The opening practice session of the Formula 1 Australian Grand Prix saw Max Verstappen leading the pack ahead of Lewis Hamilton, although not without some tense moments. Verstappen took the top spot with a time of 1m18.790s on soft tires, but his RB19 spun out on the curbs of Turn 4 with just six minutes of the session remaining. Meanwhile, his Red Bull teammate, Perez, also had a shaky moment when he ran wide onto the grass at Turn 3 while on a soft-tire run, leaving his fastest effort on mediums and allowing Hamilton to take second place.
The session was halted twice due to GPS issues and a stoppage caused by Logan Sargeant’s Williams, which ground to a halt on the exit of the high-speed Turns on 11/12.
Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin finished fourth, trailing Verstappen by 0.527s on soft tires. Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz of Ferrari took fifth and sixth place, respectively, with Leclerc being 0.061s slower than Alonso. McLaren driver Lando Norris managed to take sixth place, just 0.031s behind Sainz.
Pierre Gasly of Alpine finished eighth ahead of George Russell of Mercedes and Lance Stroll of Aston Martin, who completed the top 10. Yuki Tsunoda of AlphaTauri had a close call when he spun across the grass on the exit of Turn 1 but managed to avoid hitting the barriers. However, his car sustained damage, causing him to end up in 17th place.
Kevin Magnussen had a difficult session, making several errors, including off-track moments at Turn 3 and Turn 10, and ended up being the slowest of all.