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F1 2016: Australian GP Free Practice 1 – Hamilton Tops Wet/Dry Session

Lewis Hamilton. Free practice, Monaco GP

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton topped the first free practice session for the 2016 Australian grand prix.

The 2016 season got underway as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel ventured out onto track with the full wet Pirelli tyres fitted to his car. Overnight rain and a consistent drizzle in the morning had ensured a wet start to the first practice session.

The track seemed to dry quickly with a blustery wind but just as driver were getting into their stride on the yellow-walled soft tyres the rain appeared once more. So it continued throughout the session which was difficult to classify either wet or dry.

Lewis Hamilton set the quickest time of the session with a 1:30:364. The Red Bull duo of Dannil Kvyat and Daniel Ricciardo were second and third as the chequered flag dropped to signal the end of the session. Rather embarrassingly, Ricciardo dropped the Red Bull into the gravel at the end of the session. Given the slippery conditions and the fact that Ricciardo was on slicks means we can give him the benefit of the doubt.

Force India’s Nico Hulkenberg and Toro Rosso’s Max Verstappen rounded out the top five. The 18 year old Verstappen had earlier spun his Ferrari-powered car but, luckily, didnt sustain any damage. Nico Rosberg, Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button,  and Sergio Perez rounded out the top ten.

The changeable weather conditions mean that the first free practice session of the season didnt represent anything as to how the rest of the weekend may pan out.

About Natalie Le Clue

Natalie Le Clue is an F1 aficionado of the most dedicated vein. And, true to form for any F1-enamoured junkie, she readily admits to crying the first time she saw a F1 car, calling it an ‘overwhelming moment’. Natalie has won the 2010 gSport Woman In Media award, the 2015 Woman In Media Print award, and has been named as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People in South African Sport by the Department of Sport and Recreation. Natalie is currently serving as SAfm's F1 correspondent. Follow Natalie on Twitter @nlc27

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