(Miami Gardens) Briton George Russell (Mercedes) set the fastest time in the first free practice session of the Miami Grand Prix, fifth round of the Formula 1 World Championship, on Friday at the Miami International Autodrome (5.412 km) at Miami Gardens.

He edged team-mate and compatriot Lewis Hamilton and Monegasque Charles Leclerc (Ferrari), while reigning double world champion and championship leader Dutchman Max Verstappen (Red Bull) took fourth place.

Spaniard Carlos Sainz placed the second Ferrari in fifth position, ahead of the Alpine of Frenchman Pierre Gasly and the Aston Martins of veteran Spanish Fernando Alonso and Canadian Lance Stroll.

The German Nico Hülkenberg (Haas) set the ninth fastest time before hitting the wall, causing a red flag and therefore the interruption of the session for a few minutes, the time to evacuate his car.

Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine) completes the Top 10, while Sergio Pérez, winner on Sunday in Azerbaijan and who is hot on the heels of Verstappen in the world championship, only achieved the 11th time.

To everyone’s surprise, the Mercedes therefore dominated this first free practice session by taking the two best times in the last minutes, when Verstappen had been in the lead for a long time. This result bodes well for the Silver Arrows, who had a somewhat disappointing weekend in Azerbaijan a few days ago.

Ferrari, which finally clinched its first podium of the season with Leclerc’s third place in Baku, also had its advantage on Friday in the Florida heat (30 degrees in the shade).

Red Bull, once is not custom, was a little behind, but we should not jump to conclusions, because we do not know the amount of fuel on board in the single-seaters and the adjustments that the Austrian team intended to make during this session.

After a calamitous weekend in Azerbaijan, the French Alpine team recovered its head by placing its two cars in the Top 10, but will have to confirm during the second free practice session, which is scheduled for the end of the evening in France. , from 11:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m.

George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1 : 30 125 (18 tours)

Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1 : 30 337 (24)

Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:30,449 (23)

Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1 : 30 549 (22)

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1 : 30,724 (23)

Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1 : 31 104 (20)

Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1 : 31,231 (24)

Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1 : 31 337 (24)

Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1: 31,392 (14)

Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:31 542 (27)

Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) 1 : 31,566 (22)

Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1 : 31,810 (24)

Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1: 31,853 (25)

Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1 : 31 902 (24)

Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:31,903 (25)

Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1 : 31,997 (23)

Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1 : 32 134 (22)

Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-RedBull) 1 : 32 169 (28)

Logan Sargeant (IS.-U./Williams-Mercedes) 1 : 32 619 (27)

Nyck de Vries (NED/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:34,637 (10)