Sergio Perez finished on top of the time charts at the 2020 Styrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria in the first free practice session. Max Verstappen was in second position, 0.096 seconds behind. Valtteri Bottas was a further 0.222 seconds behind in third position.
The second race of the 2020 FIA Formula 1 World Championship followed the first race at the same venue in the Styrian mountians. This was the first time two championship races were taking place at the same venue back to back.
Jack Aitken was taking part in his first Formula 1 practice session for Williams in place of George Russell. Robert Kubica returned to Formula 1 with Alfa Romeo Racing in place of Antonio Giovinazzi for this practice session.
The ninety-minute long free practice session started under clear skies with the air temperature at 27 degrees C and the track temperature at 45 degrees C.
The Pirelli tyre choice at this race is the white-striped hard compound tyres (C2), yellow-striped medium compound tyres (C3), and red-striped soft compound tyres (C4).
Sebastian Vettel was the first driver to exit the pit lane when the lights went green and the session started. Most drivers took to the track on the white-striped hard compound tyres.
Carlos Sainz set the first timed lap. Alexander Albon was on top in the early exchanges ahead of Sainz, Lando Norris and Esteban Ocon.
With one hour of the session to go, Max Verstappen went to the top of the time charts. Nicholas Latifi pulled off the track with a gearbox issue and first the Virtual Safety Car (VSC) was deployed and then the session was briefly red-flagged. Kevin Magnussen was still confined to the garage with a battery issue.
As the session progressed, drivers bolted on the red-striped soft compound tyres to test their one-lap pace. The Mercedes drivers were still on the medium compound tyres and Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas moved into first and second position.
With thirty minutes to go, Sergio Perez put himself in first position on the soft tyres, 0.253 seconds ahead of Hamilton. Team-mate Lance Stroll who was briefly on top had his time deleted for exceeding track limits. On his second flying lap, Stroll went fourth behind Perez and the Mercedes drivers.
With 30 minutes remaining, Perez led the session from Bottas, Hamilton, Stroll, Sainz, Pierre Gasly, Verstappen, Daniel Ricciardo, Vettel and Daniil Kvyat.
Verstappen on a set of brand new soft tyres jumped to second position 0.096 seconds behind Perez. The session ended with Perez and Verstappen ahead of the two Mercedes drivers and Stroll.
Albon was in sixth position with Sainz in seventh position. Gasly, Ricciardo and Vettel rounded off the top 10 positions. After the Mercedes drivers topping every session at this venue last weekend, Perez ended the first free practice session on top.
2020 Styrian Grand Prix FP1 Results:
|1||11||Sergio Perez||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||01:04.867||32|
|2||33||Max Verstappen||Red Bull Racing Honda||01:04.963||+0.096s||31|
|5||18||Lance Stroll||Racing Point BWT Mercedes||01:05.396||+0.529s||36|
|6||23||Alexander Albon||Red Bull Racing Honda||01:05.483||+0.616s||28|
|7||55||Carlos Sainz||McLaren Renault||01:05.602||+0.735s||40|
|8||10||Pierre Gasly||AlphaTauri Honda||01:05.698||+0.831s||27|
|11||26||Daniil Kvyat||AlphaTauri Honda||01:05.815||+0.948s||28|
|14||4||Lando Norris||McLaren Renault||01:05.908||+1.041s||25|
|15||7||Kimi Räikkönen||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||01:06.441||+1.574s||23|
|16||8||Romain Grosjean||Haas Ferrari||01:06.446||+1.579s||31|
|17||40||Jack Aitken||Williams Mercedes||01:06.768||+1.901s||35|
|18||88||Robert Kubica||Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari||01:06.797||+1.930s||31|
|19||6||Nicholas Latifi||Williams Mercedes||01:09.598||+4.731s||6|
|20||20||Kevin Magnussen||Haas Ferrari||3|