Austrian Grand Prix | Verstappen fastest in free practice

(Spielberg bei Knittelfeld) Max Verstappen (Red Bull), undisputed leader of the Formula 1 world championship, dominated the only free practice session before qualifying in Austria, postponed to Friday due to the sprint race scheduled for Saturday.

The reigning double world champion, already in search of a seventh victory this season, finished ahead of Ferraris Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc, just over 2/10e from Dutch.

Briton Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) has long held the best time, performed on hard rubber, during a first part of the session used by the teams to prepare for the long stints and therefore the race on Sunday. “The car looks fine,” the seven-time world champion told his team during the hour of driving, still looking for his first victory since 2021.

At the end of the session, when the teams put on the soft ones (like the Ferraris) or the medium ones (like Verstappen) to test themselves on a fast lap before qualifying at 5 p.m., Verstappen arose, ahead of the Scuderia in difficulty this season.

These tests are all the more important as they represented the only test on the Red Bull Ring before the battle for pole position, in a weekend turned upside down by the sprint format.

For the second time this year after Baku, a sprint race will take place on Saturday before the Grand Prix on Sunday. Friday’s qualifying sets the starting grid for Sunday. On the other hand, a proper qualification will take place on Saturday noon for the sprint.

1D free practice session

  • Max Verstappen (NED/Red Bull) 1:05,742 (30 laps)
  • Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) 1:05,983 (32)
  • Charles Leclerc (MON/Ferrari) 1:06,012 (33)
  • Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) 1:06,251 (34)
  • Sergio Perez (MEX/Red Bull) 1:06,262 (32)
  • Lance Stroll (CAN/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:06,340 (29)
  • Kevin Magnussen (DEN/Haas-Ferrari) 1:06,497 (27)
  • Fernando Alonso (ESP/Aston Martin-Mercedes) 1:06,656 (31)
  • George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) 1:06,696 (28)
  • Zhou Guanyu (CHN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:06,780 (33)
  • Alexander Albon (THA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:06,794 (23)
  • Oscar Piastri (AUS/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:06 809 (36)
  • Nico Hulkenberg (GER/Haas-Ferrari) 1:06,846 (30)
  • Valtteri Bottas (FIN/Alfa Romeo-Ferrari) 1:06,847 (33)
  • Yuki Tsunoda (JPN/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:06,985 (34)
  • Nyck de Vries (NED/AlphaTauri-Red Bull) 1:07,017 (36)
  • Logan Sargeant (USA/Williams-Mercedes) 1:07,018 (25)
  • Esteban Ocon (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:07,202 (30)
  • Pierre Gasly (FRA/Alpine-Renault) 1:07,287 (28)
  • Lando Norris (GBR/McLaren-Mercedes) 1:07,368 (20)

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