Austrian Grand Prix: Verstappen overcomes engine trouble to top practice

Austrian Grand Prix: Verstappen overcomes engine trouble to top FP1

Max Verstappen overcame an engine issue to set the benchmark in the sole one-hour practice session at the Austrian Grand Prix.

Championship leader Max Verstappen rebounded from a power unit failure to top in the only free practice session at the F1 Austrian Grand Prix by posting a 1:05.685 just half an hour after he was left rolling backwards on the pit-straight.

The Dutchman, at what is basically a third “home” GP, made a differential change on his car as he headed on into Turn 9 before the power seemed to switch off, leaving him stranded by the finishing line with a 10-place grid penalty looming large on the horizon.

But with some quick thinking, Verstappen allowed his car to roll back towards a gap in the pit-wall under the red flag and reported his last changes to his engineer so the team quickly fixed the problem and sent him back out to eventually go faster than McLaren’s Oscar Piastri.

Ferrari duo Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz ended up third and fourth, nearly four tenths behind Verstappen.

Lewis Hamilton ended the session in P5 after having led the field before the qualifying simulation runs. The Briton refused to use the soft compound, and spent the last segment of the session by completing a race simulation run on Pirelli’s hard compound.

His team-mate George Russell also looked mighty strong on the hards, but he aborted his flying lap on the red-walled tyres, and ended up 8th behind Aston Martin’s Lance Stroll.

Esteban Ocon set the sixth quickest lap, confirming Alpine’s improvements in recent races. His team-mate Pierre Gasly was four tenths of a second slower, and ended the session five places behind.

Yuki Tsunoda and Fernando Alonso completed the top-10 order for RB and Aston Martin.

Sergio Perez looked strong on the hard compound, but he could not nail his qualifying simulation lap on the C5 tyres, and ended the sole practice in P12. Meanwhile, Lando Norris had been on for a strong lap before he dipped a wheel into the gravel at the exit of Turn 4.

2024 F1 Austrian Grand Prix Free Practice Results

1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m05.685s
2Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m05.961s
3Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m06.055s
4Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m06.128s
5Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m06.254s
6Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m06.297s
7Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m06.384s
8George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m06.386s
9Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m06.579s
10Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m06.603s
11Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m06.734s
12Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m06.783s
13Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m06.880s
14Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m06.919s
15Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m06.925s
16Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m06.962s
17Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m06.966s
18Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m06.955s
19Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m07.145s
20Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m07.259s

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