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Hamilton leads Mercedes one-two in Austria practice – FP1 Report

Austrian Grand Prix – Lewis Hamilton led a Mercedes one-two in the opening free practice session at the Red Bull Ring.

Making good use of the major upgrades brought by Mercedes to the Red Bull Ring, Lewis Hamilton’s topped the time sheets with a 1:04.839, finishing ahead of his team-mate by just 0.127 of a second.

Max Verstappen made an early statement about Red Bull’s pace at one of their home circuits by finishing less than one-quarter of a second off the pace, ahead of Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel. Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen completed the top six.

Verstappen was one of the drivers to push the limits of the Red Bull Ring; the Dutchman ran slightly wide on the exit of turn four which encouraged the car to harmlessly spin around 360 degrees. However, he continued with no damage to the car.

There were also moments for the likes of Raikkonen, Magnussen and Charles Leclerc, who all required the tarmac run-off areas in order to escape damage-free.

With drivers also pushing the limits over the kerbs, particularly on the exit of the fast double-right-handers of turns nine and ten, the cars were subjected to a bit of abuse. McLaren’s Stoffel Vandoorne broke his front wing, whilst others lost minor bits of front wing and flooring.

McLaren are also likely to be in trouble with the stewards; Vandoorne was released from his pit box into the path of Vettel, causing the Ferrari driver to slam on the brakes to avoid a collision. McLaren will likely be looking at fine for their unsafe release.

Looking to put a troublesome start to the season behind him, Haas’ Romain Grosjean finished as the fastest midfielder, leading Force India’s Esteban Ocon, Sauber’s Charles Leclerc and Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly.

To view the full results of the session, click here.

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Luke Murphy

As an FIA-accredited motor sport journalist, degree-level Motorsport Engineer and amateur karter, Luke's passion for motor sport is evident. He is one of the editors at FormulaSpy and one of the longest-standing members of the team.

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