Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2018

Hamilton leads one-two for upgraded Mercedes in first practice

2018 Austrian Grand Prix first practice

Posted on

| Written by

The upgraded Mercedes cars ended the first practice session first and second but Max Verstappen got his Red Bull within two-tenths of a second of them at the team’s home track.

On a fairly cool 26C track, Lewis Hamilton got within six-tenths of a second of last year’s pole position time as he led team mate Valtteri Bottas in the first 90 minutes of running. Hamilton led the times early in the session when he was on super-soft tyres and extended his advantage after switching to the softer rubber.

Bottas was advised he could find time in the braking zones for turns one and three after setting his best lap which left him a tenth of a second off his team mate.

Verstappen’s best time came after a spin at turn four early in the session. Team mate Daniel Ricciardo was four-tenths of a second off him in fifth place.

The two RB14s were split by the Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel, which was three-tenths of a second off the Mercedes. His team mate Kimi Raikkonen had a heavy lock-up on his second set of tyres and ended up almost a second off the Mercedes.

Romain Grosjean led the midfield for Haas, ended the session just two-tenths down on Raikkonen. The rest of the top 10 had a French flavour: Esteban Ocon was only a few hundredths slower in his Force India, Charles Leclerc had the Sauber well up again and Pierre Gasly snuck his Toro Rosso into the top half of the field by an extremely slender margin.

Gasly headed six cars covered by less than a tenth of a second. They included Kevin Magnussen, Sergio Perez, Marcus Ericsson and both Renaults.

Lance Stroll, the sole Williams race driver in the session, got his car up to 16th. Test driver Robert Kubica ended the session at the bottom of the times.

However the slowest time for a team was set by McLaren. Fernando Alonso ended the session 1.8s off the pace on a 1’06.612. He spent a lengthy spell in the pits at one stage, which according to the team was due to them changing aerodynamic rakes on his car as planned. Team mate Stoffel Vandoorne broke his car’s nose on a high kerb at turn nine.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

Pos.No.DriverCarBest lapGapLaps
144Lewis HamiltonMercedes1’04.83939
277Valtteri BottasMercedes1’04.9660.12739
333Max VerstappenRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’05.0720.23342
45Sebastian VettelFerrari1’05.1800.34129
53Daniel RicciardoRed Bull-TAG Heuer1’05.4830.64422
67Kimi RaikkonenFerrari1’05.7760.93731
78Romain GrosjeanHaas-Ferrari1’06.0281.18931
831Esteban OconForce India-Mercedes1’06.0551.21640
916Charles LeclercSauber-Ferrari1’06.2151.37631
1010Pierre GaslyToro Rosso-Honda1’06.3941.55536
119Marcus EricssonSauber-Ferrari1’06.4001.56132
1220Kevin MagnussenHaas-Ferrari1’06.4041.56523
1355Carlos Sainz JnrRenault1’06.4271.58829
1411Sergio PerezForce India-Mercedes1’06.4551.61642
1527Nico HulkenbergRenault1’06.4791.64035
1618Lance StrollWilliams-Mercedes1’06.5671.72832
1714Fernando AlonsoMcLaren-Renault1’06.6121.77330
182Stoffel VandoorneMcLaren-Renault1’06.6981.85930
1928Brendon HartleyToro Rosso-Honda1’06.8712.03245
2040Robert KubicaWilliams-Mercedes1’07.4242.58538

First practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’04.839

+0.127 Valtteri Bottas – 1’04.966

+0.233 Max Verstappen – 1’05.072

+0.341 Sebastian Vettel – 1’05.180

+0.644 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’05.483

+0.937 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’05.776

+1.189 Romain Grosjean – 1’06.028

+1.216 Esteban Ocon – 1’06.055

+1.376 Charles Leclerc – 1’06.215

+1.555 Pierre Gasly – 1’06.394

+1.561 Marcus Ericsson – 1’06.400

+1.565 Kevin Magnussen – 1’06.404

+1.588 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’06.427

+1.616 Sergio Perez – 1’06.455

+1.640 Nico Hulkenberg – 1’06.479

+1.728 Lance Stroll – 1’06.567

+1.773 Fernando Alonso – 1’06.612

+1.859 Stoffel Vandoorne – 1’06.698

+2.032 Brendon Hartley – 1’06.871

+2.585 Robert Kubica – 1’07.424

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

Advert | Become a RaceFans supporter and go ad-free

2018 Austrian Grand Prix

Browse all 2018 Austrian Grand Prix articles

Author information

Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

Got a potential story, tip or enquiry? Find out more about RaceFans and contact us here.

32 comments on “Hamilton leads one-two for upgraded Mercedes in first practice”

  1. McLaren, fantastic. Absolutely great performance.

    1. Neither of McLarens ran the softest tyres. Alonso did his lap on Soft while Vandoorne was on Supersofts.

    2. Yep. Dan should sign for them. They are kicking goals.
      Seriously though. Whack Lando Norris in the car and then spend the $20M they offered Dan on developing their car.

      1. @mickharrold, wasn’t it pointed out that, for a start, both cars happened to be doing aero testing because McLaren have brought upgraded parts this weekend, such as a new front wing, and therefore weren’t pushing quite as hard as they could? Vandoorne also happened to damage his car during FP1, so he wasn’t setting representative times – the fact that he’s done a lot better in FP2 suggests that the FP1 times are a bit misleading.

  2. Again, the crucial information is which tires these times were set on, and that information is missing. I read elsewhere that McLaren did not use the softest tires, which would put this result in a very different perspective.

    1. I agree that missing tyre data makes these charts obsolete.

  3. Perhaps McLaren has a future as the Renault B-team.

  4. Hard to make sense of these times unless we know the tyre compounds they were set on. I don’t think Red Bull set a time on the Ultra softs, which would actually make them very competitive for this weekend.

    I’m at a loss of words for Mclaren’s performance. Don’t think Q3 will be on the cards for them this weekend either.

    1. @todfod Interesting that you make that remark about tyres concerning Red Bull, but fail to recognise the same pattern for McLaren. ;)

      From a different site: “Vandoorne wound up 18th, one place behind teammate Fernando Alonso, as McLaren steered clear of the ultrasoft tyre.”

      1. @matthijs

        As I said.. I don’t know much about the compounds they’ve set their times on. Still, seeing Mclaren as the slowest team on the grid.. Setting a time behind Lance Stroll regardless of compounds isn’t too promising.

        1. @todfod Fastest times were all set on US for the teams that ran them. The Mclaren looked slow all session, Alonso ran the first part of the session with Aero thingies on the car and then flow vis paint.

      2. @matthijs, check these images from ‘another website’: Vandoorne, Alonso

        1. Those werent the push laps for either of 2 drivers. Vandoorne’s was ruined when he ran over kerb damaging front wing and Alonso was doing Aero tests. Both did their fastest times much later in session on SS and S tyres.

    2. @todfod @matthijs the app tells me both RBR and McLaren used the ultrasoft tyre.
      Both the bulls set their best lap on US.

      1. Only Haas and STR did not use the Ultra Soft tyres.
        I don’t know who said their fastest time on which tyre though.

  5. Disappointed about the Kubica time; I hope there is a story behind that.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if there were team orders to go slower than Lance, engineered by Laurence.

      1. I love the lengths people go to to defend RK. I like him too and Stroll’s money is annoying… But the story is simple, he got badly injured and left behind.

        1. did you mean right behind?

          ba dum tss

      2. Comments like that are why I love he internet…

    2. @coldfly – On Sky during the broadcast they were saying that Kubica was on a program concerning a lot of runs with different camber and ride height settings, amongst other stuff. So it was pretty much a test driver’s program making some set-up work and setting benchmarks, hence the slow time.

      1. Convenient way for williams to not make him prove he’s much faster than their current drivers.

  6. This weekend will see another silver car winning the Austrian GP, while a red car will hit a blue car.

  7. ‘Red Bull home race’

    I hope the mechanics and team personal show some enthusiasm for the anthem for a change if they win. The Austrians and Germans seem to have no passion compared to Ferarri staff who sing and dance to their anthem. Italian passion is the best thing of having Ferrari in F1.

    1. Part of it might be that most Ferrari personnel are Italian, whereas few Mercedes and RBR team members are from Germany and Austria respectively.

      1. And the fact that most anthems in the world aren’t as jolly as the Italian one

        1. ás armas, ás armas, pela pátria lutar, contra os canhões marchar! marchar!

          We should have a driver just for the anthem

    2. About 20 years ago the German passion was palpable. It was Schumi. It left with him. I went to the Grand Prixs from that time and now and the German/Austrian flair has gone…….just the simple truth.

  8. Any info on the STR upgrade that Hartley was running? Looks like it backfired, unless there is a story behind those times

  9. Just adding my displeasure at the lack of tyre choice shown for the fastest lap, as it’s so misleading, i’d rather it wasnt shown at all.

  10. Keith, I have a question (sorry I don’t already know the answer!): When each practice session starts, the leader board has all drivers listed, but as the cars leave pit lane, the first driver out goes to the top of the leader board, second driver goes second on the leader board, etc. What establishes the ORIGINAL order on the leaderboard? Hope to get an answer from you (or from a knowlegeable reader on the site). Thanks!

Comments are closed.