F1 Austrian Grand Prix practice LIVE RESULTS: Hamilton, Bottas and Verstappen top three with Vettel down in 12th – The Sun

THE long wait for F1 to restart is over as the season commences at the Red Bull Ring.

Practice one is complete as the likes of Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen looking to take the chequered flag in the first race of this truncated campaign.

Follow ALL of the latest updates here…

  • 1) Lewis Hamilton 2) Valtteri Bottas 3) Max Verstappen
  • Practice two commences at 2pm.
  • Mercedes race in black car in support of Black Lives Matter movement.
  • Sebastian Vettel reveals Ferrari refused to offer him new deal and dumped him over the phone.
  • HAMILTON TOPS FP1 IN AUSTRIA

    Lewis Hamilton set the fastest lap around the Red Bull Ring on F1's return.

    The Mercedes ace lead the field and pipped his Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas to P1.

    The lap times will send a stark warning to the rest of the F1 grid, as Red Bull's Max Verstappen was third quickest – and that was ONE SECOND behind Hamilton.

    McLaren's Carlos Sainz continued to do his reputation no harm crossing the line in fourth, while Sergi Perez was in fifth.

    Brit Lando Norris was sixth and Red Bull's Alex Albon was seventh.

  • HOLD THE PHONE

    Grosjean IS going out, with less than 30 seconds on clock…

  • POOR ROMAIN GROSJEAN

    His wait for a burst in an F1 car will have to wait a little longer. He did just three installation laps – not setting a time – and then had a brake failure.

    Looks like the Frenchman is out of this session with just three minutes to go.

  • NERVY ONE FOR RUSSELL

    George Russell is forced to take action to stop slamming into Daniil Kvyat, as the Russian spins at the final turn. That was a close one for the Williams man.

  • MORE WOE FOR RENAULT

  • FORGET OUT FERRARI?

    Interestingly, yesterday Charles Leclerc said he was 99 per cent sure that this year's Ferrari was be worse than their 2019 challenger.

    I thought he was bluffing.

    Not even Ferrari could go backwards, could they? Well, looking at the timesheets they can. Leclerc is sixth and Sebastian Vettel is down in 9th place.

  • NORMAL SERVICE RESUMED

    Lewis Hamilton tops the time sheets for the first time in 2020. He goes quickest followed by his Mercedes teammate, Valtteri Bottas.

    McLaren's Carlos Sainz is now running in third place – almost half-a-second slower.

    Gulp!

  • The Pink Mercedes

    A quick word on Perez and Stoll who are driving the pink-coloured Racing Point.

    There was a lot of anger in the paddock in Barcelona when the team turned up to testing with what looked like Mercedes 2019 car, only painted pink.

    F1's rules mean that each team has to be a constructor – meaning they must make certain parts themselves.

    There were accusations that Racing Point had broken the rules in simply copying Mercedes' homework. So far, there has been no official protest – only grumblings.

    But they are looking good here and inside the top three, so that could change.

  • Perez Goes Quickest

    Sergio Perez sets the quickest lap so far with a time of 1:06.052 but his teammate Lance Stroll has just cut up McLaren's Carlos Sainz, who is calling for the Canadian to be punished.

  • THAT MERCEDES LOOKS GOOD

    The Silver Arrow, or Black Arrow, looks spectacular on track.

    The livery has been changed to highlight Merc's push for diversity and inclusivity – plus Lewis Hamilton's support for the Black Lives Matter movement.

  • LOOKING GOOD

    What do we think of the new livery designs on the cars?

    All-black Mercedes is very stylish.

    Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen have enjoyed their installation laps.

  • NO FANS… NO PROBLEM

    The Austrian Grand Prix has a huge artwork covering the seats at Red Bull Ring.

    The design features several star drivers over colours of the rainbow.

  • SO FAR SO GOOD

    Installation laps have been done – these are one lap around the track just to make sure the car works properly. The drivers then duck back into the garages and the system is checked over. Rather like a brief road test. The fuel and oil is checked to make sure there is no contamination and, once everything is in order, they will be out again.

  • WE ARE GO

    Somewhat fittingly it the two McLaren's who are out on track first. Remember they were the team who sparked the cancellation of the Australian GP following a positive test result for a team member. It is Carlos Sainz followed by Lando Norris.

  • WE ARE SECONDS AWAY

    We are about to go green for the first time in 2020 as FP1 is about to start in Austria. It has been 112 days since the Australian GP was cancelled due to McLaren's withdrawal following a positive test for the coronavirus.

    This is a closed event in Austria, no fans, no motorhomes and there are strict protocols in place. Understandably so.

    Happy to report that everything is working well so far and there have been no positive tests for staff at the track.

    It has been an age since testing in Barcelona finished at the end of February. Since then, the cars have been developed and tweaked, so this will be the first time we will get to see who has the potential to take the fight to Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes.

    The favorites aside, this will also be a big day for Ferrari's Charles Leclerc and for Red Bull's Max Verstappen in assessing their credentials.

    Back in March, we were excited to see how the battle between Hamilton and the two youngsters would turn out.

    Well now, for the first time since December 1st at the Abu Dhabi GP, we will see an F1 car out on track.

  • MERC MAKE A CHANGE

    Lewis Hamilton has revealed that he wants Mercedes to improve BAME diversity in their team.

    A huge supporter of the Black Lives Matter movement, Hamilton said: “I walk around the paddock and I'm the only black person in there.

    “I've talked to Toto about improving diversity in our team.

    “It's about working together, moving forward and trying to improve.

    “There's so many opportunities out there and we need to make it more open and more accessible.”

  • ALONSO'S THE B-EST

    French driver Esteban Ocon says he would welcome double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso back to Renault if the team were open to the 38-year-old Spaniard making a comeback with them.

    Alonso, who left Formula One at the end of 2018 after a last season with McLaren, won his championships with Renault in 2005 and 2006.

    The twice Le Mans 24 Hours winner has made no secret of his desire to return to the Formula One grid, with the French manufacturer having a vacancy and seen as his best bet.

    Ocon said: “My personal choice has no relation to what the team is going to do but I have a great relationship with Fernando.

    “I don’t know if he is going to join or not with us but definitely if he could come back here I’d be very happy.”

    Ocon is contracted for 2021 at the French team while Australian Daniel Ricciardo is leaving at the end of the season to join McLaren.

  • BEN HUNT – HERE WE GO!

    Good morning from Austria.

    We are just an hour away from getting this F1 season underway after the false start in Australia.

    I was at the track early and I'm pleased to say the Formula 3 cars are already whizzing around.

    There is a great air of optimism about this return and this track is the perfect setting.

    So far this week there have been no positive tests, so we are all good to go, but it will be a while before we get back to normal and with fans.

    FP1 kick off at 10am so the final checks are going on. As I type this I can hear the wheel-guns in the garages tightening the wheels on the cars.

  • HERE'S LEWIS

    Hamilton strolls into Red Bull ring dressed a t-shirt that says “END RACISM”.

  • RED FACED

    Ferrari can expect the 2020 Formula One season to be more challenging than last year, Charles Leclerc said ahead of the Austrian opener on Thursday.

    The 22-year-old Monegasque driver won two races in 2019, his first year at Maranello, but the championship runners-up have already recognised problems with the new car.

    Principal Mattia Binotto said this week that the team had taken a 'significant change of direction' since February testing but performance upgrades would not be introduced until the third race in Hungary.

    Leclerc told: “I think after the testing we knew we were not where we wanted to be, especially on the qualifying pace.

    “I think it's going to be a very challenging season for us, it is definitely not going to be easy.

    “We still have this question mark, and we still need to wait for qualifying to be absolutely sure of what we say even though we are 99 per cent sure that we will be struggling more than last year.”

  • GOOD MORNING F1 FANS

    Sebastian Vettel has dropped the bombshell he was sensationally dumped by Ferrari over the phone.

    Speaking to SunSport, Vettel, whose £32million a year contract expires in December, said: “There was no sticking point.

    “It was obviously a surprise to me when I got the call from Mattia when he told me that there was no further intention for the team to continue.

    “We never got into any discussions, there was never an offer on the table and therefore there was no sticking point.”

    In other news, Lewis Hamilton says winning the F1 title this year would mean “more than ever” as the world fights against a pandemic and racism.

    He told SunSport: “Winning the title this year would mean more than ever before being that it is such a momentous year in the sense that this pandemic, which we are still fighting.

    “But then on a more personal level, the Black Lives Matter and fighting for injustice and equality.

    “Winning it in that time to be also fighting for something so important…It is not going to change in our generation but for our kids.

    “This is such an important moment for us, so yes, winning the world title during this time would be even more important.”

    And finally, Hamilton has commented on drivers taking a knee before Sunday's race in Austria.

    He said: “We [drivers] have not all spoken but I am sure we will do something.

    “It has not been on the top of my mind. I have been asked the question but it is not a priority or a plan to take a knee on the start line. Whatever we do, we will become united and we have to fight for the injustices and inequality.”

  • F1 CALENDAR

  • LEW BEAUTY

    Lewis Hamilton says winning the F1 title this year would mean “more than ever” as the world fights against a pandemic and racism.

    The F1 star can match Michael Schumacher's total of seven world titles but says that is insignificant compared with his push for the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Hamilton has been outspoken on the subject across his social media calling for change and took part in a protest march in London's Hyde Park.

    Both his Mercedes team and F1 have responded with campaigns to promote diversity.

    Speaking in Austria at the start of the F1 season, Hamilton was asked by SunSport about what victory would mean to him this season.

    He said: “Winning the title this year would mean more than ever before being that it is such a momentous year in the sense that this pandemic, which we are still fighting.

    “But then on a more personal level, the Black Lives Matter and fighting for injustice and equality.

    “Winning it in that time to be also fighting for something so important…It is not going to change in our generation but for our kids.

    “This is such an important moment for us, so yes, winning the world title during this time would be even more important.”

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