Verstappen fastest in slippery 1st practice for Turkish GP
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ISTANBUL – Red Bull driver Max Verstappen posted the fastest time Friday in the first practice session for the Turkish Grand Prix as drivers struggled on a slippery track not used in Formula One since 2011.
The Istanbul Park circuit has been resurfaced with new asphalt and is very low on grip. Cool conditions made it even more awkward and drivers were very cautious as they lapped about 10 seconds slower than expected.
“It’s like driving on ice,” Verstappen said.
The Dutchman was .24 seconds faster than teammate Alexander Albon and .43 ahead of Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc, who slid into a bollard at the pit lane entrance early in the session.
Championship leader Lewis Hamilton was down in 15th place, but the Mercedes driver took no risks. Teammate Valtteri Bottas briefly lost control moments from the end but finished without trouble.
There is a second practice session later Friday.
Hamilton is looking to secure his seventh F1 title and equal Michael Schumacher’s record. He only needs to finish ahead of Bottas on Sunday.
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