By Steve Aibel, Senior F1 Writer
The 2016 season of Formula 1 got under way in damp conditions from Melbourne, Australia today. The picturesque setting of Albert Park, the opening stage for the first round of the 21 race competition that we know and love as Formula One!
A wet start led to a slowly drying track which saw the teams running a combination of wet and intermediate Pirelli tires, before switching to dry weather tires mid-way through the session. Conditions improved throughout the session until spitting rain with 10 minutes left saw Valtteri Bottas, Rio Haryanto and Daniel Ricciardo make trips to the gravel trap, which in the case of Ricciardo proved the end of his session. The affable Aussie endured a long walk back to the pits, smiling and posing with his adoring fans along the way
Lewis Hamilton led the session, by just sneaking in a dominant flyer before the session was slowed by the late rainfall. Red Bull teammates Daniil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo rounded out the top three positions as all teams took a cautious approach with the delicate and wet conditions. No one got as much running as hoped and now more pressure will be on for the teams to log as many laps as possible in FP2 and FP3 before the new qualification rules come into play on Saturday.
The American rookie entry, Haas F1 team, ran early installation laps and then waited for dryer conditions where they ran 8 laps for Esteban Gutierrez and 6 laps for Romain Grosjean. Grosjean returned to pits visibly beaming at accomplishment the team has achieved to be in Australia, finally ready to race and write their own chapter of Formula One history.
Complete Fp1 Results
|2||Daniil Kvyat||Red Bull||1:30.146|
|3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull||1:30.875|
|4||Nico Hulkenberg||Force India||1:31.325|
|5||Max Verstappen||Toro Rosso||1:31.720|
|9||Sergio Perez||Force India||1:33.370|
|21||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari||No Time|
|22||Carlos Sainz||Toro Rosso||No Time|