Charles Leclerc leads wild Formula 1 Austrian GP practice session
F1 

Charles Leclerc posted the fastest complete time in a crash-ridden Formula a Friday practice session at the Red Bull Ring.

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc paced Friday practice for the Formula 1 Austrian Grand Prix, with the second practice claiming some high-profile vehicular casualties.

In a crazy pair of practice sessions, Leclerc may have come out on top, but the timesheets mean very little. Two red flags when drivers were attempting qualifying simulations and a further yellow in the final sector meant that very few drivers were able to complete their quickest runs.

And although Lewis Hamilton posted just the fourth quickest lap, when looking at individual fastest sectors, he showed favorable speeds.

First to cause a red flag was Max Verstappen. The winner at the Red Bull Ring 12 months ago, Verstappen was stymied at the final corner by a gust of wind, sending his Red Bull into a spin before the rear of the car hit the wall hard.

“I was already complaining on all my laps about the wind being really tricky, and in some places losing the rear,” said Verstappen. “Then I got into that corner, and certainly on the data you can see the rear turned around so — that definitely didn’t help.

“This year in general, the cars are more sensitive to the wind. Crashes can happen, unfortunately. Maybe it’s a good thing because they’ll take the whole car apart so a few new parts on it.”

The next red was brought out by Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes. Second in the championship but more than a race win behind teammate Hamilton, Bottas was on a qualifying lap but ran off-track at turn 6, catching the slide and skidding across the gravel into the wall.

The impact took both front wheels off the car and, depending on any damage under the skin of the car, could result in a monocoque change.

The final incident involved Sebastian Vettel.

Ferrari has made a habit of starting its qualifying runs later than most, and this appeared to have paid off with the earlier interruptions. It looked to have paid of right up until Vettel came to turn 10 and almost replicated Verstappen’s accident, although the German managed to come to a stop just before the wall.

The tire barrier was ruined, but any other damage was minimal.

Carlos Sainz set the fifth fastest time of the day, but a number of engine penalties means the McLaren driver will start at the back on Sunday — so expect to see more focus being placed on race pace during Saturday morning practice.

Practice Two Results

Pos.

Driver

Constructor

Tire

Time

1

Charles Leclerc

Scuderia Ferrari

S

1:05.086

2

Valtteri Bottas

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

M

+0.331

3

Pierre Gasly

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

S

+0.401

4

Lewis Hamilton

Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport

H

+0.443

5

Carlos Sainz Jr.

McLaren F1 Team

S

+0.459

6

Romain Grosjean

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

S

+0.615

7

Kimi Raikkonen

Alfa Romeo Racing

S

+0.642

8

Sebastian Vettel

Scuderia Ferrari

H

+0.785

9

Max Verstappen

Aston Martin Red Bull Racing

M

+0.793

10

Lando Norris

McLaren F1 Team

S

+0.866

11

Kevin Magnussen

Rich Energy Haas F1 Team

S

+0.874

12

Sergio Perez

SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

S

+0.878

13

Alexander Albon

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

S

+0.978

14

Antonio Giovinazzi

Alfa Romeo Racing

S

+1.033

15

Daniil Kvyat

Red Bull Toro Rosso Honda

S

+1.062

16

Nico Hulkenberg

Renault F1 Team

S

+1.163

17

Daniel Ricciardo

Renault F1 Team

S

+1.332

18

Lance Stroll

SportPesa Racing Point F1 Team

M

+1.743

19

George Russell

ROKiT Williams Racing

S

+2.131

20

Robert Kubica

ROKiT Williams Racing

M

+3.422


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