Styrian GP: Verstappen goes fastest, Honda power leads the way in FP1

Max Verstappen went fastest to keep the Red Bull feel-good factor going during first free practice at the team’s home race. 

Max Verstappen continued Red Bull Racing’s positive momentum as he went fastest in FP1 for this weekend’s Styrian GP.

The Red Bull driver underlined the straight-line speed of his car in low downforce trim by setting a session best time of 1m05.910s.

Verstappen headed Red Bull stablemate Pierre Gasly who finished second. The Frenchman’s Alpha Tauri car suits the point-and-squirt nature of the Red Bull Ring; he instantly looked at ease.

Moreover, it highlighted a strong session for Honda. Three of the top five cars in FP1 all had a Honda powertrain in the car.

The two Mercedes drivers broke up the Honda-powered cars as Hamilton and Bottas finished third and fourth. Bottas could arguably have gone fastest had it not been for a mistake at the final corner.

Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon also finished in the top ten for the Alpine team. Alonso managed to string a lap together after he had several laps get deleted for track limits infringements.

Robert Kubica returned to the tarmac for another outing in the Alfa Romeo. The veteran driver experienced a few off-track excursions but finished ahead of Nikita Mazepin.

With some rain forecast for this afternoon’s session, all cars completed a healthy amount of running. Consequently, that did create some issues for drivers with traffic.

Bottas and Antonio Giovanazzi almost collided on their way to the Remus Curve, while Gasly spectacularly took evasive action not to block Verstappen.

It didn’t hinder the Flying Dutchman, and he got his weekend off to the best start by going fastest.

Final Classification

Pos. No. Driver Car Best Lap Gap Laps Completed
1 33 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m05.910s 33
2 10 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m06.166s 0.256 32
3 44 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m06.332s 0.422 31
4 77 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m06.386s 0.476 33
5 22 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1m06.397s 0.487 35
6 14 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m06.519s 0.609 35
7 31 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m06.551s 0.641 34
8 18 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m06.584s 0.674 32
9 99 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m06.614s 0.704 28
10 16 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m06.629s 0.719 35
11 55 Carlos Sainz Jnr Ferrari 1m06.630s 0.720 32
12 3 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m06.669s 0.759 37
13 11 Sergio Perez Red Bull-Honda 1m06.696s 0.786 32
14 5 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m06.708s 0.798 31
15 63 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m06.848s 0.938 31
16 4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m06.861s 0.951 34
17 6 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m07.180s 1.270 30
18 47 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m07.473s 1.563 29
19 88 Robert Kubica Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m07.823s 1.913 29
20 9 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1m08.081s