Styrian Grand Prix – Max Verstappen was the quickest driver in the opening practice session for this weekend’s Styrian race in Austria.
Red Bull Racing’s Verstappen was the only driver to put in a time under sixty-six seconds as he posted 1:05.910 just over halfway through the session when all teams started their soft tyre runs. Pierre Gasly had briefly held the top of the table for AlphaTauri before the Dutchman’s time and he ended second, just 0.256 seconds off.
The two Mercedes cars were third and fourth, Lewis Hamilton 0.422 behind the Red Bull while Valtteri Bottas was five hundredths further back from his teammate.
As has been a regular topic of conversation at the majority of events recently, track limits were once again a feature of the session with many lap times being deleted after drivers drifted outside the stated limits. Instead of the white line at the edge of the track, this weekend it’s going further than the red and white kerb beyond that line that will have the stewards pressing the delete button on a lap time.
The seconds AlphaTauri, Yuki Tsunoda’s car, had a best of 1:06.397 to see him fifth on the timesheets while the two Alpines lined up behind him. Sixth was Fernando Alonso 0.609 off Verstappen’s time and Esteban Ocon a few hundredths slower in seventh.
Lance Stroll was the fastest of the Aston Martins finishing the first practice in eighth with a 1:06.584 while Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi slotted in ninth. Charles Leclerc took the final spot in the top ten with a 1:06.629 just 0.001 seconds quicker than his Ferrari teammate Carlos Sainz.
Robert Kubica was in Kimi Raikkonen’s Alfa Romeo for the session and the Pole’s time of 1:07.823 saw him end in nineteenth, splitting the Haas cars.