Stroll dominates only free practice session

Stroll dominates only free practice session

On his Aston Martin, Canadian Lance Stroll set the best time in the only free practice session for the Chinese Grand Prix this Friday, ahead of Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and Max Verstappen (Red Bull).

Five years later, Formula 1 is back in China! The coronavirus pandemic and the severe health restrictions that followed prevented the Grand Prix from being held in Shanghai. But the king of motor sports is indeed on the program in China this year, and it will also be the opportunity to compete in the first sprint race of the season. This is why only one free practice session was on the menu this Friday, and it was Lance Stroll who won it. The Aston Martin driver signed one of his 21 laps in 1’36″302, which allowed him to be ahead of Oscar Piastri (McLaren) by 327 thousandths and Max Verstappen (Red Bull) by 358 thousandths. A successful time at the end of the session on soft tires.

This weekend’s ranking should not a priori reflect the hierarchy of the weekend, since the session was mainly used by the teams to prepare for qualifying for the sprint race, which will take place a little later (9:30 a.m. French time). This is how the Ferraris of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr, who mainly tested the soft tires, finished in 13th and 14th places, and the Mercedes of George Russell and Lewis Hamilton in 17th and 18th places, just in front of the teammate by Lance Stroll, Fernando Alonso.

Gasly’s anger

Pierre Gasly, on his Alpine, finished last (while his teammate Esteban Ocon finished seventh with his new flat bottom) and did not hide his anger: “It’s unacceptable guys, we haven’t learned anything. Nothing at all ! », he said on the radio, after his session was spoiled by energy recovery problems. Note that after only a quarter of an hour, and while no one had yet established a timed lap, the marshals displayed a red flag for five minutes, due to a small fire on the lawn at turn 7, probably caused by a spark caused by the flat bottom of a single-seater. But no other incident was noted during the rest of this session.

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