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Sainz tops final Austria practice

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 09: Carlos Sainz of Spain driving (55) the Ferrari F1-75 on track during practice ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 09, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Adam Pretty - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Carlos Sainz has topped the final practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix.

The second and final practice session in Austria went underway under sunny conditions. Max Verstappen and Carlos Sainz were the first drivers to top the time charts. They were followed by a McLaren duo who seemed to have improved after yesterday’s poor qualifying performance, as Norris and Ricciardo placed fourth and sixth respectively.

The first of the Mercedes cars to go out following yesterday’s crash was that of George Russell. The British driver placed 7th through the closing stages of the session as Sainz continued to top the timings. Verstappen was third behind Leclerc, though on Mediums.

There were no signs of Lewis Hamilton for almost the entire session until the Mercedes finally came out with less than 20 minutes to the end. The 7-time World Champion set some laps around with the yellow compound and sat just inside the top 10 ahead of Norris, who now had dropped back to P10 while his teammate sat in a disappointing 17th – not good signs for the McLaren team.

Both Alpine cars placed comfortably in P4 and P5 – Alonso and Ocon respectively – both with the red compound. The French squad is hoping to have a strong weekend in Austria and these practice results are a promising sign.

In the end, the session was topped by Sainz with a time of 1:08.610 (S) followed by Leclerc +0.050 (S) and Verstappen +0.168 (S).

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