Austrian Grand Prix – Practice


F1 is back, FINALLY!

I don’t usually write a post just for Practice but I need the practice too 🙂

OK, before we start, here are a couple of (hopefully) useful links:

  • F1 line-up, 2020 … because there’s been lots of chat about driver changes, but obviously those don’t kick in until next season
  • New F1 Calendar for 2020 has just 8 races listed but there’s expectation that a few more will be announced soon (The original calendar went out the window ages ago!)

In other news:

  • “Kerbs have been changed at the final two corners on the Red Bull Ring to reduce the risk of cars being damaged if drivers run wide.” [racefans.net]
  • “Sebastian Vettel says he did not expect Ferrari’s decision not to keep him after this season. It emerged after Ferrari announced the German would leave that he had never been offered a new contract.” [BBC]

Tyres for the weekend: C2 (hard), C3 & C4 (soft)

Free Practice 1: HAM (1:04.816), BOT, VER, SAI, PER; fastest Ferrari was LEC (P10)
SAI was first on track, but it was NOR who set the first lap time
GRO has a problem with his brakes
VER spins in Turn 1, then KVY spins
GRO’s brake problem kept him in the garage for the rest of P1
“Red Bull ask FIA for clarification on Mercedes’ dual-axis steering” although the FIA announced a few months ago that it would be banned for next season. [BBC]

Free Practice 2
GRO, SAI and GIO are first to take to the track
There’s a big black cloud approaching the circuit
GRO 1:08.351
SAI 1:06.886
STR 1:05.469
Radio for ALB sounds like an engine issue for his Red Bull, but Christian Horner says it’s been reset and is ok now
Yellow flag – KVY spins, rejoins the track
Another yellow – LAT ran wide in Turn 1 but kept the Williams out of the gravel trap, rejoins
PER’s Racing Point is looking a bit smoky
VER 1:05.379
No time yet from HAM, RIC or OCO, but HAM is now on track
BOT cuts across the grass at Turn 3
HAM 1:05.095
Renault finally send out their cars
PER 1:04.945
BOT 1:04.501
(VET P3)
Yellow flag – RAI off, across the gravel but manages to re-find the track
ALB pits to reduce the front wing
HAM 1:04.304
Watching the mechanics in the pit lane wearing COVID masks – I hope they’re non-flammable – the team-styled ones probably are
BOT comes in for a practice pit stop – seems to struggle to leave the box as he’s waved away
Mechanics are working on HAM’s front wing
SAI runs over a rumble strip and appears to damage his McLaren’s front wing
VET locks up and runs wide in Turn 3
30mins left of P2
Yellow flag – VER ran wide, across the gravel and took to the escape road but finally found the track
HAM runs wide in Turn 10 and that lap time is deleted (He’s not the only one to have a lap time deleted, just the only one I’ve seen pop up on the notifications)
ALB spun in Turn 1 – the rear of his Red Bull just stepped out
The black cloud has gone but the wind has picked up a bit
Yellow flag – GRO spins in T3
Radio for BOT – hydraulic problem? He pits and is pushed into the garage
Positive news for PER – his engineer tells him he’s faster than VER
Chequered flag
Cars line up on the grid for practice starts

Final order for P2: HAM (1:04.304), BOT, PER, VET, RIC, NOR, STR, VER, LEC, SAI