Hamilton breaks track record on hardest tyres in first session

2017 Austrian Grand Prix first practice

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Lewis Hamilton set a new track record at the Red Bull using the hardest of the three tyre compounds available during first practice.

The Mercedes driver set a best time of 1’05.975 on the soft rubber, bettering the previous record of 1’06.228 he set during qualifying last year.

Austrian Grand Prix practice in pictures
He was separated from team mate Valtteri Bottas at the top of the times by Max Verstappen, who got his Red Bull within two-tenths of Hamilton’s time at the team’s home track. Verstappen ended an eventful session by spinning at the turn three hairpin.

He damaged his car earlier after a mistake at turn seven. He had to return to the pits after skating across the turn seven gravel trap and glancing a barrier.

Behind Bottas was Sebastian Vettel in the first of the Ferraris, both of which had spins during the session. Vettel rotated after thumping the turn one apex kerb, which left him facing the wrong way at the exit of the turn.

Kimi Raikkonen lost his SF70H under braking for the same corner, spinning at speed and ruining his first set of super-softs in the process. He was quickly back out on a fresh set to continue his programme.

Austria’s run-off areas and kerbs caught out several other drivers. Turn nine was a particular source of problems. Romain Grosjean picked up a puncture after running hard over the exit kerb and Felipe Massa also pitted to have his car inspected after touching the same kerb.

It was an encouraging session for McLaren as both cars appeared in the top ten after running Honda’s new spec three power unit. Stoffel Vandoorne was the first of the two in seventh place.

Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’05.975 38
2 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’06.165 0.190 23
3 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’06.345 0.370 35
4 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’06.424 0.449 28
5 3 Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull-TAG Heuer 1’06.620 0.645 32
6 7 Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari 1’06.848 0.873 24
7 2 Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren-Honda 1’07.283 1.308 31
8 26 Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso-Renault 1’07.437 1.462 31
9 14 Fernando Alonso McLaren-Honda 1’07.510 1.535 28
10 31 Esteban Ocon Force India-Mercedes 1’07.511 1.536 39
11 19 Felipe Massa Williams-Mercedes 1’07.550 1.575 29
12 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’07.594 1.619 30
13 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso-Renault 1’07.633 1.658 32
14 30 Jolyon Palmer Renault 1’07.649 1.674 31
15 18 Lance Stroll Williams-Mercedes 1’08.041 2.066 35
16 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’08.074 2.099 20
17 46 Sergey Sirotkin Renault 1’08.586 2.611 27
18 34 Alfonso Celis Force India-Mercedes 1’09.280 3.305 15
19 94 Pascal Wehrlein Sauber-Ferrari 1’09.323 3.348 29
20 9 Marcus Ericsson Sauber-Ferrari 1’10.853 4.878 12

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’05.975

+0.190 Max Verstappen – 1’06.165

+0.370 Valtteri Bottas – 1’06.345

+0.449 Sebastian Vettel – 1’06.424

+0.645 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’06.620

+0.873 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’06.848

+1.308 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’07.283

+1.462 Daniil Kvyat – 1’07.437

+1.535 Fernando Alonso – 1’07.510

+1.536 Esteban Ocon – 1’07.511

+1.575 Felipe Massa – 1’07.550

+1.619 Kevin Magnussen – 1’07.594

+1.658 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’07.633

+1.674 Jolyon Palmer – 1’07.649

+2.066 Lance Stroll – 1’08.041

+2.099 Romain Grosjean – 1’08.074

+2.611 Sergey Sirotkin – 1’08.586

+3.305 Alfonso Celis – 1’09.280

+3.348 Pascal Wehrlein – 1’09.323

+4.878 Marcus Ericsson – 1’10.853

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Fastest times by tyre

Driver Team Best ultra-soft time Ultra-soft gap Best super-soft time Super-soft gap Best soft time Soft gap
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’06.526 None 1’05.975
Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’06.845 0.319 1’06.345 0.18 None
Daniel Ricciardo Red Bull None 1’06.620 0.455 1’07.699 1.724
Max Verstappen Red Bull None 1’06.165 1’07.380 1.405
Sebastian Vettel Ferrari None 1’06.424 0.259 None
Kimi Raikkonen Ferrari None 1’06.848 0.683 None
Alfonso Celis Force India 1’09.280 2.754 None None
Esteban Ocon Force India 1’07.511 0.985 None None
Felipe Massa Williams None 1’07.550 1.385 1’48.049 42.074
Lance Stroll Williams None 1’08.041 1.876 None
Fernando Alonso McLaren 1’07.510 0.984 None None
Stoffel Vandoorne McLaren 1’07.283 0.757 None None
Carlos Sainz Jnr Toro Rosso None 1’07.633 1.468 1’08.895 2.92
Daniil Kvyat Toro Rosso None 1’07.437 1.272 None
Romain Grosjean Haas None 1’08.074 1.909 3’58.096 172.121
Kevin Magnussen Haas None 1’07.594 1.429 4’31.096 205.121
Sergey Sirotkin Renault None 1’08.586 2.421 1’09.553 3.578
Jolyon Palmer Renault None 1’07.649 1.484 None
Marcus Ericsson Sauber None None 1’10.853 4.878
Pascal Wehrlein Sauber None 1’09.323 3.158 1’09.891 3.916

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Keith Collantine
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33 comments on “Hamilton breaks track record on hardest tyres in first session”

  1. I think Verstappen needs to take it more easy a bit instead of trashing his car left and right. Is Ferrari falling behind already ?..

    1. It’s a training. Finding the limit is part of that.

      1. This, the best drivers will be exploring limits all the way through to Q3. Hamilton and Vettel are the leading exponents of how to do this, building times through the weekend leading up to Q3 laps.

    2. Vettel also spun and damaged his car…

      1. sorry, no damage but did spin.

    3. He also went over four tenths faster than Ricciardo. Paid off, surely? You either never find the limit, or you occasionally go over it.

      1. And FP1 counts for what?

        Its all about data at this point. If both cars set their fastest lap on the same tyres, theres zero chance they are running the same fuel load.

    4. @noname FP1 (and FP2) is especially useful for finding the limit and you only know what the limit is when you go over it sometimes. Granted, it should be slightly over the limit, but these 2017 cars have the tendency to snap more as soon as the limit is reached due to the increased downforce compared to the last couple of years.

      I find it funny you pick out Verstappen right now when in Baku literally every driver except Alonso and Stroll (and maybe one or two others I didn’t notice) went off track at some point in all sessions including even qualifying.

  2. Ham was pretty relaxed about his 5th place and the dramas at Baku – I get the impression Merc have got a pace advantage over Ferrari now and he knows it. Merc will be spectacular at Silverstone.

    1. Seeing Hamilton’s performance in Baku- even with the damaged diffuser/floor where he was clobbered by Vettel and now the Austrian times (i know it’s only FP) I think there is some evidence of that.

    2. Yes, it’s so exciting to have Mercedes dominating the field like they have since 2014. It just wouldn’t be modern F1 otherwise.

      1. I can see your irony.

      2. I hope you’re right but you’re a bit premature – 8 races in Merc and have won half of them.

  3. I understand Force India has to sell FP sessions but Renault should be in a able to pay their bills alone get the most out of their time on track.

    1. Do Renault give seats because they need that money or because they don’t have a junior team and need to give some of the young guys exposure?

      But then again Palmer is still with them and he’s not particularly good so he most likely is still with them for the money he brings in.

      1. Surprised that Renault are giving up Hulks seat instead of Joylons in fp sessions. It’s almost like they don’t really care about maximising their chances on a race weekend.

        On a positive note, Joylon went a second faster than Sirotkin in this session. This will surely go down as the highlight of his F1 career.

    2. nelson piquet
      7th July 2017, 11:49

      i don’t understand this either

  4. Will this be the shortest ever single lap ever recorded (in terms of time) on any track? I can see qualifying times to be 1:03.5xx.

    1. Nope. In 1974 Dijon had lap times under one minute.

      1. @kaiie I hope we get to that some day. Watching cars racing at Lime Rock for instance is spectacular, the rhythm it imposes is tough on anyone racing hard, like a go-kart… you never rest.

  5. Mercedes are back on it since Monaco. I’m predicting a front row lock out for them tomorrow.

    Verstappen showing some impressive pace as well. He should be in for a battle with Seb for the podium.

  6. Merc need to tighten up and quit costing Lewis blown wins (Australia/Azerbaijan). It’s his time and he must capitalize. The FIA are bring bribed by Ferrari so nothing will be easy.

    Lewis needs to kick ass.

    1. Juan Fanger
      7th July 2017, 12:59

      If Lewis does start winning we can always bring Rosberg out of retirement to kick his ass back where it belongs :)

      1. As a Rosberg fan I love this statement XD

        1. @Juan Fanger @khanistanf1

          Actually I would love Rosberg to come out of retirement, so Lewis can continue kicking his ass, which as you know was the more usual situation.

          Nonetheless, enjoy you fantasy land…:)

          1. Some people can’t stomach that Nico Rosberg won and 44 lost

          2. @EagleMk1

            Not at all. Pretending that Nico was the equal of Lewis though is just ignorant and, frankly, embarrassing.

            But, he finished ahead of Lewis one time out of four. I accept that and congratulations to him. Lewis won 3/1, which seems to me a fair representation.

          3. Not at all. Pretending that Nico was the equal of Lewis though is just ignorant and, frankly, embarrassing.

            Of course, who pretends they were equal? Nico proved to be superior.. Yes, he won, in case you had not noticed.

          4. @EagleMk1

            Lewis vs Nico was 3/1 in favour of Lewis.

            Unless you started watching in 2016?

    2. Marian Gri (@)
      7th July 2017, 14:31

      If someone bribed FIA… it’s only Mercedes… to dump the V8s and run V6s Turbos. I don’t think there’s a simple coincidence the fact they’re so dominant since this type of power units are used.

      1. @corrado-dub, that theory does ignore the fact that all of the documentation which was leaked to the press showed that it was Renault that put forward the original technical proposal that resulted in the current regulation package.

        1. Of course. But we all know to whom it is most suited. And they can still say they did not ask for these rules.

  7. McLaren has found 1.5 to 2.1 seconds in new spec engine . Stoffel out performs Alonso for the first time and practice without an engine failure

Comments are closed.