Max Verstappen topped FP1 in Austria, with the soft compound proving tricky to drive on, with many spins and even more lock ups.
It was time for FP1 in Austria. It was the second time in as many weeks Formula 1 had been in the Styrian hills, and again it was a dry Friday for F1 action, but threatening clouds were around. The tires are a step softer this weekend over last time, meaning higher degradation which could shake up the field just a bit.
Red Bull dominated the Styrian Grand Prix, with Max Verstappen winning the race from Lewis Hamilton, with Valtteri Bottas third. The result moved Red Bull 40 points ahead in the constructors’ title, with Verstappen 18 ahead of Hamilton.
Points aren’t handed out on Friday though, and this session would be one of dialing the car in, feeling the track conditions, and getting to grips with the softer tires around the track.
The session went green then, and a line of cars left the pits to put laps in. Pirelli brought a prototype tire which the teams needed to test in the session, so they did that early. Ferrari had both drivers lock up in turn 1, with Charles Leclerc doing a proper job of it, ruining his front right.
Yuki Tsunoda ran off at the exit of turn 4, then Lance Stroll had a massive moment between turns 6 and 7, spinning into the grass at high speed. Both got out unscathed, though the same couldn’t be said for Stroll’s tires.
Nikita Mazepin got in the way of Kimi Raikkonen as he came into the pits, almost causing an accident, and getting the middle finger from the Alfa Romeo driver. Stroll spun again, getting close to the wall at the final corner after losing it under power. It was not a good day for the Canadian.
The session finished then, with almost every driver struggling on the soft compound. Verstappen was fastest, from Leclerc and Carlos Sainz in a good showing for Ferrari. It was a good session for Alfa Romeo too, with Kimi Raikkonen sixth, and Callum Ilott 16th as a Friday driver.
The top five are as follows
|1||M. Verstappen||Red Bull Racing|
|2||C. Leclerc||Scuderia Ferrari|
|3||C. Sainz||Scuderia Ferrari|