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Austrian F1 Grand Prix 2019 Qualifying: Results, Times from Friday's Practice

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJune 28, 2019

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JUNE 28: Lewis Hamilton of Great Britain driving the (44) Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team Mercedes W10 on track during practice for the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on June 28, 2019 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Mark Thompson/Getty Images)
Mark Thompson/Getty Images

Charles Leclerc finished fastest in the second practice session at the 2019 Formula One Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.

The Ferrari star finished with a lap of one minute, 5.086 seconds on the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg to post a quicker time than Mercedes' Valtteri Bottas, who crashed out of the session, and Red Bull Racing's Pierre Gasly.

Earlier in the day, world championship leader Lewis Hamilton had been quickest in FP1.

Here are the full timings from both practice runs:

Formula 1 @F1

CLASSIFICATION - FP1 It's @LewisHamilton at the top in a rapidly-roasting Spielberg 🙏 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 https://t.co/8b1iebLEkq

Formula 1 @F1

FP2 CLASSIFICATION: #FridayFeeling for @Charles_Leclerc 👏 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 https://t.co/r1NcKtefvD

FP1

Mercedes have been utterly dominant so far this season, winning all eight races in 2019. Hamilton has won six of those and will certainly be the man to beat again come Sunday.

Bottas had a delayed start to the morning due to an oil leak:

Mercedes-AMG F1 @MercedesAMGF1

Meanwhile... ☕️ #AustrianGP https://t.co/0OQxPBd7QL

But he eventually got out on track and started an entertaining battle with Leclerc as they swapped top spot.

In the final half hour, though, Hamilton hit the front with the fastest lap of the session and held it through to the end.

The close of the first session came slightly earlier than expected when Nico Hulkenberg drew a red flag with four minutes to go.

The Renault driver went wide at Turn 9 and hit the troublesome sausage kerbs, losing half his front wing in the process:

Formula 1 @F1

🚩 RED FLAG 🚩 From bad to wurst over the kerbs for Hulkenberg 😬 He leaves the left half of his front wing on track #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 https://t.co/Ar5KrubtD9

While they failed to finish fastest, Ferrari enjoyed a successful session as they managed second and fourth despite running on the medium tyre:

Pirelli Motorsport @pirellisport

Only the @ScuderiaFerrari drivers have used only the medium tyres in #FP1; everyone else has been using soft tyres only (the most popular choice) or a combination. @LandoNorris and @RacingPointF1 are the only ones to have sampled the hard. #Fit4F1 https://t.co/9NGFqS5sZO

Vettel and Leclerc will be desperate to break Mercedes' dominance this weekend to have any chance of forcing their way into the title battle.

       

FP2

Things took a few dramatic turns in FP2. The kerbs were presenting a problem, with Max Verstappen falling victim after hitting the barrier on Turn 10.

The Red Bull Racing ace wasn't the only notable name to suffer misfortune, with Bottas soon following him out of the session.

A heavy shunt saw the Finn off track on the sixth turn but thankfully free of injury.

Formula 1 @F1

🚩 RED FLAG 🚩 Now Bottas goes into the barriers - this time it's Turn 6 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 https://t.co/xhpm2u8l0A

BBC Sport's Andrew Benson noted how things were going from bad to worse for Bottas:

Andrew Benson @andrewbensonf1

Bottas's season has begun to unravel in the last two races. Yesterday, he was saying how he needed to claw back some ground on Hamilton in the next month or so. This is exactly what he did not need

By contrast, Ferrari were handling the circuit better than most, with Leclerc going fastest. Bottas still had the second-quickest time, even as he waited on his car being fixed and took a precautionary trip to the medical centre.

Leclerc was riding well on the softs, but the Monegasque nearly came unstuck when he went close to colliding with Alfa Romeo Racing's Antonio Giovinazzi:

Formula 1 @F1

Lelerc and Giovinazzi touch at Turn 3 No damage done, and stewards decide not to take any action #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 #F1 https://t.co/mMjQzfy9za

The near miss wasn't enough to slow the 21-year-old down, though. Leclerc sauntered to the quickest time, with Gasly third-fastest behind the unfortunate Bottas.

Meanwhile, neither Hamilton nor Vettel posted times while driving on the softs.

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