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Hamilton hits back in final practice at the Styrian Grand Prix

Hamilton hits back in final practice at the Styrian Grand Prix

F1 News

Hamilton hits back in final practice at the Styrian Grand Prix

Hamilton hits back in final practice at the Styrian Grand Prix

Lewis Hamilton topped final practice for the Styrian Grand Prix as Mercedes aims to put an end to the recent dominance of Red Bull.

Hamilton and Verstappen have each taken three wins apiece this season but Mercedes has not stood on the top step of the podium since the Spanish Grand Prix three races ago.

Although Verstappen topped both Friday sessions, Hamilton unofficially set the fastest time before his effort was deleted for a track limits violation. There was no such problem for the Briton on Saturday morning.

With a time of one minute 4.369secs, Hamilton was two-tenths ahead of Verstappen although the Dutchman was hampered by traffic on his timed lap.

Valtteri Bottas was third fastest with Sergio Perez fourth, the two drivers set to provide backup to their championship challenging team-mates should this order be reflected in qualifying.

AlphaTauri had Yuki Tsunoda and Pierre Gasly fifth and sixth with Charles Leclerc, Fernando Alonso, Lance Stroll and Sebastian Vettel rounding out the top 10.

For McLaren, it was a mixed session with Lando Norris setting a time fast enough for sixth only to see his effort deleted, like Hamilton earlier in the weekend, for exceeding track limits.

This deletion pushed Norris down to P19 with Daniel Ricciardo also struggling in P17.

Antonio Giovinazzi showed promising pace for Alfa Romeo on Friday and could find himself pushing for a Q3 berth after setting the 11th fastest time.

At last year's race, George Russell made the first Q3 appearance of his F1 career and the Williams driver again showed well in 14th although his position was elevated due to the struggles of McLaren.

Track limits will be crucial in qualifying with the majority of drivers being docked times during the course of the three practice sessions. Should a driver run wide at the final corner, not only will their current effort be deleted, but also their next lap.

Styrian Grand Prix final practice results

1. Lewis Hamilton [Mercedes] 1:04.369

2. Max Verstappen [Red Bull] +0.204s

3. Valtteri Bottas [Mercedes] +0.463s

4. Sergio Perez [Red Bull] +0.657s

5. Yuki Tsunoda [AlphaTauri] +0.781s

6. Pierre Gasly [AlphaTauri] +0.929s

7. Charles Leclerc [Ferrari] +0.971s

8. Fernando Alonso [Alpine] +1.031s

9. Lance Stroll [Aston Martin] +1.076s

10. Sebastian Vettel [Aston Martin] +1.123s

11. Antonio Giovinazzi [Alfa Romeo] +1.187s

12. Esteban Ocon [Alpine] +1.307s

13. Carlos Sainz [Ferrari] +1.329s

14. George Russell [Williams] +1.494s

15. Kimi Raikkonen [Alfa Romeo] +1.573s

16. Mick Schumacher [Haas] +1.623s

17. Daniel Ricciardo [McLaren] +1.747s

18. Nicholas Latifi [Williams] +1.750s

19. Lando Norris [McLaren] +2.285s

20. Nikita Mazepin [Haas] +2.323s

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