The first time in the opening Friday practice would come from Sainz with a
1m:14.185 running on the soft tyre. Gasly would move ahead with a 1m:08.299
running on the medium tyre. A 1m:07.285 from Gasly with Vettel now second
followed by Leclerc with both on the medium tyre. Leclerc would improve with
a 1m:06.169 followed now by an improved Gasly, Vettel, Norris and Sainz.
Vettel would move ahead of Leclerc with a 1m:06.160. Grosjean and Magnussen
would move into fifth and sixth ahead of Sainz. Both Williams drivers were
now running with just under an hour and ten minutes remaining. The track was
now getting busy as both Williams drivers set timed laps but were down the
Verstappen was now quickest with a 1m:06.100 followed by Vettel and Leclerc.
Bottas was now fourth followed by Hamilton, Ricciardo, Sainz, Gasly, Norris,
and Perez tenth. Verstappen would improve with a 1m:05.938 while team-mate
Gasly went second and Norris third. But Hamilton was now second but Bottas
would move ahead as the track emptied after forty minutes of the session.
Gasly was now fourth followed by Norris, Vettel, Leclerc, Ricciardo, Sainz
and Hulkenberg tenth. At the front Verstappen had set an improved 1m:05.488
to be ahead by 0.421. With forty minutes remaining drivers would start to
Leclerc was out on the medium tyre and would go fastest with a 1m:05.409.
But Bottas went ahead with a 1m:04.99 from Leclerc and Verstappen. But
Hamilton would improve to be third. Both Mercedes were on the soft tyre. On
the sift tyre Verstappen was able to move into third ahead of Hamilton. Both
Williams drivers had come out for their second run both on the soft tyre.
Hamilton would go fastest with a 1m:04.838 to be ahead of Bottas, Leclerc,
Verstappen, Gasly, Sainz, Ricciardo, Magnussen, Norris and Grosjean. At the
front Vettel would go second ahead of Bottas, Leclerc, Verstappen, Gasly and
Ten minutes remaining and the Williams drivers were slowest but the quicker
of the pair was close behind the cars in front. George was just 0.3 behind
fifteenth placed Perez. Quite a few drivers were having issues with damage
to their front wings as a result of going over the sausage kerbs that had
been placed at various places around the circuit. The session would be red
flagged with debris on the track from a damaged front wing on the Renault of
Hulkenberg. Both Williams drivers would be forced to pit as the session came
to an end. The result in the session had seen George very close to the cars
in front running on the soft tyre. The teams were allowed to send their cars
back out to allow them to complete practice starts. Both Williams drivers
would complete practice pit stops on their return.
Robert would come out for his first run on the soft tyres. Robert would set
a slow first lap but would follow it with a 1m:09.629 to be just behind his
team-mate. Robert would set a 1m:08.729 to be slowest. Robert would improve
with a 1m:08.606 and still slowest. But a further improvement with a
1m:08.140. Another improvement with a 1m:07.879 saw him slowest but right
behind his team-mate by just 0.122. Robert had pitted after a twelve lap
run. Robert would return again on the soft tyre. After a few laps completed
Robert would find time setting a 1m:07.697 to be 0.390 behind his team-mate.
Robert would set a 1m:07.665 as he pitted as well after an eleven lap run.
He was now 0.860 behind his team-mate. Robert would follow his team-mate out
for his third run. With the session being red flagged Robert would not
improve his time.
George would be first out for Williams in the opening Friday practice
session, completing his installation lap on the soft tyre. George would
follow Robert out for his first timed run. He would set a 1m:09.249 to be
14th. George would improve with a 1m:07.757 to be 15th. He would pit after a
ten lap run. He would return joining Robert back out with under half an hour
remaining. He was also on the soft tyre. George would improve with a
1m:07.307 to extend the gap to Robert. Robert was able to improve closing
the gap to George. But George would set a 1m:06.805 just prior to pitting
after a ten lap run. George would be back out with under ten minutes
remaining, again on the soft tyre. He would also see his track time come to
an end with a red flag seeing his not improve but his time was very close to
the cars just in front.