2024 Australian GP: Lando Norris tops, Alex Albon crashes in eventful FP1

Amidst the ‘piping-hot’ turmoil off the track, Formula 1 is back in action with the ‘hot and crashing’ practice session of this weekend’s Australian GP. In the first practice, the racers really delivered a staggering and thrilling performance with their F1 challengers at Albert Park.

During the FP1 session of the Aussie GP, the Formula 1 teams raced on with ‘bits of ups and lots of downs’ at the Melbourne Grand Prix Circuit where Lando Norris came on top.

Lando Norris tops Australian GP FP1

On Friday, 22nd March of ’24, as the final flag came up at Albert Park, the first practice session saw McLaren’s speedster Lando Norris (P1) top the leader’s board, leapfrogging Max Verstappen (P2) and Mercedes’ George Russell (P3) in the run.

After a ‘wild and dirt covered’ FP1 of the Australian GP, Lando Norris, McLaren’s British-Belgian youngster, really let the team’s orange shade pop out and brightened the spectators with his Papaya presence, with a ‘table-topping’ lap time of just 1 minute 18.564 seconds, per F1.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen, the reigning F1 champion, sprinted to the P2 spot of the table with a lap time of 1 minute 18.582 seconds- arriving just 0.018 seconds later than Norris.

Mercedes’ George Russell driving his ‘bouncy’ W16 grabbed the P3 spot for the Silver Arrows in a lap time of 1 min 18.582 seconds, which is 0.033 seconds later than the P1 holder. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc and VCARB’s Yuki Tsunoda managed the P4 (1:18.599/+0.035s) and P5 (1:18.621/+0.057s) spots in 20-plus lap runs.

‘Checo’ Perez failed to deliver in this practice session as he struggled off with a P6 (1:18.642/+0.078s) spot. Right below Perez, Lance Stroll driving for Aston Martin, who are deemed as this season’s Dark Horse, secured P7 (1:18.667) with a gap time of 0.103 seconds.

The Italian Giant’s Carlos Sainz, who just returned after a ‘smooth operation’ during the Saudi Arabian GP, finished P8 (1:18.686) with a +0.122s gap time. The other two ‘competitive’ racers, Lewis Hamilton and Oscar Piastri, grabbed away the P9 (1:18.771/+0.207s) and P10 (1:18.918/+0.354s), respectively.

The other half of the leader board was split between the remaining F1 teams, such as the likes of Williams, Haas, Alpine, and Kick Sauber.

This table-topping sprint from Lando Norris comes right after Williams’ Alex Albon experienced a horrifying moment when he crashed his FW46 onto the sidewalls of the Melbourne circuit at Albert Park.

Alex Albon crashes in Australian GP FP1

In Melbourne, the first practice session of the 2024 Australian GP delivered the most dangerous crash of the season till now, when Williams’ Alex Albon crashed his FW46 F1 challenger into the side walls after a high-speed slid through the track at Albert Park.

This ‘biggest moment of the day’ from Albon came around 20 minutes remaining when Alex Albon took too much kerb coming out of Turn 7 and could not prevent his Williams from being spat into the wall on the other side of the track.

The race stewards at Albert Park soon hit the red flags, after Albon reported over the radio that he was unharmed, while his FW46 laid broken with countless debris in its close quarters.

After the FP1, Williams Racing announced that the ‘sidewall-spat’ FW46 was broken beyond repair, and was to be carried off to its Oxfordshire factory back in the U.K. This resulted in Alex Albon forfeiting from the remaining practice sessions of the Australian GP.

Lando Norris will now try to top the leader’s board at the Australian GP this weekend, while Alex Albon will take over Logan Sergeant’s Williams FW46 at Albert Park.

Can Norris top the table again this weekend at Albert Park? Is Williams being unfair by giving Sergeant’s car to Albon? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

SZ Desk

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