Red Bull driver Max Verstappen topped the leaderboard in the first practice session of the 2017 Chinese Grand Prix on Friday, a session which was called to a premature halt as conditions were deemed to be too dangerous to continue.
Only fifteen drivers managed to complete a flying lap, with Lewis Hamilton, Kimi Raikkonen and Sebastian Vettel among the big names who could only competed formation laps.
While the teenaged Verstappen impressed in the difficult conditions to top the leaderboard despite managing just four flying laps, the Wiliams duo of Felipe Massa and Lance Stroll acquitted themselves well, churning out seven flying laps each.
The Red Bull driver’s time of 1:50.491 was almost 1 and half seconds faster than the Williams of Massa, suggesting he may just benefit from the overcast conditions and while it is too early to predict, a repeat of his heroics at the 2016 Brazil GP may be on the cards.
Kevin Magnussen and Romain Grosjean were the two drivers who managed to get into a spin during their flying laps and as the mist descended, the race officials decided to shut off the session for good.
Force India’s drivers, Sebastian Ocon and Sergio Perez, were among the five drivers who could only manage a formation lap.
The next practice session is at 2pm local time, roughly two and a half hours later.
The top 10 drivers after the session:
1. Max Verstappen Red Bull
2. Felipe Massa Williams
3. Lance Stroll Williams
4. Carlos Sainz Toro Rosso
5. Romain Grosjean Haas
6. Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso
7. Fernando Alonso McLaren
8. Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull
9. Valterri Bottas Mercedes
10. Kevin Magnussen Haas