Verstappen enjoyed a comfortable 0.4s margin over his former F1 title rival in a busy FP1 session.

Traffic was an issue throughout the first 40 minutes of action, with a number of teams complaining over team radio to their drivers about having no GPS data.

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The session was red-flagged with 20 minutes to go after the FIA announced that the GPS issue was impacting all of the teams.

The FIA said: "There is a GPS issue and the red flag is necessary for safety reasons with teams not being able to monitor car position and closing speed." 

Once the issue was fixed, the session got back up and running with 13 minutes on the clock.

Before that, the Dutchman dominated the timesheets, running on the soft tyre during both of his runs, while teammate Sergio Perez opted for the mediums before switching to the stickier rubber.

It wasn’t an entirely smooth session for Verstappen, who had a late spin at Turn 4.

He managed to keep it out of the barriers although his softs were completely destroyed.

Hamilton was one of the few drivers to improve following the red flag, slotting into second at a track he’s historically performed at well.

The session was cut short by four minutes due to a late stop for Logan Sargeant, who came to a halt on the exit of Turn 11.

The FIA decided that the session wouldn’t resume, ensuring Verstappen would top FP1 ahead of Hamilton.

Perez was third overall, with the Mexican running off track at Turn 3 during the middle of the session.

Fernando Alonso maintained Aston Martin’s impressive form ahead of Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

Lando Norris was seventh for McLaren, with Pierre Gasly, George Russell and Lance Stroll rounding out the top 10.

Yuki Tsunoda was lucky to keep it out of the barriers after losing the rear of his AlphaTauri at Turn 1.