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Hamilton: Ferrari quicker than Mercedes in Austria

Hamilton: Ferrari quicker than Mercedes in Austria

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Hamilton: Ferrari quicker than Mercedes in Austria

Hamilton: Ferrari quicker than Mercedes in Austria

Lewis Hamilton believes Ferrari hold more pace than Mercedes at the Austrian Grand Prix after a crazy day of practice that masked many clues as to the true pecking order.

All three of F1's biggest teams saw a driver err in FP3, with greater consequences for Red Bull and Mercedes, who saw Max Verstappen and Valtteri Bottas smash into the barriers.

While Sebastian Vettel managed to screech to a halt before crashing, having spun at the same spot as Verstappen, Hamilton also suffered damage, losing a couple of front wings over the Red Bull Ring's notorious 'sausage' kerbs.

Although he topped FP1 and ran within half a second of Charles Leclerc's leading time in a crazy FP2 with hard tyres fitted, Hamilton still pegged Ferrari as the team to beat in Spielberg.

He said: "It's been a clean day with no major issues. I broke a wing a couple of times but I think a lot of people are doing that on the kerbs.

"I don't know if we are faster than we were here last year but it feels incredible.

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"The Ferraris and the Red Bulls look pretty quick, particularly the Ferraris so it will be interesting to see how that pans out tomorrow, because you never know what they do.

"But I think it's close, which is good. I love it when it's close and that means we have our work cut out.

"I think today showed they [Ferrari] are either with us or slightly ahead of us.

"It's one of those circuits where it's very close. When you go to Brands Hatch for example, the difference is only a few tenths.

Valtteri Bottas after crashing his Mercedes in FP2.

"The Ferraris are generally very quick on the straights. The Red Bulls have picked up on the straights too. I think that's definitely going to be the challenge.

"The Ferraris have been quicker in the straights for whatever reason and it doesn't seem to be happening in the corners, so it will be really interesting.

"In the race runs they are usually not as quick as us, but today they were quicker. But it's OK. It is a track that you can follow closer at least and hopefully the tyres are durable."

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