2020 Styrian Grand Prix – Practice one: Vettel’s slimming seat chances

“Radio check, race fans”

Daniel Ricciardo over Renault team radio before the beginning of the practice session.

Carlos Sainz became the first driver to set the first timed lap of the session, as he posted a 1:06.817 lap around the Austrian Red Bull Ring on the hard compound tyres (the slowest out of the three available).

Sebastian Vettels hunt for a seat next year just got slimmer as Red Bull’s team principle, Christian Horner shut the door on the four-time world champion.

“Definite no”

Horner on Vettel returning to Red Bull

The first red flag of the session was brought out as the Williams driver Nicholas Latifi had to retire from the practice session, for power unit issues with his FW43.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc came close to topping Red Bull’s Max Verstappen on the timing board, as he set a time which was 0.077 seconds slower than Verstappens 1:05.760 lap. But, he seemed to suffer with understeering issues around the Red Bull Ring, which resulted in the Monegasques briefly driving into the pit lane to adjust his front wing.

Once again, Mercedes dominated the top two spots in the timing board as we neared the last half an hour mark. This was until Racing Point put in the fastest lap of the active session with Sergio Perez’ lap of 1:04.867, 0.253 seconds faster than Lewis Hamilton.

However, the Mercedes teammates, Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas, were both using the balanced medium compound tyre, while Perez set his time on the soft compound tyre (the fastest tyre of the three).

Fastest drivers:

  1. Sergio Perez (Racing Point) – 1:04.867
  2. Max Verstappen (Red Bull) – 1:04.963
  3. Valtteri Bottas (Mercedes) – 1:05.089

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