Max Verstappen comfortably set the pace during the sole practice session for Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix.

Verstappen set a sequence of slow laps before posting a 1:05.742s on Medium tyres to wind up fastest during the one hour of running at the Red Bull Ring.

Austria is holding F1 Sprint, the second time the format has been run in 2023, meaning drivers maximised the track time available.

The session passed without incident or stoppage as the field of 20 all racked up useful mileage.

Verstappen’s time left him almost a quarter of a second clear of Ferrari’s Carlos Sainz, with Charles Leclerc close behind, as both ran the Soft tyre.

Lewis Hamilton, also on Softs, was fourth overall while Verstappen’s Red Bull team-mate Sergio Perez used Mediums en route to fifth place.

Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Ferrari SF-23.
Formula 1 World Championship, Rd 10, Austrian Grand Prix, Friday 30th June 2023. Spielberg, Austria.

Perez, who has fallen 69 points adrift of Verstappen in the title standings, was over half a second behind his team-mate.

Lance Stroll was the lead Aston Martin driver in sixth, having used Soft tyres, while team-mate Fernando Alonso was eighth on the Mediums.

The Aston Martin pair were split by Kevin Magnussen, who displayed encouraging pace for Haas, while Mercedes’ George Russell and Alfa Romeo’s Zhou Guanyu rounded out the top 10.

Alex Albon was the lead Williams driver in 11th spot, with Oscar Piastri 12th in the old-spec McLaren MCL60. Lando Norris, who did not use the Soft tyres, brought up the rear of the field in the new-spec car.

Qualifying for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix is scheduled for 17:00 local time

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