MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) – Carlos Sange and Charles Leclerc led one or two Ferrari sweeps in the first practice session for the Australian Grand Prix on Sunday.
Sainz completed the modified Albert Park circuit with a time of 1 minute, 19.806 seconds, Leclerc .571 seconds behind.
Red Bull driver Sergio Perez and defending series champion Max Verstappen were third and fourth-fast before the second practice session after Friday. There will be another practice session on Saturday before the last afternoon of the qualifying round for Sunday’s race.
Lewis Hamilton was seventh-fast in his Mercedes and local hope Daniel Ricciardo was eighth in his McLaren.
Leclerc won the opening race of the season in Bahrain and Verstappen finished second in Saudi Arabia, both in March.
In a major renovation of the track, five angles were re-profiled at Albert Park and two were completely removed, meaning practice times were typically five seconds faster than in previous races.
The inaugural practice session came in 756 days since the 2020 race was canceled at the last minute due to the Covid-19 epidemic with a line at the visitors’ gate for the first practice session on Friday, March 13 of that year.