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AUS GP: FREE PRACTICE

An update from free practice at Albert Park as the Bulls get their season underway ahead of Sunday’s Australian Grand Prix.

Daniel was the first of the Bulls to head out for FP1 at his home Grand Prix setting a fastest lap time of 1:25.063 which was good enough for P6. Meanwhile Max enjoyed his first laps of the Melbourne circuit finishing in P3 with a best time of 1:24.771.

In Free Practice Two it was Max who took to the Albert Park street circuit first completing 34 laps with a best time of 1:24.058 to end Friday in P2. Meanwhile Daniel managed 28 laps with a best time of 1:24.721 to finish Friday in P7.

Wet conditions for the start of Saturday's Free Practice session meant the Bulls were held in the garage until the rain eased. Max was the first to eventually head out on inters posting a best time of 1:31.680 for P4 over 8 laps. Meanwhile Daniel completed 14 laps with a best time of 1:34.043 in FP3.

MAX VERSTAPPEN

"For me this has been a positive start to the weekend so I am really happy about that. The car has behaved well on this track which is always pleasing after only running in Barcelona to date. Of course we have only done two practice sessions so it is still hard to see who is strongest and how we will finish come race day.

It is a bit of a guess when you come to the first circuit of the season. It takes at least two or three Grand Prix to understand what is going on, it then also depends on everyone's development rate throughout the year.

Race pace looks good, I think there is definitely some room for improvement and Mercedes look pretty strong, but I'm not concerned with how it looks at the moment. A little bit of rain over the rest of the weekend would help us out. Being wet means performance is less engine dependent and makes the power tricky to control. Our car is usually strong in the wet and I enjoy myself so fingers crossed we get some rain."

DANIEL RICCIARDO

"The car was ok today but I was definitely happier with the long runs than the short. My low fuel run got cut short by the red flag, but to be honest, after doing about nine turns on that lap I wasn't fully happy with the balance. I think I would have been a bit quicker than on the soft tyre and moved up from where we are but I still don't think it would have been a P1 lap time.

We still have a bit of work to do but generally it's not been a bad day. I got a good feel for the car and I think tomorrow is going to be wet so I don't know how relevant today will be. Looking at the times it's nice to see that everyone seems to be pretty close and hopefully that's the reality. It would be great if the top three teams and even Haas can be close as it would be a pretty nice start to the new season."