Hamilton fastest as Austrian GP weekend kicks off

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Lewis Hamilton topped Max Verstappen and team mate Valtteri Bottas in the first free practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix weekend. The Mercedes driver used the soft - the hardest tyre available this weekend - to go fastest in a record breaking 1:05.975.

Verstappen was the closest challenger, even though he brushed the barriers early on, resulting in a bit of time in the box until his car was given the all clear by his mechanics. The Dutchman went on to challenge Hamilton's best in the closing stages, but saw his effort come to a halt as he spun in Turn 3 following a purple first sector.

Sebastian Vettel was the fastest Ferrari driver in fourth, ahead of Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen. Both Ferrari drivers completed considerably less laps than the Mercedes pair. The duo also spun early in the session, both at Turn 1.

At McLaren, Stoffel Vandoorne and Fernando Alonso seemed to enjoy the improved power output and chassis upgrades as their performances saw McLaren-Honda get both cars in the top 10. They sandwished Daniil Kvyat while Esteban Ocon completed the top 10 for Force India.

Felipe Massa was 11th, half a second faster than his team mate and Baku podium finisher, Lance Stroll. The duo were busy evaluating a raft of aerodynamic updates on the Williams, so it is likely both will improve in FP2 or later in the weekend, if the team can verify the updates are working - something that hasn't always been the case recently.

The session saw many spins and offs, but interestingly none from the Friday only drivers. Sergey Sirotkin stood in for Nico Hulkenberg at Renault whereas Alfonso Celis took the wheel of Sergio Perez' Force India. Both finished 17th and 18th respectively, ahead only of the Sauber duo.

Results

Pos.No.DriverCarTimeGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:05.975-38
233Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:06.165+0.190s23
377Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:06.345+0.370s35
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1:06.424+0.449s28
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing Tag Heuer1:06.620+0.645s32
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:06.848+0.873s24
72Stoffel VandoorneMclaren Honda1:07.283+1.308s31
826Daniil KvyatToro Rosso1:07.437+1.462s31
914Fernando AlonsoMclaren Honda1:07.510+1.535s28
1031Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:07.511+1.536s39
1119Felipe MassaWilliams Mercedes1:07.550+1.575s29
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:07.594+1.619s30
1355Carlos SainzToro Rosso1:07.633+1.658s32
1430Jolyon PalmerRenault1:07.649+1.674s31
1518Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:08.041+2.066s35
168Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:08.074+2.099s20
1746Sergey SirotkinRenault1:08.586+2.611s27
1834Alfonso CelisForce India Mercedes1:09.280+3.305s15
1994Pascal WehrleinSauber Ferrari1:09.323+3.348s29
209Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:10.853+4.878s12