The start to the Austrian Grand Prix weekend was a fast one, with Nico Rosberg leading the times setting the fastest ever lap around the Red Bull Ring.
He set a 1:07.373 on the ultrasoft tyre, before having a off of his own, a sight we saw a lot during the first session. That time is the fastest lap ever around the Red Bull Ring, breaking the record of Michael Schumacher dating back from 2003.
It was an eventful end to the thirty minute start, with Hamilton spinning at turn 3, causing Romain Grosjean’s Haas to spin at the same point, bringing out the virtual safety car. Both cars were able to continue though. Hamilton would only finish second though, his prime time on the circuit was interrupted by the virtual safety car and offs, with just over a three tenths gap to Rosberg.
Ferrari were ready to test the second version of the Halo, with Sebastian Vettel scheduled to run it in the session. There was however an oil leak which left the devise on the sidelines. The German was unhappy with his teammate though, where he believed that he inhibited a fast lap. Vettel remained a couple of tenths faster than Raikkonen, who were in turn clear of Red Bull.
Daniel Ricciardo and Max Verstappen both had ‘exciting’ sessions. Ricciardo was overtaking the Sauber of Marcus Ericsson in the penultimate corner, when the Swede was trying to take too much speed through, crossing the line with the Red Bull having to take avoiding action. The Sauber driver was put under investigation for the move. Ricciado had his own excursion through the gravel, as all the leaders find where the grip is on the circuit.
In the same corner Max Verstappen ran wide, hitting the yellow ‘baguette’ kerb on the exit which sheared off the cascade element on his front wing, later complaining that they are dangerous. Later on in the session, he went off, beached in with a broken front suspension and front wing. Once again it was caused by the kerbs on the outside of turn 5, and bringing out the virtual safety car. It meant that Verstappen had dropped to eighth, with Sainz and Massa separating him from his teammate.
The other Toro Rosso of Daniil Kvyat, and Valtteri Bottas rounded out the top ten.
It was also a dodgy session for Manor, although to at the back of the order. Rio Haryanto was investigated for dangerously returning to the circuit after a spin and Pascal Wehrlein who went too fast under the virtual safety car.