Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2017

Hamilton breaks track record as Toro Rosso manage just seven laps

2017 Brazilian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton shattered the Interlagos track record in the first session of the weekend while Toro Rosso had a disastrous start to practice.

Rubens Barrichello’s 13–year-old track record fell before the session was even halfway over. Hamilton eventually lowered the best time to a 1’09.202, six tenths of a second inside the old benchmark, and a second-and-a-half inside his pole position time from last year.

Lance Stroll, Williams, Interlagos, 2017
Brazilian Grand Prix practice in pictures
Team mate Valtteri Bottas was just a tenth of a second slower, both using the softest available rubber for their quickest runs. Ferrari and Red Bull did likewise and their best efforts were separated by just sixc-thousandths of a second, but over half a second slower than the silver cars.

But the Toro Rosso drivers never got to do any serious running. Pierre Gasly satopped after a handful of installation lap.

“Tough start of the weekend,” he said on social media. “Engine problem after one lap in FP1. Session is over for us.”

His team mate Brendon Hartley got no further. His STR12 expired in a huge cloud of smoke after just two laps. The team has already confirmed both drivers will take grid penalties for using new MGU-Ks this weekend, as will Daniel Ricciardo.

Sebastian Vettel was sixth fastest following a brief spin at turn nine early in the session. Felipe Massa was next, posting consistent quick lap times despite having a few lock-ups at turn one.

Despite complaining about poor drive-ability from his Honda engine, Stoffel Vandoorne posted the eighth-quickest time. Team mate Fernando Alonso joined him in the top ten, the pair separated by the Force India of Esteban Ocon.

Ocon’s team mate for the session was newcomer George Russell, who logged 29 laps on his F1 debut and ended up half a second slower than the team’s regular driver.

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’09.20236
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’09.3290.12743
37Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’09.7440.54232
433Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’09.7500.54831
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’09.8280.62638
65Sebastian VettelFerrari1’09.9840.78232
719Felipe MassaWilliams-Mercedes1’10.1020.90028
82Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Honda1’10.4021.20026
931Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’10.4541.25236
1014Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Honda1’10.4761.27424
1118Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’10.6321.43042
1235George RussellForce India-Mercedes1’11.0471.84529
138Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’11.1881.98629
1420Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’11.4632.26130
1555Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’11.4672.26532
1627Nico HulkenbergRenault1’11.6082.40635
1737Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’11.8022.60032
189Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’11.8982.69628
1910Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Renault1’14.0344.8325
2028Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Renault2

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’09.202

+0.127 Valtteri Bottas – 1’09.329

+0.542 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’09.744

+0.548 Max Verstappen – 1’09.750

+0.626 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’09.828

+0.782 Sebastian Vettel – 1’09.984

+0.900 Felipe Massa – 1’10.102

+1.200 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’10.402

+1.252 Esteban Ocon – 1’10.454

+1.274 Fernando Alonso – 1’10.476

+1.430 Lance Stroll – 1’10.632

+1.845 George Russell – 1’11.047

+1.986 Romain Grosjean – 1’11.188

+2.261 Kevin Magnussen – 1’11.463

+2.265 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’11.467

+2.406 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’11.608

+2.600 Charles Leclerc – 1’11.802

+2.696 Marcus Ericsson – 1’11.898

+4.832 Pierre Gasly – 1’14.034

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

DriverTeamBest super-soft timeSuper-soft gapBest soft timeSoft gapBest medium timeMedium gap
Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’09.2021’09.4451’31.8819.945
Valtteri BottasMercedes1’09.3290.1271’09.6810.236None
Daniel RicciardoRed Bull1’09.8280.6261’10.3730.9283’33.096131.16
Max VerstappenRed Bull1’09.7500.548NoneNone
Sebastian VettelFerrari1’09.9840.782None3’40.096138.16
Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’09.7440.542None4’02.096160.16
George RussellForce India1’11.0471.8451’12.3402.8951’31.8439.907
Esteban OconForce India1’10.4541.2521’11.0451.61’24.7232.787
Felipe MassaWilliams1’10.1020.9None5’43.096261.16
Lance StrollWilliams1’10.6321.43None5’04.096222.16
Fernando AlonsoMcLaren1’10.4761.274NoneNone
Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren1’10.4021.2None1’21.936
Brendon HartleyToro RossoNoneNone4’55.096213.16
Pierre GaslyToro RossoNone1’14.0344.5894’35.096193.16
Romain GrosjeanHaas1’11.1881.9861’12.2732.828None
Kevin MagnussenHaas1’11.4632.2611’12.0912.646None
Nico HulkenbergRenault1’11.6082.406None5’23.096241.16
Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’11.4672.265None5’42.096260.16
Marcus EricssonSauber1’11.8982.696NoneNone
Charles LeclercSauber1’11.8022.6NoneNone

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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16 comments on “Hamilton breaks track record as Toro Rosso manage just seven laps”

  1. What is going with the Renault engines on the Toro Rossos? It is fact that Renault reliability is no good but lately it seems that in the Toro Rossos they just seem to work at all!

    1. Honda is haunting them even before they’ve got their engines.

      1. @hugh11 LOL
        It is true that reliability seems to have degraded once they announced moving to Honda!

    2. made a mistake: last sentence should be “they just seem to NOT work at all”

    3. @bakano I hear Renault wants to beat Toro Rosso in the constructor standings. Not saying they are doing anything but it vary convenient.

      1. @monsterc1, the Renault works team have had more retirements in races due to mechanical problems than Toro Rosso have had since the announcement by Toro Rosso to switch to Honda was announced – Renault had engine failures in Singapore and the US, plus an ERS failure in Mexico, whilst Toro Rosso have had one engine failure in Mexico and one electrical failure of unspecified origin in Malaysia.

        Renault might want to beat Toro Rosso in the constructors standings, but with Renault’s worse reliability they seem to be handicapping themselves rather than their customers.

    4. Just training them for 2018

      1. Tomorrow – lessons from Alonso to the Toro Rosso young-uns on how to properly recline in a deckchair.

        1. In the mean time they are listening in to Alonso’s radio compilations on youtube ! Gotta be ready !

    5. It’s unbelievable, I haven’t tracked down the PU component usage chart – but the Toro Rosso car Hartley is driving must be close to being the worst car on the grid.

      1. @ju88sy

        It is true that it looks bad, considering the last 2 GPs, but not as bad as Vandoorne’s car as you can see here: https://maxf1.net/en/power-unit-elements-use-2017/

        1. @bakano Thanks – truly horrific for the Honda PU, it would be a step forward if they end 2018 with the current reliability of the Renault PU in the Toro Rosso!

    6. Maybe they are using components with high mileage for practice sessions?

  2. Well, on the base of it, this just summs up 2017, Mercedes far ahead,

    1. @jureo Ferrari have had the fastest car for most races. They just manage to throw it all away way too often. Too many driver errors and bad judgement calls. Even Ferrari acknowledge this.

  3. Good god these cars are fast! The drivers’ necks are gonna get a heck of a workout this weekend! At least a second lower i expect qualifying times to be.

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