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
How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But how long will their battle remain clean? Jonathan Noble ponders that exact point

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021
How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher Plus

How Hamilton’s qualifying record compares to Senna and Schumacher

Lewis Hamilton has just become the first driver to record 100 world championship Formula 1 pole positions. Time to revisit a debate we discussed when he reached 150 front row starts in 2020.

Formula 1
May 8, 2021