The English pilot Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) set the best time this Friday in the first practice session of the Austrian Grand Prix, official start of Formula 1 World in which Carlos Sainz (McLaren) has settled in fourth position.
It was precisely Sainz first to roll out at Spielberg’s Red Bull Ring, in front of some empty stands and decorated with several canvases decorated with messages against discrimination and racism, within the campaign for diversity ‘We are one’ that F1 has launched.
Rain was the main threat and after 20 minutes some water fell, forcing the pilots to return to the ‘pits’, but it was a false alarm and they were able to roll normally during most of this expected session, the first of the season with more than three months of delay with respect to the initial plan.
This ‘new’ World without public and plagued with security measures There was no news in the purely sporty, where Mercedes again exhibited its undisputed dominance of recent years. In addition, she did not hesitate to use the controversial DAS system, a dual-axis steering wheel that could open the door to claims from other teams.
Hamilton, who starts the search for the seventh world championship would equalize with Michael Schumacher, he was the only one able to go down from 1:05 to stop the clock at 1: 04.816, beating his teammate by more than three tenths Valtteri Bottas.
The rest of the riders finished more than half a second behind the British and the third place went to Max Verstappen (Red Bull), winner the last two years in Austria, who led by a motivated Sainz by just 13 thousandths.
The sixth place of Lando Norris confirmed the good start of McLaren, while the other side of the coin was Ferrari, with Charles Leclerc closing the ‘Top 10’ and Sebastian Vettel in twelfth position, although this first contact is not usually useful for drawing many conclusions.