Austria, FP1: Hamilton leads Mercedes 1-2
Practice gets underway in Spielberg
Lewis Hamilton topped the first free practice timesheets at the Austrian Grand Prix weekend got underway at the Red Bull Ring, with the champion leading a Mercedes 1-2 ahead of Valtteri Bottas, with Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen third at the Anglo-Austrian team’s home event.
The Dutch driver was the first to set a lap time in the session and he was also an early spinner when he momentarily dropped the rear wheels of his RB14 into the gravel at Turn 4. His car pirouetted through 360 degrees but Verstappen was quickly on his way again.
Mercedes then led the way on superfast tyres until mid-session before Bottas then increased the pace on ultrasofts with a lap of 1:05.354s. His time at the top was brief, however, as Hamilton jumped to the top of the order by a considerable margin.
The times then ebbed and flowed as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel joined the party and split the Mercedes and then Verstappen also found more pace on ultrasofts with his session-best time of 1:05.072.
The Red Bull driver, who is supported by a huge Dutch contingent in Austria, was the pushed to third place when Hamilton restored supremacy with a time of 1:04.839 and Bottas set his best time of the 90 minutes, a 1:04.966 that left him 0.127s behind his team-mate.
Verstapen then finished third, a tenth clear of Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo finished fifth in the second Red Bull, though he was four tenths adrift of his team-mate.
Kimi Räikkönen took sixth place, almost three tenths down on Ricciardo. Räikkönen was the last man inside a second of Hamilton’s time.
Romain Grosjean took best-of-the-rest honours in the opening session with a time of 1:06.028, 1.189s adrift of first place 0.027s ahead of Force India’s Esteban Ocon.
Sauber’s Charles Leclerc continued his recent good form with ninth place and a time of 1:06.215, while Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly rounded out the top ten. 1.555s on Hamilton’s best.
|01||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes AMG||1:04.839||39|
|02||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes AMG||1:04.966||39|
|03||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Tag Heuer||1:05.072||42|
|05||Daniel Ricciardo||Red Bull Tag Heuer||1:05.483||22|
|07||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||1:06.028||31|
|08||Esteban Ocon||Force India Mercedes||1:06.055||40|
|09||Charles Leclerc||Sauber Ferrari||1:06.215||31|
|10||Pierre Gasly||Toro Rosso Honda||1:06.394||36|
|11||Marcus Ericsson||Sauber Ferrari||1:06.400||32|
|12||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||1:06.464||23|
|13||Carlos Sainz||Renault F1||1:06.427||29|
|14||Sergio Perez||Force India Mercedes||1:06.455||42|
|15||Nico Hulkenberg||Renault F1||1:06.479||35|
|16||Lance Stroll||Williams Mercedes||1:06.567||32|
|17||Fernando Alonso||McLaren Renault||1:06.612||30|
|18||Stoffel Vandoorne||McLaren Renault||1:06.698||30|
|19||Brendon Hartley||Toro Rosso Honda||1:06.871||45|
|20||Robert Kubica||Williams Mercedes||1:07.424||38|