Mercedes surprises and leads Free Practice 1 at Zandvoort with a double; Sainz, third –

Russell was the fastest driver followed by HamiltonSainz finished third and Alonso, eighthVerstappen, with gearbox problems, barely lapped Mercedes gave the surprise in Free Practice 1 of the Dutch Grand Prix and led the session with doublet. George Russell was the fastest driver, closely followed by his teammate Lewis Hamilton and Carlos Sainz. For his part, Max Verstappen had a problem with his gearbox in the first minutes of the session and was only able to do six laps. Formula 1 arrives in Zandvoort this weekend, at Max Verstappen’s ‘home’ Grand Prix. At the start of Free Practice 1, the asphalt was at 29ºC and there was 22ºC in the environment. The riders didn’t waste any time and they all went out on the track in the early stages. All of them have done it with the hard compound, with the exception of Fernando Alonso, who has done it with the soft. A compound that has earned the Asturian to be first with a time of 1’15″662. After him, Lando Norris completed the lap, which has lowered the Asturian’s time by 16 thousandths. Max Verstappen wasted no time in taking the lead of the time table with a time of 1’15″266. The Dutchman showed great pace in the early stages on the hard rubber and dropped his own time on his sixth lap on tyres. After completing that lap, Verstappen reported gearbox problems on the radio and the RB18 stopped in the middle of the track, forcing the virtual safety car to be brought out and subsequently a red flag. As a consequence, the Dutchman was unable to return to the track in Free Practice 1. The session resumed with 40 minutes to go and the drivers huddled at the pit-lane exit in order not to lose time. In addition, many have taken the opportunity to change compounds and ride soft. Alonso has been one of those who has started with soft tires and on his second lap with the tire he has set the best time so far: 1’13″635. The McLarens have been very competitive in Free Practice 1 and with soft tires they have placed at the top of the classification. Norris has lowered Alonso’s time three tenths and Ricciardo has remained two tenths from his teammate. Carlos Sainz has also improved and has placed first with a time of 1’12″845 , also on his second lap on the soft tyre. At the halfway point of the session, the drivers took the opportunity to enter the pits and change tires in order to prepare for the second half of training. Mercedes, which had been far behind on hard tires —Hamilton was fourteenth and Russell sixteenth, both more than two seconds behind Sainz’s time— have mounted soft tires and have taken a big step forward. Russell placed third on his second lap of compounds and set the fastest time so far on his fifth lap. The Briton stopped the clock in 1’12″455. For his part, Hamilton was two tenths off his teammate’s clock. In the last few minutes, the time table has not changed much, as the drivers have focused on longer runs. Russell thus finished FP1 as the fastest driver, followed by his teammate and with Sainz third, the three separated by three tenths. If you want to read more news like this visit our Flipboard