due to surgery. He admitted ahead of the race weekend that he may be a bit further from his best, but still, he was only 0.122 seconds behind his good friend Norris, finishing FP1 eighth.
With the Top 10 rounded up by Oscar Piastri, 0.354 seconds behind his teammate, the rest of the pack wasn't so close, with near one-second, or even larger than that deficit to the top runners.
Home crowd favourite Daniel Ricciardo failed to match his teammate's success, placing only 11th. Albon managed to put his car into 12th place before crashing, with his teammate Logan Sargeant placing 14th.
Three teams continued to struggle also in Australia. Kick Sauber drivers, Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas finished 19th and 20th, respectively, while Alpine with Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly managed lap times that put them only 15th and 17th.
The situation wasn't any better in Haas, as Kevin Magnussen was 13th, while Nico Hulkenberg finished three places behind him, only 16th.

2024 Australian Grand Prix - Free Practice 1 Results:

1Lando NorrisMcLaren1:18.564
2Max VerstappenRed Bull+0.018
3George RussellMercedes+0.033
4Charles LeclercFerrari+0.035
5Yuki TsunodaRB+0.057
6Sergio PerezRed Bull+0.078
7Lance StrollAston Martin+0.103
8Carlos SainzFerrari+0.122
9Lewis HamiltonMercedes+0.207
10Oscar PiastriMcLaren+0.354
11Daniel RicciardoRB+0.710
12Alex AlbonWilliams+0.879
13Kevin MagnussenHaas+0.925
14Logan SargeantWilliams+0.955
15Esteban OconAlpine+0.997
16Nico HulkenbergHaas+1.040
17Pierre GaslyAlpine+1.058
18Fernando AlonsoAston Martin+1.152
19Guanyu ZhouKick Sauber+1.425
20Valtteri BottasKick Sauber+1.450