Brazil GP: Hamilton leads Practice 1 as grid penalty confirmed

Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive

Lewis Hamilton set a strong early pace in Practice 1 at the Sao Paulo Grand Prix on Friday.

Red Bull came out fast at Interlagos with Max Verstappen setting the timing screen alight. On the contrary, his championship rival was struggling with front suspension issues on his car.

However, Hamilton would do a number of flying laps on the soft tyre towards the end of the hour, eventually setting the best time of 1m09.050s.

That would put the Briton a third of a second up on Max Verstappen in second, as he and teammate Sergio Perez only opted to do one flying lap ahead of qualifying in P2 and P3.

However, during the session, it was also confirmed Lewis will be taking a five-place grid penalty for a new ICE in his Mercedes, making pole in qualifying and for Saturday's Sprint race vitally important.

Valtteri Bottas was half a second down on his teammate in fourth.

With such a short lap at Interlagos, the midfield battle is looking very tight with just seven-tenths covering Pierre Gasly in P5 to Lando Norris in P15.

Ferrari sat sixth and seventh, albeit far from showing their true pace at least with Charles Leclerc, who was compromised by running wide onto the bumpy exit kerb at Turn 4.

That was backed up by Alpine matching the Scuderia on the medium tyres in eighth and ninth, while Lance Stroll completed the top 10 for Aston Martin. 

Down the order, McLaren finished only 15th and 19th respectively for Norris and Daniel Ricciardo, but like Alpine, only used the medium tyres meaning more pace is to come on the softs.

Full results from Practice can be seen below: