Verstappen Leads FP1 Despite Red Flag Incident at Austrian GP

Max Verstappen showcased his dominance in the first practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix, setting the fastest time despite causing a red flag.

Verstappen clocked in a best time of 1’04.654, continuing his strong form from his recent victory in Spain. The session wasn’t without drama, as Verstappen brought out a red flag after running wide and dislodging a bollard.

Oscar Piastri of McLaren was the second fastest, trailing Verstappen by 0.276 seconds with a time of 1’05.961. Charles Leclerc secured third place for Ferrari, just 0.370 seconds behind Verstappen, with a lap time of 1’06.055.  

Carlos Sainz, also driving for Ferrari, was fourth with a time of 1’06.987, over a second behind his teammate. Lewis Hamilton rounded out the top five for Mercedes, finishing with a lap time of 1’06.254.

Esteban Ocon of Alpine placed sixth, followed by Lance Stroll in seventh for Aston Martin. George Russell, in the other Mercedes, secured the eighth spot, just 0.002 seconds behind Stroll. Yuki Tsunoda of Red Bull Racing-Honda and Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin completed the top ten.

Other notable performances included Pierre Gasly in 11th for Alpine, Sergio Perez in 12th for Red Bull Racing, and Lando Norris in 13th for McLaren. Zhou Guanyu and Valtteri Bottas of Sauber finished 14th and 15th, respectively.

Daniel Ricciardo placed 16th for Red Bull Racing-Honda, followed closely by Nico Hulkenberg of Haas in 17th. Alex Albon of Williams, Kevin Magnussen of Haas, and Logan Sargeant of Williams rounded out the field in 18th, 19th, and 20th, respectively.

The session saw various teams testing their updates and setup configurations. Despite the red flag caused by Verstappen, the overall running was smooth, allowing teams to gather essential data for the weekend.  

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