Styria, FP1: Sergio Pérez tops opening practice at first Styrian Grand Prix
Verstappen 2nd, Bottas 3rd
Sergio Pérez went quickest in the opening practice session for the first Styrian Grand Prix, with the Racing Point driver beating Red Bull’s Max Verstappen by less than a tenths of a second. Mercedes’s Valtteri Bottas was third.
McLaren’s Carlos Sainz set the pace in the early part of the 90-minute session, a period that was characterised by a number of team running aerodynamic rakes as they tested development parts ahead of the second event of the season at the Red Bull Ring.
Red Bull’s Alex Albon then moved to the top of the order on medium tyres before ceding he position to team-mate Max Verstappen who set time of 1:06.087s, also on medium compound Pirelli tyres.
Verstappen then chipped away at his benchmark until the session was red-flagged a third of the way through when Williams’s Nicholas Latifi stopped at Turn 5. The Canadian driver reported that his engine had lost power.
Once running resumed Verstappen continued to improve on medium tyres, eventually reaching 1:05.760s as the halfway mark approached.
Mercedes’s Bottas and Lewis Hamilton then moved to medium tyres and after Bottas enjoyed a very brief spell at the top, Hamilton took over with a lap of 1m05.208s.
Pérez then went out on softs tyres and took P1 with a lap of 1:04.867s just before the one-hour mark. Bottas then took P2 on medium tyres before Verstappen switched to soft compound Pirellis to steal second place just 0.096s off Perez’s best time.
Pérez’s teammate Lance Stroll finished the session in fourth place on a 1:05.396. The Canadian ended the 90 minutes just under a tenth ahead of Red Bull’s Alex Albon, with Sainz seventh ahead of AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly and Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo.
Sebastian Vettel finished 10th for Ferrari, which was trialling its new front wing and floor for the first time.
Further back, Jack Aitken made his F1 weekend debut with Williams and he finished in P17 just ahead of Robert Kubica who made his first practice appearance for Sauber. Haas’ Kevin Magnussen did not set a time due to a possible battery problem.
|01||Sergio Perez||Racing Point Mercedes RP20||1:04.867||32|
|02||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Honda RB16||1:04.963||31|
|03||Valtteri Bottas||Mercedes W11||1:05.089||31|
|04||Lewis Hamilton||Mercedes W11||1:05.120||29|
|05||Lance Stroll||Racing Point Mercedes RP20||1:05.396||36|
|06||Alex Albon||Red Bull Honda RB16||1:05.483||28|
|07||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault MCL35||1:05.602||40|
|08||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda AT01||1:05.698||27|
|09||Daniel Ricciardo||Renault RS20||1:05.769||31|
|10||Sebastian Vettel||Ferrari SF1000||1:05.770||25|
|11||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda AT01||1:05.815||28|
|12||Charles Leclerc||Ferrari SF1000||1:05.837||28|
|13||Esteban Ocon||Renault RS20||1:05.874||35|
|14||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault MCL35||1:05.908||25|
|15||Kimi Raikkonen||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39||1:06.441||23|
|16||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari VF-20||1:06.446||31|
|17||Jack Aitken||Williams Mercedes FW43||1:06.768||35|
|18||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo Ferrari C39||1:06.797||31|
|19||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes FW43||1:09.598||6|
|20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari VF-20||-:—.---||3|