Austrian Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two

Lewis Hamilton led a one-two for the Mercedes Formula 1 team in the opening practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix

Austrian Grand Prix practice: Lewis Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two

Hamilton edged team-mate Valtteri Bottas by just over a tenth at the Red Bull Ring, as Max Verstappen beat Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel into third place.

Verstappen was the first driver to set a lap time and became an early session spinner when he ran wide exiting Turn 4, dipping his left-side wheels into the gravel and performing a neat 360-degree spin in his Red Bull before continuing.

When the serious running kicked off on supersofts Mercedes was quick to the hit the front with its updated car. Bottas and Hamilton were first into the 1m05s and Hamilton assuming control on a 1m05.525s at mid-distance.

Bottas emerged on ultrasofts just before his team-mate and reclaimed first place on a 1m05.354s, but Hamilton hit back immediately with a time three tenths of a second faster.

Vettel then split the Mercedes in his Ferrari and traded second place with Bottas over a succession of laps before Verstappen set a 1m05.072s on fresh ultrasofts to slot in just 0.045s behind Hamilton.

Mercedes' one-two was soon re-established though, as both drivers dipped below the 1m05s-mark - Hamilton on a 1m04.839s and Bottas just over a tenth back.

That remained the lead order, with Verstappen's best enough to keep him a tenth clear of Vettel in the best of the Ferraris.

Daniel Ricciardo beat the second Ferrari of Kimi Raikkonen - whose ultrasoft running was limited when he flatspotted his tyres - but was four-tenths down on his team-mate Verstappen.

Ricciardo had been rapid on the early runs, using soft tyres as others used supersofts and ultrasofts, but then spent quite a lot of time in the garage as Red Bull checked for damage following a big kerb hit.

He improved but did not make massive progress when he emerged on Pirelli's softest rubber and stayed fifth, three tenths clear of Raikkonen.

Romain Grosjean earned initial best-of-the-rest honours for Haas in seventh, 0.027s faster than Force India's Esteban Ocon, with both drivers only using supersoft tyres.

Sauber's strong form continued with Charles Leclerc ninth, on ultrasofts, while Toro Rosso driver Pierre Gasly completed the top 10 on supersofts.

Gasly lost a piece of his Toro Rosso's front wing running wide at the fast penultimate corner.

Stoffel Vandoorne damaged his McLaren more significantly, breaking the tip of his nose when he took to the run-off between the two right-handers that end the lap.

Vandoorne wound up 18th, one place behind team-mate Fernando Alonso, as McLaren steered clear of the ultrasoft tyre.

An eventful session for Vandoorne also included a pitlane near-miss with Vettel that will be investigated after the stewards at lunchtime.

McLaren was the slowest team and its drivers were faster only than Toro Rosso's Brendon Hartley and Williams reserve Robert Kubica, who was slowest of all and 0.9s behind team-mate Lance Stroll as he replaced Sergey Sirotkin for opening practice.

FP1 times

Pos Driver Car Time Gap Laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m04.839s - 39
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m04.966s 0.127s 39
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull/Renault 1m05.072s 0.233s 42
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1m05.180s 0.341s 29
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull/Renault 1m05.483s 0.644s 22
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1m05.776s 0.937s 31
7 Romain Grosjean Haas/Ferrari 1m06.028s 1.189s 31
8 Esteban Ocon Force India/Mercedes 1m06.055s 1.216s 40
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber/Ferrari 1m06.215s 1.376s 31
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso/Honda 1m06.394s 1.555s 36
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber/Ferrari 1m06.400s 1.561s 32
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1m06.404s 1.565s 23
13 Carlos Sainz Jr. Renault 1m06.427s 1.588s 29
14 Sergio Perez Force India/Mercedes 1m06.455s 1.616s 42
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1m06.479s 1.640s 35
16 Lance Stroll Williams/Mercedes 1m06.567s 1.728s 32
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren/Renault 1m06.612s 1.773s 30
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren/Renault 1m06.698s 1.859s 30
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso/Honda 1m06.871s 2.032s 45
20 Robert Kubica Williams/Mercedes 1m07.424s 2.585s 38


shares
comments
Austrian GP: Red Bulls, Alonso not using Renault's new F1 MGU-K

Previous article

Austrian GP: Red Bulls, Alonso not using Renault's new F1 MGU-K

Next article

Has F1 sanitised its soul?

Has F1 sanitised its soul?
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Lewis Hamilton
Teams Mercedes
Author Scott Mitchell
The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture Plus

The delay that quashed Aston Martin’s last F1 venture

Aston Martin’s only previous foray into Formula 1 in the late 1950s was a short-lived and unsuccessful affair. But it could have been so different, says NIGEL ROEBUCK

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace Plus

Verstappen exclusive: Why lack of car-racing titles won't hurt Red Bull's ace

Max Verstappen’s star quality in Formula 1 is clear. Now equipped with a Red Bull car that is, right now, the world title favourite and the experience to support his talent, could 2021 be the Dutchman’s year to topple the dominant force of Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes?

Formula 1
Apr 9, 2021
Are we at peak F1 right now? Plus

Are we at peak F1 right now?

For many, many years Formula 1 has strived to do and to be better on all fronts. With close competition, a growing fanbase, a stable political landscape and rules in place to encourage sustainability, 2021 is on course to provide an unexpected peak

Formula 1
Apr 8, 2021
How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021 Plus

How crucial marginal calls will decide the Red Bull vs Mercedes battle in F1 2021

The longer Red Bull can maintain a performance edge over Mercedes, the better the odds will be in the team’s favour against the defending world champions. But as the Bahrain Grand Prix showed, many more factors will be critical in the outcome of the 2021 Formula 1 World Championship

Formula 1
Apr 7, 2021
How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend Plus

How Williams’ new structure adheres to a growing F1 trend

Williams held out against the tide for many years but, as MARK GALLAGHER explains, the age of the owner-manager is long gone

Formula 1
Apr 6, 2021
When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m Plus

When a journeyman driver's F1 career lasted just 800m

Nikita Mazepin’s Formula 1 debut at the Bahrain Grand Prix lasted mere corners before he wiped himself out in a shunt, but his financial backing affords him a full season. Back in 1993 though, Marco Apicella was an F1 driver for just 800m before a first corner fracas ended his career. Here’s the story of his very short time at motorsport’s pinnacle

Formula 1
Apr 4, 2021
The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes Plus

The nightmare timing that now hinders Mercedes

Mercedes and Lewis Hamilton took victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix despite, for a change, not having the quickest car. But any hopes of developing its W12 to surpass Red Bull's RB16B in terms of outright speed could not have come at a worse time.

Formula 1
Apr 2, 2021
How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb Plus

How Raikkonen's rapid rise stalled his team-mate's F1 career climb

Kimi Raikkonen’s emergence as a Formula 1 star in his rookie campaign remains one of the legendary storylines from 2001, but his exploits had an unwanted impact on his Sauber team-mate’s own prospects. Twenty years on from his first F1 podium at the Brazilian GP, here’s how Nick Heidfeld’s career was chilled by the Iceman

Formula 1
Apr 1, 2021