January 21, 2018

Hamilton ends Friday on top in Austria

08 July 2017, 12:39 | Marlene Fleming

Vettel set to face more trials of temperament

Austrian F1 Grand Prix 2017 Qualifying: Hamilton Sets FP1 Pace, Results, Times

Having lost victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to an issue with his headrest, Hamilton continued his impressive form from that weekend to go top on a 1:05.975.

The 2017 Driver Standings leader, German Sebastian Vettel (Ferrari) was fourth, 0.449 seconds off the pace, ahead of Red Bull's Australian driver Daniel Ricciardo.

Lewis Hamilton praised his Mercedes team and the speed of his updated auto Friday after dominating both practice sessions for the Austrian Grand Prix with record-breaking times.

Mercedes has had to replace the gearbox with which Hamilton finished the Baku race a fortnight ago.

The triple Formula One world champion, who has been on pole position at the Red Bull Ring for the past two years, was favourite for the hat-trick to move closer to Michael Schumacher's all-time record of 68.

A couple of minutes later Hamilton capped the flurry of ultra-soft efforts at the end of the opening half an hour with a 1m05.483s that remained unbeaten as drivers switched to race preparation. "I'm sure Mercedes will probably turn it up for qualifying but I hope we can stay in that fight".

"Aerodynamically, we've made another step forward from Baku, which is encouraging".

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"Most importantly, the auto feels fantastically fast here".

"The vehicle felt good".

"It is a short track so you'd imagine it would be close". They seem very quick, whenever they went out today. "The auto feels really good all around the lap".

The teenager had recovered after an earlier off-circuit excursion through a gravel trap at Turn One to return and split the two Mercedes, pushing Finn Valtteri Bottas down to third.

"I'm still playing around with the set-up of the auto, trying to get it well balanced and it was a pretty straightforward day".

"I think we could have been a bit faster".

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