FP1: Hamilton sets the pace

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Hamilton and Bottas drove their updated W09 to the top of the sheets at the Red Bull ring during the first practice section, closely chased by Verstappen.

The start of the second event of the now famous triple header kicked off with Max Verstappen getting an early time for the Red Bull home crowd. He later accidently gave a side show for the fans by spinning at turn 4, but could continue without harm. By then Hamilton steadily worked his way up the timesheets and his name was already on top after this runs, having done an already respectable 1m:05.525. The top teams drove completely different stints, with Red Bull choosing the soft tyres, Ferrari the ultra soft tyres and Mercedes choosing the middle way with the super softs.

The second part of the session made times tumble up and down the field, but it kept Mercedes who unleashed the ultra softs at that point, on top, just ahead of the strong looking red bulls. Meanwhile Ferrari kept their reputation of sandbagging seemingly intact, although not being far behind red bull and mercedes.

It proved to be another disastrous outing for both Williams and McLaren, who now seem to be clearly at the bottom of the field. Vandoorne expressed his misery by going wide and thereby breaking part of his front wing. Kubica, WIlliams' reserve and friday driver, ended up full 2.5s behind Hamilton on what is one of the shortest circuits on the calender. Williams somewhat saved face with Stroll in 16th place, but this is a circuit where 4 years ago Massa and Bottas in their WIlliams cars locked out the front row.

Midfield the competition is fiece, with Sauber showing strong pace. The team that was plagued by financial and competitive woes the last few years, seems to have gotten over their bad period and show strong pace with their youngsters, being able to mix in with Haas, Force India, Toro Rosso and Renault. all who have lapped within 0.4s of eachother.


144Lewis HamiltonMercedes AMG1:04.839-39
277Valtteri BottasMercedes AMG1:04.966+0.127s39
333Max VerstappenRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:05.072+0.233s42
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1:05.180+0.341s29
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull Racing TAG Heuer1:05.483+0.644s22
67Kimi RäikkönenFerrari1:05.776+0.937s31
78Romain GrosjeanHaas Ferrari1:06.028+1.189s31
831Esteban OconForce India Mercedes1:06.055+1.216s40
916Charles LeclercSauber Ferrari1:06.215+1.376s31
1010Pierre GaslyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:06.394+1.555s36
119Marcus EricssonSauber Ferrari1:06.400+1.561s32
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari1:06.404+1.565s23
1355Carlos SainzRenault1:06.427+1.588s29
1411Sergio PerezForce India Mercedes1:06.455+1.616s42
1527Nico HulkenbergRenault1:06.479+1.640s35
1618Lance StrollWilliams Mercedes1:06.567+1.728s32
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren Renault1:06.612+1.773s30
182Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren Renault1:06.698+1.859s30
1928Brendon HartleyScuderia Toro Rosso Honda1:06.871+2.032s45
2040Robert KubicaWilliams Mercedes1:07.424+2.585s38