Max Verstappen set the early pace as the expected rain held off in Practice 1 at the Styrian Grand Prix.

The Dutchman was the only man to go sub-66s in the opening hour of running at the Red Bull Ring, posting the best time of 1m05.910s on soft tyres.

It was a good morning for AlphaTauri as Pierre Gasly sat second and Yuki Tsunoda fifth. The strong start for the Red Bull-backed teams was only blighted by Sergio Perez in 13th, as the Mexican failed to get a clean lap.

Mercedes duo Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas were third and fourth, four-tenths off Verstappen’s initial benchmark, with Max’s main advantage coming in the final sector.

A notable story of the session was track limits with multiple lap times deleted at the final two corners.

Fernando Alonso was among those to have his best laps chalked off, but the Spaniard was still a strong sixth just ahead of Alpine teammate Esteban Ocon in seventh.

Lance Stroll was eighth in the Aston Martin, with Antonio Giovinazzi, who had a small incident with Valtteri Bottas on the run to Turn 3, ninth to start the weekend where Alfa Romeo celebrates their 111th birthday.

Ferrari had a busy morning with Charles Leclerc the highest place in 10th, 0.001s ahead of teammate Carlos Sainz in 11th.

The Spaniard was also one of three drivers to have spins, with his coming at the exit of Turn 1. Alfa Romeo reserve Robert Kubica also lost the rear at Turn 3 early on, while Perez did a pirouette in his Red Bull at Turn 4.

Also making a slower than expected start was McLaren with Daniel Ricciardo 12th and Lando Norris 16th. But with most teams running a busier program due to the threat of rain, it is possible that contributed to their subdued early positions.

Lap times are also typically very close given the short lap at the Red Bull Ring, and that was no different again with a second covering Verstappen in P1 to Norris in P16.

George Russell was also within that group in 15th for Williams, while the usual trio of Nicholas Latifi, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin had Kubica for company at the rear of the field in 19th.

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