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F1 French Grand Prix: This is how the first practice went

Leclerc again in front of Verstappen: Ferrari driver strong in the 1st training session

The Monegasse continues its current high and also distances the world champion from Le Castellet at the start of the race weekend.

Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc set the fastest lap in the first practice session before the French Grand Prix. The 24-year-old Monegasse pushed Formula 1 World Champion Max Verstappen from the Netherlands into second place in Le Castellet on Friday in the Red Bull with a lead of 0.091 seconds. Third place went to the Spaniard Carlos Sainz in the second Ferrari, 0.338 seconds behind, in the heat and with a track temperature of 59 degrees. Former world champion Sebastian Vettel drove his Aston Martin to 14th position, Mick Schumacher was only 16th in the Haas racing car.

Before the 300th Grand Prix start of his Formula 1 career on Sunday (3 p.m. / Sky), record world champion Lewis Hamilton paused. The winner of the 2018 and 2019 races in France left his Mercedes cockpit to Dutchman Nyck de Vries. In the course of a season, young drivers without much experience have to be used by a team in two training sessions. Hamilton (37) opted to vacate his place at Le Castellet once. 27-year-old de Vries finished ninth in the Silver Arrow.

Before the twelfth of a total of 22 rounds of the season, defending champion Verstappen is 38 points ahead of second-placed Leclerc in the overall standings. In 14th place, Vettel is just three points ahead of Mick Schumacher, who wants to score points for the third time in a row in the upcoming race.

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