Max Verstappen closed the FP1 of the GP Austria. The Dutchman, who won last Sunday, made a strong restart this weekend, closing the first free practice session ahead of two Ferrari by Leclerc and Sainz.
A good 60 minutes to try
The teams already took to the track with a good database, those collected in the last weekend of the Styrian GP. Some teams took the opportunity to run some reserve drivers (Nissany in the Williams, Ilott in the Alfa Romeo and Guanyu Zhou on the Alpine, with the Chinese making his debut in an F1 weekend), and all of them tested the Pirellis “prototype“Newly built at the rear that will debut at Silverstone. Mercedes has gone so far as to try a new type of steering wheel, rejected by Hamilton.
The list of times as mentioned has seen Verstappen excel in 1’05″143, doing better than Leclerc for 0 “266 and Sainz for 288 thousandths. Fourth time for Bottas with a delay of 0” 302, then Tsunoda, Raikkonen, Hamilton (+0 “566), Perez, Gasly and Norris, who closed the top 10. In the final session, the teams launched into the first race simulations that will be resumed in the afternoon session.
Ferrari in search of efficiency
After being the slowest on the straight in last Saturday’s qualifying due to the very aerodynamically loaded set-up, on the SF21 a spoon rear wing was fitted this morning, more drained than last weekend’s version. In the first 60 minutes of this weekend, Ferrari chose to take another path in the set-up that will be compared and evaluated with the data already collected in the Styrian GP and then chose the most convincing path, even if the top speeds remained low. (normal not to go on power in the first session on Friday). In these FP1s in which the Cavallino took to the track to gather more information on the fund that will be used at Silverstone (and not between qualifying and the race at Spielberg) both drivers brought home good references, even if Leclerc complained of some more difficulties, with two lockouts in turn 1. The Monegasque, however, compared to the Spaniard did better on long runs, with more consistent times, while Carlos has suffered a lot of graining in the last steps of his stint.
Hamilton: “We are the champions and we can be again”