Max Verstappen recorded the fastest time in the first free practice before the Austrian GP. Two days before the ninth race of the season, Mercedes was still looking for the correct settings for the car.
Verstappen (Red Bull) was with 1.05.143 0.266 seconds faster than Charles Leclerc and 0.288 than Carlos Sainz. Valtteri Bottas of Mercedes was just behind that pair of Ferrari.
Lewis Hamilton, Verstappen’s competitor in the battle for the world title, was not yet convinced and finished fifth. His fastest lap was 0.566 slower than that of Verstappen, the leader in the standings.
Five days ago, 23-year-old Verstappen won the Styrian GP on the same circuit.