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Practice report
Formula 1 Austrian GP

F1 Austrian GP: Verstappen beats Sainz to head FP1

Max Verstappen headed the sole Formula 1 practice session at the Austrian Grand Prix, beating earlier headliner Carlos Sainz at the death with a 1m05.742s.

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB19

On a warm and sunny afternoon in the Styrian hills, Lewis Hamilton opened the session with a 1m09.021s, but Max Verstappen's 1m08.094s soon blew that into the reeds as the current championship leader made the most of the session's early phases.

Sergio Perez turned up the pace with a 1m07.595s lap to go top and, although Verstappen closed off the opening five minutes with a 1m07.145s, the Mexican posted a 1m07.111s to continue the early tete-a-tete over the fastest time - both circulating on the hard compound tyres.

Verstappen hit back with a 1m06.961s to demonstrate Red Bull's early duopoly at its home circuit, but this was interrupted by Fernando Alonso's 1m06.656s on the yellow-walled Pirelli boots as the Spaniard flew to the top.

A scant 0.058s in hand proved enough for Verstappen to reclaim the top spot, before Hamilton punched in a 1m06.416s to move above his 2021 title rival.

The order remained relatively settled as the opening half-hour came to a close, although the top five was later disrupted by the presence of Alex Albon on soft tyres, following Williams' decision to forgo the opening 20 minutes of the session.

As the session approached its final 15 minutes, more teams elected to explore the limits of the Red Bull Ring circuit on soft tyres in preparation for qualifying later in the day.

Lance Stroll launched himself into second, just 0.134s away from Hamilton's time on the hard tyre, but the top three swiftly changed as Charles Leclerc went to the top on soft tyres. Perez then moved up to second on the medium, before the two were beaten by Verstappen's 1m06.084s on the middle tyre set.

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Carlos Sainz, Ferrari SF-23

Photo by: Steven Tee / Motorsport Images

Carlos Sainz then posted a 1m05.983s on his first flying run on softs, a tenth faster than Verstappen, and took the chequered flag as the full hour elapsed with the Spanish driver on top.

But Verstappen's final lap was good enough to usurp Sainz at the end of the session, posting a 1m05.742s on the medium tyre following a trio of build laps and setting a comparatively leisurely opening sector.

Leclerc filtered into third having beaten Verstappen's prior lap to sit 0.03s behind team-mate Sainz in the timing order, as Hamilton's sole soft-tyre run was half a second off the pace.

Perez and Stroll were fifth and sixth fastest, the Canadian having run over debris earlier on in the session but suffering no ill effects. Haas' Kevin Magnussen was seventh on the timing boards and had time to indulge in a minor contretemps with Nyck de Vries - who did not understand why the Dane moved over on him on the exit of Turn 1.

Alonso was eighth fastest without a soft tyre run, while George Russell's ninth-fastest time was set on the hard tyre. Zhou Guanyu completed the top 10, ahead of the late-starting Albon in the session.

Lando Norris propped up the table despite having the full fleet of new McLaren upgrades on his car after getting out of the car early and failing to complete a final soft tyre lap as the team was spotted tinkering with his front wing.

F1 Austrian GP - FP1 results

Cla Driver Chassis Engine Time Gap
1 Netherlands Max Verstappen Red Bull Red Bull 1'05.742  
2 Spain Carlos Sainz Ferrari Ferrari 1'05.983 0.241
3 Monaco Charles Leclerc Ferrari Ferrari 1'06.012 0.270
4 United Kingdom Lewis Hamilton Mercedes Mercedes 1'06.251 0.509
5 Mexico Sergio Perez Red Bull Red Bull 1'06.262 0.520
6 Canada Lance Stroll Aston Martin Mercedes 1'06.340 0.598
7 Denmark Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari 1'06.497 0.755
8 Spain Fernando Alonso Aston Martin Mercedes 1'06.656 0.914
9 United Kingdom George Russell Mercedes Mercedes 1'06.696 0.954
10 China Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'06.780 1.038
11 Thailand Alex Albon Williams Mercedes 1'06.794 1.052
12 Australia Oscar Piastri McLaren Mercedes 1'06.809 1.067
13 Germany Nico Hulkenberg Haas Ferrari 1'06.846 1.104
14 Finland Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo Ferrari 1'06.847 1.105
15 Japan Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri Red Bull 1'06.985 1.243
16 Netherlands Nyck de Vries AlphaTauri Red Bull 1'07.017 1.275
17 United States Logan Sargeant Williams Mercedes 1'07.018 1.276
18 France Esteban Ocon Alpine Renault 1'07.202 1.460
19 France Pierre Gasly Alpine Renault 1'07.287 1.545
20 United Kingdom Lando Norris McLaren Mercedes 1'07.368 1.626

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