Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes, Red Bull Ring, 2020

Hamilton leads clean sweep of practice sessions for Mercedes

2020 Austrian Grand Prix third practice

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Mercedes notched up a third consecutive one-two in the three practice sessions ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix, led once again by Lewis Hamilton.

However the team’s rivals were closer in the final practice session than they had been throughout Friday’s running.

Hamilton recorded a best effort of 1’04.130, putting him a tenth of a second ahead of team mate Valtteri Bottas. However Max Verstappen more than halved Red Bull’s deficit to the black cars, ending the session three-tenths shy of Hamilton.

The Racing Point cars were quick again, with Sergio Perez once more leading the pink cars. He set the fourth-fastest time, separated from eighth-placed team mate Lance Stroll by the two Ferraris and the second Red Bull of Alexander Albon.

Two other cars featured in the top 10: Pierre Gasly’s AlphaTauri and the McLaren of Lando Norris. His team mate Carlos Sainz Jnr became the latest driver to damage a front wing on the Red Bull Ring’s severe kerbs.

The Renault pair, who tested extensively at the circuit in a two-year-old car, ended final practice just outside the top 10.

George Russell brought some encouragement to Williams by setting the 16th-fastest time, ahead both Alfa Romeo’s and Kevin Magnussen’s Haas.

However his team mate Nicholas Latifi’s first race weekend took a turn for the worse when he crashed his Williams at turn one. The crash was heavy enough for the medical warning light to come on in his car, and the Medical Car was dispatched to the scene, but the team reported Latifi was unhurt.

The same couldn’t be said for his car, however, which had heavy damage to the front following the impact.

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Pos. No. Driver Car Best lap Gap Laps
1 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’04.130 21
2 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’04.277 0.147 22
3 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’04.413 0.283 20
4 11 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1’04.605 0.475 19
5 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’04.703 0.573 19
6 23 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1’04.725 0.595 22
7 5 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’04.851 0.721 20
8 18 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1’04.918 0.788 18
9 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1’04.949 0.819 19
10 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’04.950 0.820 22
11 31 Esteban Ocon Renault 1’05.037 0.907 11
12 3 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1’05.088 0.958 13
13 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren-Renault 1’05.177 1.047 24
14 26 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 1’05.290 1.160 24
15 8 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 1’05.363 1.233 18
16 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’05.565 1.435 21
17 20 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1’05.648 1.518 18
18 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’05.654 1.524 16
19 7 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’05.773 1.643 19
20 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1’07.049 2.919 6

Third practice visual gaps

Lewis Hamilton – 1’04.130

+0.147 Valtteri Bottas – 1’04.277

+0.283 Max Verstappen – 1’04.413

+0.475 Sergio Perez – 1’04.605

+0.573 Charles Leclerc – 1’04.703

+0.595 Alexander Albon – 1’04.725

+0.721 Sebastian Vettel – 1’04.851

+0.788 Lance Stroll – 1’04.918

+0.819 Pierre Gasly – 1’04.949

+0.820 Lando Norris – 1’04.950

+0.907 Esteban Ocon – 1’05.037

+0.958 Daniel Ricciardo – 1’05.088

+1.047 Carlos Sainz Jnr – 1’05.177

+1.160 Daniil Kvyat – 1’05.290

+1.233 Romain Grosjean – 1’05.363

+1.435 George Russell – 1’05.565

+1.518 Kevin Magnussen – 1’05.648

+1.524 Antonio Giovinazzi – 1’05.654

+1.643 Kimi Raikkonen – 1’05.773

+2.919 Nicholas Latifi – 1’07.049

Drivers more then ten seconds off the pace omitted.

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Pos Driver Car FP1 FP2 FP3 Fri/Sat diff Total laps
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1’36.566 1’04.130 -32.436 53
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1’36.256 1’04.277 -31.979 51
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1’36.807 1’04.413 -32.394 50
4 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 1’37.637 1’04.605 -33.032 50
5 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1’36.642 1’04.703 -31.939 49
6 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 1’37.288 1’04.725 -32.563 52
7 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1’36.691 1’04.851 -31.84 48
8 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1’37.985 1’04.918 -33.067 50
9 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Renault 1’37.770 1’04.949 -32.821 55
10 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’37.918 1’04.950 -32.968 54
11 Esteban Ocon Renault-Ferrari 1’05.037 11
12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault-Ferrari 1’38.400 1’05.088 -33.312 38
13 Carlos Sainz Jnr McLaren-Renault 1’37.834 1’05.177 -32.657 56
14 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Renault 1’37.651 1’05.290 -32.361 58
15 Romain Grosjean Haas-Honda 1’37.601 1’05.363 -32.238 35
16 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1’39.512 1’05.565 -33.947 52
17 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Honda 1’38.080 1’05.648 -32.432 49
18 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’38.464 1’05.654 -32.81 48
19 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1’38.415 1’05.773 -32.642 49
20 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1’07.049 6

2020 Austrian Grand Prix

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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...

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16 comments on “Hamilton leads clean sweep of practice sessions for Mercedes”

  1. No surprises there @borefest

    1. Yes, but there are other things to look for. All Mercedes smoke like crazy, not burning oil, only oil burning out of the exhaust… it isn’t just last years merc that is quick, last years RB is also quick, nice to see Gasly in the mix, the midfield is great.

  2. Max looking like the main potential challenger to the Mercedes duo, but they just look too fast on race pace. Think it’ll be a Merc 1-2, Max 3rd and then Leclerc 4th, and then 5th is potentially up for grabs for 3 drivers (well, it’s probably more like 4th is up for grabs for 4 drivers), with Perez, Vettel and Albon all potentially fighting for it. Looking forward to it!

    1. Hamilton superior over Bottas and Verstappen, unless the higher temps tomorrow will hamper Merc. I think Perez and Albon must be favorites for 4th over the Ferrari’s and Stroll (who might even be in between the McLaren’s and Renaults) I don’t know what to make of STR at all, at the moment.

      I look forward to Russel outperforming his car and teammate very much, beating the Alfa’s and perhaps a Haas or two.

      1. AJ (@asleepatthewheel)
        4th July 2020, 12:44

        A twin pronged attack for 4th place by Ferrari means it’s likely that either Lec/Vet finishes 4th.

      2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
        4th July 2020, 13:08

        The interesting thing is that Bottas has often done better than Hamilton at this track. Out qualified and out raced him in 2017 and 2019 (although Hamilton gave himself a penalty in the latter). 2018 was a terrible race for both of them luck wise but Bottas still managed to out qualify him that year.

        Basing that on everything, I think Bottas still stands a decent chance, but practice is maybe suggesting otherwise.

  3. I can’t be the only one thats enjoying the uninterrupted coverage of what’s going on the track, no annoying 30 second cut aways to some random celebrity sat in hospitalitity not even watching the track action, and who probably has no idea why they’re even there.

  4. Good to see Russell pulling the Williams up the time sheets. At least he might have some battles with Magnussen and Grosjean to ‘enjoy’ this season.

    1. its a short track. on other tracks williams will likely be in the same position as last year.

    2. Ben Rowe (@thegianthogweed)
      4th July 2020, 13:10

      I’m happy that williams look to be a match for the lower positioned teams which shows they have gone forward. However, it is such a shame that the newest team in F1 started out so well and only seems to have gone backwards. I don’t blame the drivers for this, they decided to stick to their line up. I just think they are not good at developing over a season and finishing 2nd to last last year really won’t have helped.

      1. @thegianthogweed it does seem to be a feature of the way that Haas operate that, over the past few years, they tend to lose ground to their rivals over the course of the season, rather than keeping up with them in terms of development.

        Every single season, they have scored the majority of their points and best results in the first half of a season, tending to slip further down the order thereafter – when it happens four seasons in a row, to me that points to operational issues within the team.

  5. ColdFly (@)
    4th July 2020, 12:20

    Really excited about the midfield.
    Racing Point might be a tad ahead but all the rest are pretty close; including Williams (and Alfa Romeo).

  6. The Renault look quite good here. Ricciardo’s 2021 choice is seeming a bit risky now.

    1. 0 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 1’04.950
      11 Esteban Ocon Renault-Ferrari 1’05.037
      12 Daniel Ricciardo Renault-Ferrari 1’38.400

      well mclaren is ahead in fp3, so i don’t know where you are making your opinion from.
      is Renault using ferrari engines this year??

  7. F1oSaurus (@)
    4th July 2020, 12:29

    They went over 30 seconds faster in FP3 compared to FP2? Was it raining during FP2? Where are the times for FP1?

    @keithcollantine

Comments are closed.