Lewis Hamilton set the fastest time in the first free practice session of the new 2019 F1 season in Melbourne, where he was less than a tenth of a second ahead of Ferrari drivers Sebastian Vettel and Charles Leclerc.

Hamilton set the fastest lap 1:23.599, 0.038 seconds ahead of Vettel and 0.074 seconds ahead of Leclerc while Verstappen was the fourth in the encouraging first practice for Red Bull Honda with 0.193 seconds behind the leader.

Bottas finished fifth fastest with 0.267 seconds behind Hamilton, but Finn narrowly avoided the collision after he had touched the grass on the braking for the penultimate corner and had to nail the throttle to turn the car before the barrier.

Gasly was just eight in his first official appearance for Red Bull, 1.3 seconds behind Hamilton, and Raikkonen in Alfa Romeo and Kvyat in Toro Rosso were sixth and seventh.

Kvyat’s team-mate Albon did not have a brilliant start of his F1 career as he crashed his Toro Rosso at the Turn 1 exit and finished the 13th fastest, four tenths behind Kvyat.

Magnussen was faster than two Haas drivers, but in the ninth place behind Alfa Romeo and Toro Rosso, while Hulkenberg in Renault was the tenth fastest.

McLaren occupied only 14th place with Sainz as they were only faster than Racing Point (15th and 16th) and Williams who took the last two places.

Kubica was faster than Russell with huge 4.3 seconds gap to Hamilton and Russell was eight tenths behind Kubica.

2019 AUSTRALIAN GP FP1 RESULTS

1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:23.599 26
2 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1:23.637 0.038 18
3 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:23.673 0.074 18
4 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda 1:23.792 0.193 22
5 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:23.866 0.267 30
6 7 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:24.816 1.217 18
7 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso/Honda 1:24.832 1.233 30
8 10 Pierre Gasly Red Bull/Honda 1:24.932 1.333 23
9 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1:24.934 1.335 24
10 27 Nico Hülkenberg Renault 1:25.015 1.416 11
11 99 A.Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo/Ferrari 1:25.166 1.567 23
12 8 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1:25.224 1.625 18
13 23 Alexander Albon Toro Rosso/Honda 1:25.230 1.631 21
14 55 Carlos Sainz McLaren/Renault 1:25.285 1.686 19
15 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point/Mercedes 1:25.288 1.689 26
16 11 Sergio Pérez Racing Point/Mercedes 1:25.498 1.899 21
17 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1:25.634 2.035 16
18 4 Lando Norris McLaren/Renault 1:25.966 2.367 31
19 88 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1:27.914 4.315 25
20 63 George Russell Williams/Mercedes 1:28.740 5.141 25
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