Styrian GP FP1 Report: Perez quickest ahead of Verstappen!

10-07-2020 11:32 | Updated: 10-07-2020 11:37
by Adam Newton
General
Styrian GP FP1 Report: Perez quickest ahead of Verstappen!

Sergio Perez set the fastest time for Racing Point in FP1 as the Styrian Grand Prix, the second week in a row at the Red Bull Ring in Austria. Racing Point showed great pace last week and that has continued into today as he topped the leaderboard ahead of Max Verstappen.

Part two in Austria

Mercedes were quick once again, with last week’s winner Valtteri Bottas third, ahead of Lewis Hamilton in fourth. There was a couple of changes to the driver line-up for the session, with George Russell and Antonio Giovinazzi sitting out for Williams’ and Alfa Romeo’s respective test drivers. Jack Aitken drove for Williams with Robert Kubica in the Alfa Romeo.

It was the Red Bull duo of Verstappen and Alex Albon who started the session the strongest, with the Dutchman leading a 1-2. Behind them McLaren were looking strong, with Carlos Sainz and Lando Norris third and fourth as Mercedes sat lower down the order.

With half an hour of the session gone, Nicholas Latifi’s Williams suffered a problem with his gearbox and ground to a halt out on track, bringing out the red flag.As the halfway mark approached Charles Leclerc made the most of Ferrari’s new front wing to put his car in second, less than a tenth behind Verstappen.

Mercedes shows pace again

But it wasn’t long before Mercedes showed their pace, with Hamilton and Bottas blitzing Verstappen’s time by half a second. Perez continued Racing Point’s promising start to the season by going even faster than Hamilton, becoming the first man to dip into the 1:04s. And that’s where he would stay, as Verstappen improved but was still a tenth away from the Mexican’s pace.

Lance Stroll confirmed Racing Point’s pace by setting the fifth fastest time, ahead of Alex Albon. Albon was complaining over the radio of understeer at slow speed throughout the session, so that’s something for Red Bull to look at.

Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Daniel Ricciardo and Sebastian Vettel closed out the top ten, with Leclerc down in 12th for Ferrari.

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