Russell tops the opening practice of Dutch Grand Prix as Verstappen retires

Russell tops the opening practice of Dutch Grand Prix as Verstappen retires

George Russell led teammate Lewis Hamilton in the Dutch Grand Prix FP1, ahead of Ferrari driver Carlos Sainz as Verstappen suffered an early retirement due to transmission issues.

In Friday’s opening practice at Zandvoort, Mercedes had a promising 1-2 with George Russell and Lewis Hamilton, but hometown favorite Max Verstappen was forced to quit the session early due to a gearbox failure with his Red Bull RB18.

Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz trailed the Mercedes team by 0.390 seconds, as McLaren duo Lando Norris and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top five.

With air temperatures of 22° C and track temperatures of 29° C, and a large crowd gathered in the orange-colored grandstands, the second leg of Formula 1’s triple-header got underway under warm and dry weather. With flares prohibited this year, when Verstappen hit the circuit, a loud clamor drowned out the Honda V6’s rumble.

Verstappen set the fastest time after a few laps at the beginning of the session, but ten minutes into the practice, the Dutchman’s Red Bull came to a stop on the exit of Turn 3 due to what appeared to be a gearbox problem.

Verstappen’s drive didn’t get off to a good start because he is using his final gearbox component this weekend. This suggests that Verstappen may be subject to another grid penalty on his home track.

The RB18 was safely evacuated thanks to a red flag, and the session resumed with 40 minutes left on the clock.

Following the restart, Alonso took the lead with a time of 1m13.635s on the soft tire, with Williams driver Alex Albon coming in second. However, Sainz came back with a 1m12.845s to go fastest with 30 minutes remaining, knocking Norris off the top spot, if only momentarily.

Russell, Daniel Ricciardo, and Charles Leclerc made up the top five, placing third, fourth and fifth respectively behind Sainz and Norris while only separated by 0.084s.

Lewis Hamilton remained in P18 at the time, although the British driver hadn’t finished a lap on the soft rubber. The seven-time world champion then overtook everyone to finish in second place, just behind Russell, who had continued to battle for the lead as Mercedes showed  increased pace.

The leaders’ standings did not alter much in the closing moments of FP1, showing little improvement. Russell and Hamilton effectively produced a promising Mercedes 1-2, with Sainz, Norris who lead the lap count, Riccardo, and Leclerc trailing by a gap of 0.672 seconds.

The remaining top ten drivers were Sergio Perez, Alonso, Esteban Ocon, and Albon.

With the exception of Mick Schumacher’s successful P11, there wasn’t much to say about the second half of the field. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Nicholas Latifi of Williams completed the running order.


1George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m12.455s
2Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas Formula One Team1m12.695s
3Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m12.845s
4Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m12.929s
5Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m13.077s
6Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m13.127s
7Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m13.416s
8Fernando AlonsoESPBWT Alpine F1 Team1m13.633s
9Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m13.963s
10Alexander AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m14.063s
11Mick SchumacherGERHaas F1 Team1m14.163s
12Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m14.257s
13Kevin MagnussenDENHaas F1 Team1m14.405s
14Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri1m14.474s
15Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Aramco Cognizant Formula One Team1m14.500s
16Guanyu ZhouCHNAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m14.534s
17Yuki TsunodaJPNScuderia AlphaTauri 1m14.630s
18Valtteri BottasFINAlfa Romeo F1 Team Orlen1m14.695s
19Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m14.714s
20Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1m15.122s

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