HIGHLIGHTS: Watch the action from the first practice session at the French Grand Prix as Leclerc leads the way
Charles Leclerc made a fine start to his French Grand Prix weekend, with the Ferrari driver topping the timesheets of the first practice session at Paul Ricard.
On the soft tyre, Leclerc set a time of 1m 33.930s to lead title rival Max Verstappen by 0.091s, with Leclerc’s team mate Carlos Sainz in third, 0.338s behind. George Russell, in the Mercedes, was fourth fastest but finished 0.951s behind the Monegasque.
It was a good early outing for Pierre Gasly, on his homecoming, as he was fifth fastest in his upgraded AlphaTauri, ahead of Sergio Perez in sixth. Nyck de Vries – filling in for Lewis Hamilton in the other Mercedes – came home in P9, while it was a quiet session for the lone French team in the field, as Alpine drivers Esteban Ocon and Fernando Alonso finished in 13th and 15th, respectively.
FP1: Leclerc beats Verstappen to fastest time in opening French GP practice
There were no red flags in the session, but we did see several drivers run wide on track, while Perez nearly spun into the barrier at Turn 4.
Click on the video player above to watch the action from the first hour of running in France, as we get set for the second practice session later this afternoon.