2021 Styrian Grand Prix FP1- Verstappen fastest in busy first session of the weekend
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Formula One returns to Austria for a doubleheader for the second consecutive year and Max Verstappen was fastest in first practice. Here is how events unfolded.  

It was an extremely busy session with all ten teams sending their cars out on track ahead of FP2, a session that looks to be overshadowed by rain. 

Tough turn three

Alfa Romeo reserve driver Robert Kubica spun early on in the session at turn three on a set of cold, hard tyres and remained damage-free. The Polish man was stepping in to do some data gathering, taking a seat in Kimi Raikkonen's car.

Mick Schumacher also had a moment into turn three, understeering well wide of the exit early on in the session. 

Finding the limit

Plenty of drivers saw their lap times deleted for crossing the red and white kerbs on the exit of turns nine and ten. However, these invalidations were to be expected in FP1 as the drivers pushed to find the limit of their cars early on in the weekend.

Max Verstappen responded with a sarcastic 'lovely!' when he was informed over the radio of his deleted lap time. Verstappen's teammate Sergio Perez also pushed the limit into turn four, when he hit the brakes slightly too late, dipping into the gravel on the exit and spinning around. 

Verstappen sets the early pace

Max Verstappen set the fastest time on the soft tyre in the session with a 1:05:910, 0.256 seconds faster than Pierre Gasly and 0.422s ahead of Lewis Hamilton in the Mercedes

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas was fourth fastest with Yuki Tsunoda fifth fastest, completing a good session for Alpha Tauri.

Alpine will be pleased with their start to the weekend with Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon sixth and seventh, both drivers just over six-tenths of the pace. 

The two Ferrari's were separated by 0.001s in tenth and eleventh ahead of two drivers who had difficult sessions in Daniel Ricciardo and Sergio Perez who were twelfth and thirteenth. Ricciardo's teammate Lando Norris will also be disappointed with sixteenth fastest, although it looks as though McLaren were using Norris for race simulations. 

At the back of the grid, the two Haas cars were separated by Robert Kubica in the Alfa Romeo who was nineteenth. Schumacher was eighteenth fastest with Mazepin slowest in the pack.