FP1: Hamilton on top in his upgraded W09

Lewis Hamilton put his W09’s upgrades to good use as he set the pace in Austria, topping a Mercedes 1-2.

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Racing updated bodywork to go with their French upgraded engine, Mercedes were the team to beat as Formula 1 took to the Red Bull Ring for Friday’s first practice.

Starting on the supersofts, Hamilton and Bottas traded P1s and continued to do so as they swapped to the ultrasofts for a second run.

Hamilton’s 1:04.839 was the fastest time of the morning with Bottas in second place, 0.127s down.

While the session may have ended with a Mercedes 1-2, the Brackley squad didn’t dominate at Formula 1’s shortest race track.

Both Red Bull and Ferrari held down second place at various moments of the session with Max Verstappen falling to third and Sebastian Vettel to fourth.

They were 0.233s and 0.341s off the pace respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo was fifth fastest on the soft tyres while Kimi Raikkonen, who flat-spotted his ultrasoft tyres and did not put in a comparative time, was sixth.

Romain Grosjean was seventh ahead of Esteban Ocon, Charles Leclerc and Pierre Gasly.

Robert Kubica was back in action for Williams, taking part in his second FP1 session with his new F1 team.

Unfortunately, it didn’t yield the results his fans would have wanted as he was slowest of all.

Williams, though, revealed that Kubica was running a different programme of workman-like concepts and was not going for pace.

As seen too often this season, traffic proved to be a problem, however, the most notable incident took place in the pits.

Stoffel Vandoorne was released into the path of Vettel with the Ferrari driver forced to brake hard. He complained that he “nearly crashed into the McLaren.”

Vandoorne is under investigation for an unsafe release.

Meanwhile, Pierre Gasly used some delightful language towards Charles Leclerc as he found his path blocked into Turn 1 by a slow Sauber.

Times
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.839 37 laps
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.127s 37 laps
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull 0.233s 40 laps
4 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 0.341s 27 laps
5 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull 0.644s 20 laps
6 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 0.937s 29 laps
7 Romain Grosjean Haas 1.189s 29 laps
8 Esteban Ocon Force India 1.216s 38 laps
9 Charles Leclerc Sauber 1.376s 29 laps
10 Pierre Gasly Toro Rosso 1.555s 34 laps
11 Marcus Ericsson Sauber 1.561s 30 laps
12 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1.565s 23 laps
13 Carlos Sainz Renault 1.588s 27 laps
14 Sergio Perez Force India 1.616s 40 laps
15 Nico Hulkenberg Renault 1.64s 33 laps
16 Lance Stroll Williams 1.728s 30 laps
17 Fernando Alonso McLaren 1.773s 28 laps
18 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1.859s 29 laps
19 Brendon Hartley Toro Rosso 2.032s 43 laps
20 Robert Kubica Williams 2.585s 36 laps

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