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Dutch Grand Prix 2023

Alonso and Hamilton challenge Verstappen in Dutch GP FP1

Could there be a fight for pole on Saturday?

F1 roared back into action after its summer break in the same fashion as the first half of the season ended with Max Verstappen on top of the leaderboard in first practice for the Dutch Grand Prix.

The Red Bull driver set a benchmark of a 1:11.852 to finish 0.278secs faster than Aston Martin driver Fernando Alonso on his homecoming at Zandvoort.

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton was third fastest ahead of the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez as teams blew off their cobwebs ahead of the final 10 races of the year.

Result Free practice 1 - Dutch

# Driver Team Time Tyre
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In a largely undramatic session, Nico Hulkenberg provided the only red flag with a spin into the gravel at the penultimate corner.

The Haas escaped with relatively little damage but was unable to rejoin having become stranded and facing the wrong way, leaving no option other than to stop the track action.

Critically for the American-owned outfit, one of its few new front wings was damaged, posing a dilemma ahead of the rest of the weekend.

Lance Stroll has been fighting an infection ahead of the weekend but his Aston Martin suffered its own malady - the Canadian reporting a 'funny noise' on an out lap 25 minutes into the session as his team called him back to the garage for checks, bringing an end to his running without a lap time set.

The usual Zandvoort sand and traffic issues also cropped up, though will no doubt play more of a part in qualifying on Saturday.

Verstappen was fastest on all three tyre compounds, ultimately laying down the foundations for a strong weekend on the Softs, though made his way through the gravel at Turn 12 after the chequered flag finished.

Hamilton would have been challenging the Dutchman's time had it not been for Hulkenberg's crash halting his initial progress on the red side-walled tyre.

Williams looked impressive with Alex Albon and Logan Sargeant in fifth and seventh, with McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri either side of the American.

Yuki Tsunoda was ninth fastest ahead of Alpine's Esteban Ocon, with George Russell only 11th. The Mercedes driver was held up behind an Alfa Romeo on his fastest effort.

Pierre Gasly was 12th in the second of the Alpines ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Kevin Magnussen, who like his teammate Hulkenberg has been retained by Haas for next year.

Valtteri Bottas was the lead Alfa Romeo in 15th ahead of Charles Leclerc's Ferrari and Zhou Guanyu, though none of the trio completed a Soft-tyre run.

Hulkenberg was 18th and Robert Shwartzman completed an important hour of running in the second Ferrari as part of the obligatory rookie FP1 runs.

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F1 2023 Dutch Grand Prix RN365 News dossier

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