Australian Grand Prix: Carlos Sainz leads Ferrari charge in first practice, Sebastian Vettel breaks down

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Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc set the early pace in Melbourne on Friday as they topped the timesheets in free practice; Sebastian Vettel’s return after Covid-19 ended with his Aston Martin breaking down

Last Updated: 08/04/22 5:07am


Carlos Sainz led the way for Ferrari in FP1

Ferrari duo Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc laid down an early marker for the Australian Grand Prix by topping the time sheet at the end of Friday’s first practice session.

It was Sainz, currently second in the drivers’ championship, who led the way from Bahrain Grand Prix winner Leclerc, with both clocking sub-1min 20sec times around the new-look Albert Park circuit on the soft tyres.

Red Bull pair Sergio Perez and Max Verstappen were just behind them in third and fourth respectively, but Lewis Hamilton was over 1.2 seconds behind Sainz’s best time as Mercedes try to get to grips with the issues which have dogged their W13 car early on in the season.

Sebastian Vettel’s return to action after missing the first two races of 2022 due to Covid-19 test, meanwhile, ended with his Aston Martin breaking down in a cloud of smoke – one of two incidents which caused the session to be briefly red-flagged.

More to follow…

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