Austrian GP: Verstappen leads the Ferraris in Practice 1

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A new weekend but the same story in Austria as Max Verstappen set the pace in Practice 1 on Friday.

In a session dominated by tyre testing, the Red Bull driver posted a 1m05.143s on the C5 soft compound, the tyre which is new for the second race in Spielberg alongside the C3 and C4.

Before that, drivers also completed stints on a prototype C4 tyre featuring a new rear construction which Pirelli developed following the two failures seen in Baku.

If deemed successful, the new tyres are set to be introduced from the next race at Silverstone.

210008 austrian gp free practice 1

As for this weekend, Ferrari, who shone on race day a week ago, enjoyed a strong start with Charles Leclerc second and Carlos Sainz third.

Mercedes had a subdued session with both drivers not pushing on the prototype tyre, then struggling to extract pace from the C5 compound with Valtteri Bottas fourth and Lewis Hamilton seventh.

Yuki Tsunoda was fifth and Pierre Gasly ninth as AlphaTauri enjoyed a decent start to the weekend, albeit their pace was hidden a little by traffic and lap time deletions for track limits.

Kimi Raikkonen had an early run-in with Nikita Mazepin at the pit-lane entry on the apex of Turn 9. After that, the Finn put in an impressive lap on the soft tyre for P6 in the Alfa Romeo.

Sergio Perez and Gasly set exactly the same time with the Mexican getting P8 after setting it first, as Lando Norris rounded out the top 10 with his best time coming on the medium tyre.

His McLaren teammate Daniel Ricciardo was three-tenths slower despite using the soft tyre in P12, just ahead of Lance Stroll, who had two spins during the session en route to 13th.


Alpine junior Guanyu Zhou enjoyed a solid F1 debut in 14th, finishing four-tenths off regular driver Esteban Ocon in P11.

Ferrari Academy member Callum Ilott was 16th as he made his second practice appearance for Alfa Romeo.

Mick Schumacher was 17th ahead of the two Williams', where development driver Roy Nissany finished ahead of Nicholas Latifi.

Mazepin not only found himself receiving the wrath of Raikkonen and Lewis Hamilton for being slow on the racing line, but he was also the slowest driver overall in 20th, seven-tenths behind Schumacher.

Back at the front, Max Verstappen has once again installed himself as the man to beat at the Red Bull Ring, leaving it upto Mercedes or someone else to catch him if they can.

Full results from Practice 1 can be seen below: