On home soil, Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the first free practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix ahead of Charles Leclerc and George Russell.
After a difficult Sunday at Silverstone, Max Verstappen is off to a good start in Austria! The reigning world champion, on the circuit belonging to his employer, started the weekend perfectly by settling at the top of the time sheet during the first free practice session. With a best lap of 1’06”557, the Dutchman saw Charles Leclerc wait for the last minutes to get closer but without managing to close the gap under a quarter of a second.
After a return to form largely linked to the characteristics of the Silverstone circuit, Mercedes was able to place George Russell in third place in this session, four tenths of a second from the reference established by Max Verstappen. As with Lewis Hamilton, author of the fifth time at six tenths, the W13 has not been seen taking the rebounds that have made life impossible for the two Britons at the wheel since the start of the season.
It all went wrong for Lando in practice 😖
The McLaren driver jumped out quickly after reporting smoke from under his seat 💨#AustrianGP #F1 pic.twitter.com/NhwvHU3gkV
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 8, 2022
Sainz at a good distance, Ocon and Gasly also
Between the two Mercedes drivers, at the wheel of a Red Bull Racing which he readily admits to being less suited to his driving over time, Sergio Pérez settles for fourth time half a second behind his teammate. Winner of his first Grand Prix last weekend, Carlos Sainz Jr had a lackluster start to the weekend with the seventh fastest time. The Spaniard was even overtaken by Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.
The Top 10 of this session is completed by Fernando Alonso, Mick Schumacher and Yuki Tsunoda, who are the last to be less than a second behind the best time on the Austrian turnstile. Esteban Ocon, who remains on a retirement in Great Britain, could not do better than the 12th time when Pierre Gasly was classified 16th despite a great attendance on the track. Before the qualifications, brought forward to this Friday to make way for a sprint this Saturday, the teams will have little time to learn from this session interrupted twice by the red flagfirst due to a fire on Lando Norris’ single-seater and then due to debris on the track.
FORMULA 1 / AUSTRIAN GRAND PRIX
Classification of free practice 1 – Friday July 8, 2022
1- Max Verstappen (PBS/Red Bull Racing) in 1’06”302
2- Charles Leclerc (MCO / Ferrari) at 0”255
3- George Russell (GBR/Mercedes) at 0”400
4- Sergio Pérez (MEX/Red Bull Racing) at 0.537
5- Lewis Hamilton (GBR/Mercedes) at 0.607
6- Kevin Magnussen (DAN / Haas) at 0”663
7- Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP/Ferrari) at 0”737
8- Fernando Alonso (ESP / Alpine) at 0”798
9- Mick Schumacher (ALL / Haas) at 0”944
10- Yuki Tsunoda (JAP / AlphaTauri) at 0”994
12- Esteban Ocon (FRA / Alpine) at 1”160
16- Pierre Gasly (FRA / AlphaTauri) at 1”290