Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time on the first free practice for the Australian GP, half a second ahead of Valtteri Bottas’s and seven tenths in front of Max Verstappen in Red Bull.
Hamilton was heading for the fastest time in the first season of the season, in which Mercedes justified his status as a favorite and Red Bull driver Verstappen managed faster than two Ferrari and teammate Ricciarda.
Vettel first came out on the track to drive the installation circuit, but the first time was set only 20 minutes after the start of the training.
The first measured circuit in the new F1 season 2018 led Sergey Sirotkin to Williams (1: 32,057), but when they started to set up the fastest drivers they started to fall significantly.
Verstappen first went below 1:25, but Hamilton scored the first in 0.022 seconds, and later at 1: 24.531. Bottas had reached five hundredths of his time after half-training at the ultrasoft, but Hamilton had repaired his time and set the finals 1: 24.026.
Verstappen improved his time at supersoft tires and finished seven tenths behind Hamilton.
Raikkonen was fourth fastest on soft tyres and 0.849 seconds behind while Vettel was the fastest fifth with almost a second behind on supersofts after he made a mistake in his flying lap.
Ricciardo was sixth, just over a second behind, but still seven tenths ahead of Grosjean in Haas, who was the fastest driver not driving for the top three teams.
Alonso was eight in the McLaren, despite making a mistake in last sector, using supersoft tyres, but Alonso and Vandoorne spent the first hour in the garage because another reliability problems.
Alonso had a problem with the exhaust system while Vandoorne also had problems and finished the tenth fastest on the used soft tyres.
Only one second covered the drivers from 7th to 16th position and Sainz in Renault was the ninth fastest in front of Vandoorne and Gasly in Toro Rosso Honda, significantly faster than Hartley in 18th place.
Force India had a slow start and their drivers were only 14th and 16th fastest, Williams was 12th and 15th, and Sauber took the last two places in the first free practice.
2018 Australian GP FP1 results
|3||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1:24.771||0.745||26|
|6||3||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull/TAG Heuer||1:25.063||1.037||25|
|11||10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso/Honda||1:26.494||2.468||25|
|14||31||Esteban Ocon||Force India/Mercedes||1:26.605||2.579||30|
|16||11||Sergio Pérez||Force India/Mercedes||1:26.767||2.741||26|
|18||28||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso/Honda||1:27.745||3.719||16|