topped first Practice in Hong Kong for in a predominantly wet and humid session.



After a downpour mere minutes before Free Practice One, the first session in Hong Kong started in damp conditions and given the race was to be a much drier affair, teams were reluctant to send their drivers out into a potential incident-driven session.


Likewise, it would be a compromised session in terms of set-up, with little experimentation happening with spring rates with the anticipation of drier weather later in the year. Ride height was explored however, with potential time to be gained over the kerbs.


Nonetheless, drivers eventually began making exploratory laps around the circuit, albeit having to negotiate massive wheel spin on the standing water. The Gen-2 machinery was better suited to these conditions than its predecessor was, with the rear diffuser working overtime to rid excess water.


Remarkably, Pascal Wehrlein was the first to engage Attack Mode, perhaps to give himself an indication of how his Mahindra might perform should it be a wet race. Meanwhile, Jose Maria Lopez was the first to investigate the escape road in his Geox Dragon entry.


Robin Frijns and Sebastien Buemi were the first into the 1min 12’s with Andre Lotterer soon slotting into third. Buemi and Lotterer would soon take over the top two sport with the Venturi of Felipe Massa joining the top three.


The surprise packet for HWA was Gary Paffett, who slotted into second behind Lotterer in the dying minutes of the session, only to be usurped by Oliver Rowland. Paffett would later stop on track bringing out the yellow flags.


 Image: ABB