Max Verstappen leads first practice for Styrian GP

Red Bull's Max Verstappen leads first practice for Styrian GP

Red Bull are chasing their fourth successive victory after winning in Monaco, Azerbaijan and France

The 23-year-old Dutchman set a best lap of one minute 05.910 seconds. Credit: Reuters Photo

Formula One world championship leader Max Verstappen lapped fastest in first practice for the Styrian Grand Prix at his Red Bull team's home Austrian track on Friday.

The 23-year-old Dutchman set a best lap of one minute 05.910 seconds, with Frenchman Pierre Gasly second on the timing screens for Red Bull-owned AlphaTauri and 0.256 slower.

Mercedes' seven times world champion Lewis Hamilton, 12 points behind Verstappen after seven races, was third quickest and 0.422 off the Red Bull's pace with team mate Valtteri Bottas fourth.

AlphaTauri's Japanese rookie Yuki Tsunoda was the fifth fastest with Alpine's Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon sixth and seventh respectively.

Sunday's race will be the first of two at Spielberg's scenic Red Bull Ring.

Red Bull are chasing their fourth successive victory after winning in Monaco, Azerbaijan and France. The team last won four in a row in 2013, before the V6 turbo hybrid era ushered in seven years of Mercedes domination from 2014.

Ferrari's Carlos Sainz was one of several spinners in the session. The Spaniard ended up 11th, with Monegasque team mate Charles Leclerc 10th.

Red Bull's Sergio Perez, the winner in Baku, also spun and was 13th fastest. 

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