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


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