Turkish GP: Hamilton outpaces Verstappen by 0.4s in FP1

Lewis Hamilton topped opening practice for the Formula 1 Turkish Grand Prix with a new track record as drivers found significantly more grip than last year at Istanbul Park.

Turkish GP: Hamilton outpaces Verstappen by 0.4s in FP1

F1's return to Turkey after a nine-year absence in 2020 saw drivers struggle for grip due to a late track resurfacing and cold temperatures in the middle of November, making conditions slippery.

The track was water-blasted ahead of this year's running to try and improve the grip levels, which were notably better throughout the first F1 running of the weekend on Friday morning.

It allowed Hamilton to set a new track record en route to the top of the timesheets in FP1, recording a best lap time of 1m24.178s for Mercedes.

The lap beat Juan Pablo Montoya's benchmark of 1m24.770s from the inaugural Turkish Grand Prix in 2005, with all of the top three in opening practice setting a quicker time.

Following news at the start of FP1 that he will be taking a 10-place grid penalty on Sunday due to an engine change, Hamilton focused on soft-tyre running throughout the session.

Hamilton set the initial pace with a lap of 1m24.511s to lead proceedings early on ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon, who completed his early running on hard tyres and sat four tenths of a second back.

But Hamilton was able to improve his time twice more with subsequent runs on soft tyres, ultimately setting his best time with 25 minutes left on the clock.

The lap was enough to give Hamilton P1 by four tenths of a second from title rival Max Verstappen, who reported struggles for front-end grip throughout the session and was seen sawing at his wheel through the final two corners.

Verstappen ultimately got his best lap in not long after Hamilton to take second place ahead of Ferrari's Charles Leclerc, who was just five-hundredths of a second behind the Red Bull in third place for Ferrari.

Valtteri Bottas took fourth place in FP1, finishing six tenths of a second off teammate Hamilton in the sister Mercedes, while Carlos Sainz rounded out the top five in the session for Ferrari.

Ocon's lap on the hard tyre set early in the session proved to be his fastest after running off-track at Turn 9 during his first run on softs, forcing him to abandon the lap. His hard-tyre time was still enough to secure sixth place, seven tenths off Hamilton at the top.

Lando Norris finished FP1 in seventh place for McLaren ahead of AlphaTauri's Pierre Gasly, while Fernando Alonso was able to grab ninth for Alpine with his fastest time coming on mediums.

Sergio Perez completed the top 10 for Red Bull, but was also heard on team radio discussing flap adjustments in a bid to try and find more grip like his teammate.

George Russell placed 11th for Williams ahead of McLaren's Daniel Ricciardo and Aston Martin's Sebastian Vettel, while Antonio Giovinazzi jumped up to 14th late on for Alfa Romeo, moving ahead of Nicholas Latifi.

Kimi Raikkonen also put in a time in the closing stages to take 16th just behind his teammate, leap-frogging 2020 pole-sitter Lance Stroll, who ended the session in 17th place.

Yuki Tsunoda took 18th for AlphaTauri, but fumed over the radio late on after believing he was held up by Giovinazzi, calling him a "f**king idiot", while the Haas duo of Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin propped up the running order in 19th and 20th place respectively.

Cla Driver Chassis Laps Time Gap
1 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton
Mercedes 26 1'24.178
2 Netherlands Max Verstappen
Red Bull 24 1'24.603 0.425
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc
Ferrari 27 1'24.654 0.476
4 Finland Valtteri Bottas
Mercedes 28 1'24.842 0.664
5 Spain Carlos Sainz Jr.
Ferrari 25 1'24.860 0.682
6 France Esteban Ocon
Alpine 30 1'24.909 0.731
7 United Kingdom Lando Norris
McLaren 26 1'25.347 1.169
8 France Pierre Gasly
AlphaTauri 30 1'25.382 1.204
9 Spain Fernando Alonso
Alpine 26 1'25.383 1.205
10 Mexico Sergio Perez
Red Bull 24 1'25.459 1.281
11 United Kingdom George Russell
Williams 25 1'25.685 1.507
12 Australia Daniel Ricciardo
McLaren 26 1'25.750 1.572
13 Germany Sebastian Vettel
Aston Martin 26 1'25.810 1.632
14 Italy Antonio Giovinazzi
Alfa Romeo 24 1'25.813 1.635
15 Canada Nicholas Latifi
Williams 28 1'25.863 1.685
16 Finland Kimi Raikkonen
Alfa Romeo 24 1'25.933 1.755
17 Canada Lance Stroll
Aston Martin 29 1'26.361 2.183
18 Japan Yuki Tsunoda
AlphaTauri 28 1'26.424 2.246
19 Germany Mick Schumacher
Haas 25 1'26.636 2.458
20 Russian Federation Nikita Mazepin
Haas 28 1'27.019 2.841
shares
comments
How McLaren got back to winning ways in F1 and what comes next
Previous article

How McLaren got back to winning ways in F1 and what comes next

Next article

Ricciardo: Still track-dependent for McLaren to fight top teams

Ricciardo: Still track-dependent for McLaren to fight top teams
Load comments
The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push Prime

The “glorified taxi” driver central to F1’s continued safety push

As the driver of Formula 1’s medical car, Alan van der Merwe’s job is to wait – and hope his skills aren’t needed. James Newbold hears from F1’s lesser-known stalwart.

Formula 1
Jan 15, 2022
When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push Prime

When BMW added F1 'rocket fuel' to ignite Brabham's 1983 title push

There was an ace up the sleeve during the 1983 F1 title-winning season of Nelson Piquet and Brabham. It made a frontrunning car invincible for the last three races to see off Renault's Alain Prost and secure the combination's second world title in three years

Formula 1
Jan 13, 2022
How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner Prime

How “abysmal” reliability blunted Brabham’s first winner

Brabham’s first world championship race-winning car was held back by unreliable Climax engines – or so its creators believed, as STUART CODLING explains

Formula 1
Jan 10, 2022
The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season Prime

The steps Norris took to reach a new level in the 2021 F1 season

Lando Norris came of age as a grand prix driver in 2021. McLaren’s young ace is no longer an apprentice or a quietly capable number two – he’s proved himself a potential winner in the top flight and, as Stuart Codling finds out, he’s ready to stake his claim to greatness…

Formula 1
Jan 9, 2022
How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1 Prime

How Fangio set the bar for Schumacher and Hamilton in F1

Juan Manuel Fangio, peerless on track and charming off it, established the gold standard of grand prix greatness. Nigel Roebuck recalls a remarkable champion.

Formula 1
Jan 8, 2022
How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam Prime

How Russell sees his place in the Mercedes-Hamilton F1 superteam

George Russell joining Lewis Hamilton at Mercedes this year gives it arguably the best line-up in Formula 1 – if it can avoid too many fireworks. After serving his apprenticeship at Williams, Russell is the man that Mercedes team believes can lead it in the post-Hamilton era, but how will he fare against the seven-time champion? Motorsport.com heard from the man himself

Formula 1
Jan 6, 2022
How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications Prime

How F1 pulled off its second pandemic season and its 2022 implications

OPINION: The Formula 1 season just gone was the second to be completed under the dreaded shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, but in many ways it was much more ‘normal’ than 2020. Here’s the story of how the championship’s various organisers delivered a second challenging campaign, which offers a glimpse at what may be different next time around

Formula 1
Jan 5, 2022
The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future Prime

The adapt or die mentality that will shape F1's future

As attitudes towards the motor car and what powers it change, Formula 1 must adapt its offering. Mark Gallagher ponders the end of fossil fuels

Formula 1
Jan 3, 2022