Verstappen tops wet opening Malaysia F1 practice after delay

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Max Verstappen headed up a one-two finish for Red Bull in first practice for Formula 1’s Malaysian Grand Prix on Friday at Sepang following a delayed start to running due to rain.

A heavy shower around 20 minutes before the start of the session forced race control to delay the start of FP1 by half an hour before conditions improved, with the rain eventually subsiding enough to allow running to take place on intermediate tires.

Verstappen and Red Bull teammate Daniel Ricciardo traded fastest times throughout the session, ultimately finishing P1 and P2 respectively in the final classification.

Verstappen’s best time of 1:48.962 saw him finish seven-tenths of a second clear of Ricciardo at the top of the timesheets, with Fernando Alonso ending FP1 as the best of the rest for McLaren in P3, 1.6 seconds off the fastest lap.

Ferrari left it late to try and beat Verstappen’s lap, ultimately taking P4 and P5 with Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel, with nearest-rival Mercedes ending the session sixth and seventh through Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas.

Lance Stroll wound up eighth for Williams ahead of Pierre Gasly, who took ninth for Toro Rosso in his first session as a grand prix driver ahead of his debut on Sunday. Renault reserve Sergey Sirotkin rounded out the top 10.

FP2 for the Malaysian Grand Prix kicks off at 3am ET on Friday.