Verstappen tops Alonso in Dutch GP FP1

Max Verstappen led Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton in first practice for the Dutch Grand Prix, as Nico Hulkenberg caused a red flag.

Hulkenberg briefly interrupted proceedings when he spun off at the penultimate corner, losing the rear of his Haas and sliding into the gravel. The banked gravel trap quickly stopped the car and there was only the lightest touch of the front wing against the barrier, but it needed to be removed via a crane so running was delayed by eight minutes.

The interruption cut short Hamilton’s soft tire run, with the Mercedes driver 0.3s up on what was the quickest time at that point when the red flag came out. Having been set for a lap time in the region of 1m12.0s, he ended up with a best lap of 1m12.225 on the same tires later on, 0.1s behind Alonso and nearly 0.3s adrift of Verstappen’s 1m11.852.


It wasn’t a totally smooth session for Verstappen, though, who ended FP1 with a trip through the gravel at Turn 11 having corrected a snap of oversteer under braking.

Sergio Perez had been fastest at the red flag but ended up fourth overall, ahead of Alex Albon as Williams impressed. Logan Sargeant also caught the eye with the seventh-quickest time, the pair separated by Lando Norris in the McLaren having gone early with their soft tire efforts.

Oscar Piastri, Yuki Tsunoda and Esteban Ocon rounded out the top 10, although Ocon had a slightly worrying moment when he reported his car going on throttle off its own accord when he was trying to slow down shortly after the red-flag period.

It was a tough start to the weekend for Lance Stroll, who missed part of Thursday’s duties as he recovers from an infection and then managed just two laps before he was confined to the Aston Martin garage with a suspected power unit issue that the team needed to investigate. It was a particularly damaging problem given Aston’s upgraded floor that has been introduced this weekend.

Both Ferrari and Alfa Romeo opted against using soft tires in the opening session, with FP1 rookie Robert Shwartzman slowest of those to set a time but completing 24 error-free laps and ending up 1.3s off teammate Charles Leclerc.

Story originally appeared on Racer