Great start from Mick Schumacher

(Motorsport-Total.com) – Sergio Pérez set the fastest time in the first free practice for the Sao Paulo Grand Prix in Brazil. The Red Bull driver clocked 1:11.853 minutes at Interlagos and narrowly edged Charles Leclerc (Ferrari/+0.004) to his teammate Max Verstappen (+0.008). One of the big surprises of the first practice was Mick Schumacher (Haas).

Mick Schumacher started the weekend in Sao Paulo very well

Enlargement

The German, who is currently pursuing his future in Formula 1, briefly improved to fourth with fifteen minutes to go and even split the two factory Ferraris of Leclerc and Carlos Sainz (4th / +0.186) at that moment. Schumacher eventually finished eighth. Backlog: just 0.461 seconds.

This made him 0.683 seconds faster than teammate Kevin Magnussen. Lots of wood on a short track like the Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace. And he rounded off a pleasing result from the German point of view, because even Sebastian Vettel (7th / Aston Martin / +0.304) drove right into the middle of the world class right at the start.

“Mick it was a very good performance,” analyzes ‘Sky’ expert Timo Glock. “I hope the trend continues like in Mexico. I think the pack is doing pretty well. But we mustn’t forget: the four cars were only going medium. They will probably be faster than him in the end.”

On topic:
Result 1. free training
F1 live ticker: Votes for Friday
F1 live: Friday analysis

Ferrari: engine change at Sainz

The start did not go smoothly for Ferrari. Sainz needs an engine change and will move up five positions on the grid on Sunday. Both also complained about other drivers. Sainz said towards Lando Norris: “I was penalized for less!” And Leclerc was angry: “What the hell is Stroll doing there?”

Despite the second fastest time, Verstappen was not satisfied with the driving of his Red Bull. “He’s not driving the car at all,” he said over the radio after a few minutes. And when two-thirds of practice was over and his race engineer asked him where the worst understeer was, he said: “Everywhere. Except for Turns 6 and 7. It’s really not giving up.”

Hamilton was also unhappy with the balance sheet

Lewis Hamilton’s statements about his Mercedes were similarly negative. Hamilton was still in 17th position with fifteen minutes to go and only improved to 5th at the end (+0.187). Before his last ride, he complained: “No grip. Especially at the back.” And right after a good first interval, he made a mistake with a soft one. He set his best time in the second lap.

“Lewis started with a small wing,” explains Andrew Shovlin, head of Mercedes’ operations team, “and then went flatter and then steeper again. It’s hard to know what’s best in such a short session. The tires overheated for a long time.” us, so there is a lack of grip on the rear axle.’

“The thing is, you can run a lot of different wing settings here. So you can’t rely on the simulation, you have to try it on the car and see what gives you the best balance and what settings the tires work for.” preferably with function.”

“When we were able to drive maximum downforce, it mostly went well: Budapest, Singapore, Zandvoort. We don’t expect to be as competitive here as in Mexico. On the other hand, when I look at this session, I see six cars that have a chance, she could be in pole position. Everything is close to each other,” analyzes Shovlin.

Teammate George Russell (+.202) was sixth and right in the middle of an extremely competitive field this time around. Eight drivers were within half a second, 14 drivers within a second and even Daniel Ricciardo (McLaren) in 20th and last place was just 1.506s from Perez.

Norris is fit again after a break in the paddock

Not in action at McLaren was designated reserve driver Nyck de Vries, who underwent a seat adjustment on Thursday; but regular pilot Norris (15./+1.102). The 23-year-old initially stayed out of the paddock on Thursday due to food poisoning, according to McLaren.

Team boss Andreas Seidl now gives the all clear: “He looked quite fit again. We don’t expect any further complications,” he says in an interview with ‘ORF’. “He got really sick to his stomach yesterday and it was better he rested at the hotel. He’s a young lad, he’ll make it.”

Only one free practice before qualifying

The first free practice was also the last practice before qualifying. The Sao Paulo Grand Prix is ​​an F1 sprint, which means that the starting positions for Saturday’s F1 sprint are determined on the first day. That means, “We have to complete the program in one session that we would otherwise complete in three sessions,” says Seidl.

“We’re splitting the program between the two vehicles. We want to prepare for Sunday’s race, but we also want to get an idea of ​​how the car feels in qualifying – and save on the soft tyres. It’s important to find a good compromise,” explains the McLaren team principal of the special challenge of the shortened training time.

A problem specific to Interlagos is tire overheating. “But it’s the same for everyone,” says Shovlin. “On a track like this, the temperatures are high and the corners are close together. The cooler you can run the tires, the more grip you have. The better you can do that, the faster you are at the bottom line.”

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