Verstappen spins out after clocking quickest lap, Piastri 12th-fastest in practice

Two-time world champion Max Verstappen had mixed results in the opening Formula 1 practice session on Friday, recording the quickest lap before spinning out on Albert Park.

The Red Bull Star scorched around Albert Park in 1.18.790, more than half a second faster than his teammate Sergio Perez, who closed 1.19.293.

Oscar Piatri recorded the 12th-fastest lap in the first practice session.Credit:Getty Images

But with just five or so minutes left in the hour-long session, Verstappen lost control of his car, spinning off the track, before reporting to his team: “Ah, these tyres are completely f—ed now.”

Lewis Hamilton complained about bouncing early in the session, an issue which plagued Mercedes throughout 2022, but he ended up recording the second-fastest time of 1.19.223, with a gap of 0.433 to Verstappen.

Australian Oscar Piastri recorded the 12th-fastest lap in practice on Friday afternoon, less than a second off Verstappen’s time.

Max Verstappen driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB19 in pit lane during a practice session on Friday ahead of the Australian F1 Grand Prix.Credit:Getty Images

Piastri, who took the McLaren around Albert Park for the first time in his career, finished slightly off teammate Lando Norris, whose quickest lap was more than a quarter of a second faster than Piastri’s.

Earlier, Verstappen reported gear-box issues, while Yuki Tsuonda spun out midway through the hour-long session, and nearly caused an accident, with Hamilton forced to brake to avoid running up the back of Tsuonda’s AlphaTauri.

Perez had the third-fastest lap, from Fernando Alonso and then the Ferrari pair, Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

A GPS issue forced all 20 cars back into the pits at one stage, but they were able to get back on the track before the practice was called off a few minutes early due to a red flag.

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