F1 2020: Styrian Grand Prix – Friday

Max Verstappen topped Friday Practice for 2020 Styrian Grand Prix. (Image credit: Red Bull Content Pool)

Less than six days since Valtteri Bottas won the Austrian Grand Prix, Formula One returned to the Red Bull Ring for the newly named Styrian Grand Prix weekend. 

With rain forecast for Saturday, today took on more importance on top of being first back-to-back weekend at same track in F1 history as Max Verstappen reigned supreme from Valtteri Bottas. 


Free Practice One

Returning to the Red Bull Ring for a second consecutive weekend, the morning session saw a quiet start bar some installation laps, as Alex Albon dominated the early proceedings with a 1m 06.330.

Verstappen then took over top spot with a 1m 06.087 just mere minutes before Williams’ Nicholas Latifi pulled over with a gearbox issue, which soon caused a red flag when his car proved too small to wheel through the gap between barriers. 

F1 Grand Prix of Styria - Practice
(Image credit: Red Bull Content Pool)

Once the session resumed four minutes later, Verstappen continued to improve as Racing Point’s Sergio Perez pushed him with a series of quick laps, with Charles Leclerc sandwiching the pair in second place at the halfway point of the session. 

Bottas then cracked the whip on his Mercedes to go quickest with a 1m 05.381 only to be bettered by teammate – Lewis Hamilton, who went fastest by 0.173s from the Finn before Lance Stroll went within 0.003s of the Brit but his time was deleted for track limits.

Sergio Perez eventually topped the session with a soft tyre lap of a 1m 04.867 ahead of Verstappen and Bottas, who rounded out the top three ahead of Hamilton and Stroll.

Alfa Romeo and Williams rested Antonio Giovinazzi and George Russell in this session as Robert Kubica and Jack Aitken replaced the pair respectively, with Aitken coming out on top by 0.029s in 17th position to Kubica’s 18th position. 

Haas’ Kevin Magnussen failed to set a time after encountering a battery issue. 


Free Practice Two

Ricciardo crash Austria

With rain forecast for Saturday, FP2 proved to be frantic as several drivers ventured out early on, with Perez emerging on top during early stages after posting a 1m 05.296 shortly before Daniel Ricciardo crashed at turn nine to cause a red flag. 

The Aussie simply lost the rear on entry and went sliding into the tyre barrier and post session said; “It all happened very quickly so I’m not sure what went wrong.

“I turned in and just lost the car straight away.”

Shortly after the session resumed, Verstappen pitted following complaints over team radio of power loss as several drivers decided to go for a qualifying style lap in case the results from FP2 sets the grid if FP3 and Qualifying don’t take place due to forecast storms. 

Sergio Perez improved his quickest time to a 1m 04.087 as Stroll and Albon saw lap times deleted for exceeding track limits, whilst Verstappen suffered the same fate once he re-joined the track but went second with his next flier of 1m 04.570. 

Sergio Perez enjoyed a dominant Friday. (Image credit: Racing Point F1)

Perez soon lowered his best time to a 1m 03.877 which eventually was only bettered by Verstappen and Bottas, with the Dutchman setting a provisional pole time of 1m 03.660 which was 0.073s quicker than Bottas. 

Hamilton meanwhile struggled to extract pace from his Mercedes as he wound up in sixth position behind Carlos Sainz and Stroll in fifth and fourth respectively.

Albon, Norris, Leclerc and Esteban Ocon completed the top ten as Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel found himself in 16th sandwiched by Russell and Latifi, having seen several lap times deleted for exceeding track limits. 




Position Driver Team Time
1 Sergio Perez Racing Point 1m 04.867
2 Max Verstappen Red Bull + 0.096
3 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.222
4 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.253
5 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 0.529
6 Alex Albon Red Bull + 0.616
7 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 0.735
8 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 0.831
9 Daniel Ricciardo Renault + 0.902
10 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 0.903
11 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 0.948
12 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 0.970
13 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.007
14 Lando Norris McLaren + 1.041
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.574 
16 Romain Grosjean Haas + 1.579
17 Jack Aitken Williams + 1.901
18 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo + 1.930
19 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 4.731
20 Kevin Magnussen Haas No Time Set


Position Driver Team Time
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1m 03.660
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes + 0.073
3 Sergio Perez Racing Point + 0.217
4 Lance Stroll Racing Point + 0.581
5 Carlos Sainz McLaren + 0.673
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes + 0.688
7 Alex Albon Red Bull + 0.777
8 Lando Norris McLaren + 0.881
9 Charles Leclerc Ferrari + 1.046
10 Esteban Ocon Renault + 1.086
11 Pierre Gasly Alpha Tauri + 1.097
12 Daniil Kvyat Alpha Tauri + 1.390
13 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo + 1.492
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo + 1.705
15 George Russell Williams + 1.928
16 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari + 1.953
17 Nicholas Latifi Williams + 1.995
18 Kevin Magnussen Haas + 2.130
19 Romain Grosjean Haas + 2.436
20 Daniel Ricciardo Renault No Time Set


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