Hulk smash in Brazil; Ricciardo left on his own

Nico Hulkenberg: Smash in Brazil

Nico Hulkenberg: Smash in Brazil

Nico Hulkenberg and Daniel Ricciardo, the 2019 driver line-up at Renault, made the early headlines in Brazil.

Here is how the first day of the Brazilian Grand Prix weekend unfolded…

FP1 gave a handful of reserve drivers an opportunity to add to their Formula 1 experience…

Meanwhile, the dark clouds have followed Daniel Ricciardo to Brazil, with the FIA confirming a five-place grid drop is coming his way after a new turbocharger was fitted.

Ricciardo was eager, very eager to be first in the pit lane exit queue, just in case anyone else had some penalties coming their way. Nobody else joined him until the light went green…

30 minutes into FP1, it was a familiar pecking order at the top of the timesheet – Mercedes, Ferrari, Red Bull.

But, at the halfway stage, it was a certain five-time World Champion back in P1 with a 1:09.423 on supersoft tyres.

Team-mate, Bottas, though, was forced to play a waiting game as Mercedes fixed an oil leak on his car.

Further down the pecking order, Kevin Magnussen’s FP1 session ended early after ruining his set of supersoft compounds.

The oil leak on Bottas’ car did not turn into any major drama after quick work from the mechanics.

Back at the top of the timesheet, Verstappen was able to knock Hamilton off top spot – but there was very little separating the top three in Brazil.

During the break between sessions, Haas confirmed the Fittipaldi name will be returning to Formula 1 next season.

Fernando Alonso, Sergio Perez and Antonio Giovinazzi were all back in their race seats in FP2. The former a rather bored-looking spectator in FP1.

They were not able to get into an early rhythm in Brazil, as Nico Hulkenberg smashed into the barrier at Turn 13.

Similar to FP1, less than a tenth separated the top three after the qualifying simulation runs – but it was a new face heading the trio.

Follow all the action from the Brazilian Grand Prix with the PlanetF1 race hub.