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Practice report
Formula 1 Austrian GP

F1 Austrian GP: Verstappen leads FP1 despite causing red flag

World champion fires warning shot despite stopping on track

Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20

Max Verstappen topped practice for Formula 1's 2024 Austrian Grand Prix after causing a mid-session red flag.

In a busy opening third of the sole practice session at the Red Bull weekend within the sprint format, Verstappen established the first-place benchmark at 1m07m961s, before George Russell and Lewis Hamilton whittled that down along with the Dutchman as their opening runs went on.

The Mercedes cars used the hard tyres at this stage while Verstappen stuck to the mediums, although he spent a chunk of the opening third making adjustments in the pits.

By the time the whole field was in the pits at the 20-minute mark, Hamilton led Russell with a 1m06.254s and Verstappen sat third.

After a brief lull in action, the pack headed out again largely en masse, with the leaders concentrating on higher-fuel running and lapping several seconds off the earlier pace.

At the start of his long run, Russell locked up and ran off at the uphill and tight Turn 3 right-hander before continuing on his way.

But the session was then interrupted by a red flag just past the halfway stage when Verstappen stopped on the run to Turn 1 with what he called an "engine fault" that developed after he had run wide at Turn 1 and then made a steering switch change to his high-speed differential settings.

His RB20 then lost drive and Verstappen could not coax it back into life before halting it on the pit straight and then letting it roll back down the hill towards a gap in the pitwall, as the red flags flew.

Marshals push the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, back to his garage

Marshals push the car of Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing RB20, back to his garage

Photo by: Mark Sutton / Motorsport Images

The marshals pushed Verstappen back into the pitlane and he returned to the Red Bull garage before the session resumed after a near-five minute stoppage.

After this, Red Bull was able to get Verstappen back out almost immediately having checked the car and discovered that a sensor that had shut off the engine could be quickly reset, and the long-running resumed, with little action to note – bar Pierre Gasly briefly going off in the Turn 3 runoff after locking the right-front on his Alpine.

A second lull in action preceded a blast on the softer compounds in the final 10 minutes, where Charles Leclerc first valued Ferrari to the front with a 1m06.055s on the red-walled soft compound.

He was then shuffled down by Verstappen's 1m05.685s, which ended up as the sessions' best time as issues thwarted several of his rivals.

Russell's soft tyre flier was abandoned after he got held up by a Sauber at Turn 4, where just a few minutes before the end of the session Norris locked up and slid off into the gravel, just as he had set the session's best time in the first sector using the softs.

That left Oscar Piastri to stay second in the other McLaren after he had pipped Leclerc, 0.276s slower than Verstappen, while Hamilton did not complete a soft tyre run and concentrated on the hards late on.

That all left the order behind the top three as Carlos Sainz, Hamilton, Esteban Ocon, Lance Stroll, Russell, Yuki Tsunoda and Fernando Alonso.

Norris's off meant he finished down in 13th, one place behind Sergio Perez in the other RB20.

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2
Cla Driver # Chassis Engine Laps Time Interval km/h
1 Netherlands M. Verstappen Red Bull Racing 1 Red Bull Red Bull 28

1'05.685

236.656
2 Australia O. Piastri McLaren 81 McLaren Mercedes 32

+0.276

1'05.961

0.276 235.666
3 Monaco C. Leclerc Ferrari 16 Ferrari Ferrari 31

+0.370

1'06.055

0.094 235.331
4 Spain C. Sainz Ferrari 55 Ferrari Ferrari 31

+1.302

1'06.987

0.932 232.056
5 United Kingdom L. Hamilton Mercedes 44 Mercedes Mercedes 39

+0.569

1'06.254

234.624
6 France E. Ocon Alpine 31 Alpine Renault 30

+1.656

1'07.341

1.087 230.837
7 Canada L. Stroll Aston Martin Racing 18 Aston Martin Mercedes 27

+0.699

1'06.384

234.164
8 United Kingdom G. Russell Mercedes 63 Mercedes Mercedes 32

+0.701

1'06.386

0.002 234.157
9 Japan Y. Tsunoda RB 22 RB Red Bull 30

+1.825

1'07.510

1.124 230.259
10 Spain F. Alonso Aston Martin Racing 14 Aston Martin Mercedes 30

+2.220

1'07.905

0.395 228.919
11 France P. Gasly Alpine 10 Alpine Renault 28

+1.783

1'07.468

230.402
12 Mexico S. Perez Red Bull Racing 11 Red Bull Red Bull 24

+1.098

1'06.783

232.765
13 United Kingdom L. Norris McLaren 4 McLaren Mercedes 30

+1.365

1'07.050

0.267 231.838
14 China Z. Guanyu Sauber 24 Sauber Ferrari 28

+2.279

1'07.964

0.914 228.721
15 Finland V. Bottas Sauber 77 Sauber Ferrari 29

+1.928

1'07.613

229.908
16 Australia D. Ricciardo RB 3 RB Red Bull 31

+1.277

1'06.962

232.143
17 Germany N. Hulkenberg Haas F1 Team 27 Haas Ferrari 30

+1.281

1'06.966

0.004 232.129
18 Thailand A. Albon Williams 23 Williams Mercedes 28

+1.310

1'06.995

0.029 232.029
19 Denmark K. Magnussen Haas F1 Team 20 Haas Ferrari 31

+1.460

1'07.145

0.150 231.510
20 United States L. Sargeant Williams 2 Williams Mercedes 29

+1.574

1'07.259

0.114 231.118

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