REPORT: Max Verstappen fastest in FP1 at the Styrian Grand Prix

25-06-2021 11:35
F1 News
REPORT: Max Verstappen fastest in FP1 at the Styrian Grand Prix

Max Verstappen has topped the timings of the first session of the race weekend in Austria, ahead of the Styrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman finished ahead of Pierre Gasly and Lewis Hamilton in second and third respectively. He set a lap time of 1:05.910 around the Red Bull Ring. It was a superb session for AlphaTauri and Alpine, who had both of their drivers running in the top 10 at the end of the hour. It was, however, a different story for Sergio Perez who couldn't get himself into the top 10.

AlphaTauri on par with Mercedes and Red Bull in FP1

AlphaTauri will be the talking point of the first practice session, as Gasly and Yuki Tsunoda both finished in the top 10 after the hour. Gasly finished in second place, 0.256 seconds behind Verstappen but ahead of both Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in third and fourth. The Japanese rookie and Gasly's teammate also put in a stellar performance this morning, finishing with a lap time of 1:06.397, only 0.011 seconds off the Mercedes of Bottas.

As for Red Bull, Verstappen was on top, once again, but it was a struggle for Perez. The Mexican was only able to best a 13th place finish, finishing 0.786 seconds behind his teammate.

McLaren struggle compared to midfield rivals

The McLaren duo of Daniel Ricciardo and Lando Norris have not started the weekend as planned, with both finishing outside the top 10 at the end of the session. The Brit was only able to best the 16th place after exceeding track limits on multiple laps. Ricciardo was running in the top 10 for a large number of laps today but found himself in 12th, behind the Ferrari duo of Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc at the end of the hour. Sainz finished in 11th with Leclerc being the final driver in the top 10.

Aston Martin had both Sebastian Vettel and Lance Stroll in the top 10 for parts of the session but it was the Canadian on top at the end of the hour. He finished with a fastest lap time of 1:06.584, which placed him eighth, compared to Vettel's 1:06.708, placing him 14th. Alpine beat their British rival's in the first practice session of the weekend, as they finished with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon in sixth and seventh. The Spaniard finished 0.609 seconds behind Verstappen in first and 0.032 seconds ahead of his teammate Ocon.

Antonio Giovinazzi was the final driver from the midfield in the top 10, with the Alfa Romeo driver putting in a lap time of 1:06.614, placing him ninth and 10 places ahead of his teammate for FP1.

Williams, Haas and Kubica at the bottom

The bottom four was once again a similar story to usual, with both Haas drivers, Nicholas Latifi and, this time, Robert Kubica being unable to find any competitive lap times. Nikita Mazepin was last and was unable to reach a time in the 1:07's, with Kubica only a couple of hundredths ahead of the Russian rookie. Mick Schumacher was 17th, Norris in 16th and it was George Russell in 15th, only 0.219 seconds off the top 10.

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