Monday, April 19, 2021
Home Game Hamilton fastest on F1's return

Hamilton fastest on F1’s return

F1’s six-time champion tops the first session of the delayed 2020 season in Mercedes’ new black car; Verstappen third but spins, while McLaren and Racing Point also start strongly

By James Galloway

Last Updated: 03/07/20 1:43pm








0:56

Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes with its new black livery for the first time during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton drove his Mercedes with its new black livery for the first time during practice for the Austrian Grand Prix.

Lewis Hamilton ensured he made an emphatic start to Formula 1’s return on the first track session of the 2020 season by leading a Mercedes one-two in the team’s new-look car in Austrian GP Practice One.

Some 215 days after Hamilton took the final chequered flag of the last campaign with victory in Abu Dhabi, F1 finally commenced its new season amid strict COVID-19 protocols in the paddock and pit garages at a spectator-free Red Bull Ring.

And it was Hamilton who made the fastest start of all as Mercedes’ powerful new black, anti-racism livery made its first track appearance on the W11.

2:57
Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton says he couldn’t stay silent about racial injustice following protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death

Six-time world champion Lewis Hamilton says he couldn’t stay silent about racial injustice following protests in the wake of George Floyd’s death

Hamilton got faster as the session progressed and ended up three tenths of a second clear of Valtteri Bottas on a 1:04.816.

Max Verstappen was third for Red Bull, the track owners and winners of the last two Austrian GPs. However, the Dutchman was 0.6s off Hamilton’s pace and spun at Turn One.

McLaren finished promising fourth and sixth fastest with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris respectively, with Sergio Perez in the heavily-fancied Racing Point fifth fastest.

2:41
The Sky F1 team are back in the paddock and live at the Austrian GP, adhering the sport’s strict new COVID-19 guidelines

The Sky F1 team are back in the paddock and live at the Austrian GP, adhering the sport’s strict new COVID-19 guidelines

“It’s to be expected to see the Mercedes at the front,” said Sky F1’s Jenson Button. “What I really like is the pack behind them, it’s great to see so many teams close, within a tenth of a second. It’s going to make for a great weekend.

“I think in the next session is when we’ll see the true pace.”

Martin Brundle added: “We do know Mercedes have brought a lot of parts here, so have Red Bull, so I guess the 1-2-3 is not a huge surprise because you can’t hide your speed.”

0:31
Red Bull’s Max Verstappen spun during the opening practice session ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen spun during the opening practice session ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix this weekend.

Ferrari were down in 10th and 12th but ran on harder tyres with their early focus seemingly on race pace. The Scuderia are expecting a more difficult weekend to this race last year – when Charles Leclerc qualified on pole – with the SF1000 not featuring any updates since a disappointing testing programme.

Instead, Ferrari are working on a significant upgrade that is scheduled for the third round of the new season in Hungary in two weeks’ time.

Renault’s Daniel Ricciardo was fastest of those who did not run the softest tyres, the Australian finishing eighth on the mediums, with Haas’ Kevin Magnussen and Leclerc rounding out the top 10.

Austrian GP Practice One Timesheet

Driver Team Time
1. Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.816
2. Valtteri Bottas Mercedes +0.356
3. Max Verstappen Red Bull +0.602
4. Carlos Sainz McLaren +0.615
5. Sergio Perez Racing Point +0.696
6. Lando Norris McLaren +0.805
7. Alexander Albon Red Bull +0.885
8. Daniel Ricciardo Renault +1.044
9. Kevin Magnussen Haas +1.091
10. Charles Leclerc Ferrari +1.108
11. Lance Stroll Racing Point +1.258
12. Sebastian Vettel Ferrari +1.261
13. Esteban Ocon Renault +1.454
14. Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo +1.544
15. Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo +1.549
16. Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri +1.588
17. George Russell Williams +1.679
18. Nicholas Latifi Williams +2.090
19. Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri +2.127
20. Romain Grosjean Haas No time set

The Formula 1 season begins on Friday on Sky Sports F1 with the Austrian GP. Sunday’s race starts at 2.10pm. Find out more & subscribe.

Leave your vote

Comments

0 comments

- Advertisment -

Most Popular

Don’t Miss: How Rogue Legacy handles tutorials without being boring

http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/GamasutraNews/~3/eMI4ToKLy0E/Game_Design_Deep_Dive_How_Rogue_Legacy_handles_tutorials_without_being_boring.php

How Heiskell led Wolverines to first women’s gymnastics title

https://www.espn.com/college-sports/story/_/id/31277939/abby-heiskell-led-michigan-wolverines-their-first-ncaa-women-gymnastics-national-title

Fight Night takeaways: It’s time to book Israel Adesanya vs. Robert Whittaker

https://www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/31279183/ufc-fight-night-takeaways-book-israel-adesanya-vs-robert-whittaker

Man United cut Man City’s lead. They couldn’t, could they?

https://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/4363809/greenwood-goals-boost-man-uniteds-faint-premier-league-title-hopes-they-couldntcould-they

Comments

0 comments

close

Log In

Forgot password?

Forgot password?

Enter your account data and we will send you a link to reset your password.

Your password reset link appears to be invalid or expired.

Log in

Privacy Policy

Add to Collection

No Collections

Here you'll find all collections you've created before.