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Verstappen pips Leclerc in Austrian GP FP1

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 08: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 08, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images) // Getty Images / Red Bull Content Pool.

Max Verstappen topped the timesheets of the first free practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Teams and drivers had only one hour to prepare for the qualifying session that would take place later on Friday.

All drivers left their garages in the opening minutes of the session. Max Verstappen was greeted by the Dutch fans straightaway.

The other Red Bull Racing driver, Sergio Perez, went wide at the exit of turn 4. He was not stuck in gravel and kept going. Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly was told that it was very windy at the race track.

The practice was red-flagged as Lando Norris had stopped right outside the track because of mechanical issues.

After Norris’ car was removed, the session continued and drivers continued their programs. Soft tires were used for the first time this weekend. The session had to be stopped again because of debris at the exit of turn 6. It allowed McLaren to push damaged Norris’ car to the garage.

Sebastian Vettel appeared to have impeded Verstappen during his flying lap. The Dutchman was not happy with the actions of the Aston Martin driver. Gasly was also frustrated with one of Ferrari drivers for the same reason.

Verstappen set the quickest lap time of FP1. Charles Leclerc was second, while George Russell followed them in the top 3.

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