Heading in Qualifying, Sebastian Vettel, Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas look to be in the fight for Pole Position. A clean lap with no interruptions will be key to setting a quick and competitive lap.
The new Mercedes upgrade seemed to be working well as Lewis Hamilton headed team-mate Valterri Bottas with Red Bull and Ferrari not far behind. The new Mercedes upgrade was focused around it’s chassis with both drivers enjoying the feel of it. Max Verstappen, Sebastian Vettel, Daniel Ricciardo and Kimi Raikkonen rounded out the top 5 as Haas’s Romain Grosjean enjoying being “best of the rest” in 7th. The ever-impressive Sauber’s Charles Leclerc was a fine 9th with team-mate Marcus Ericsson nearly 2 tenths behind in 12th. Meanwhile, Williams gave Robert Kubica his 2nd outing of 2018 as he occupied Sergey Sirotkin’s seat with the Polish driver finishing in 20th.
Once again, Lewis Hamilton headed team-mate Valterri Bottas in the very competitive session as the top 8 was covered by a second. Behind the Mercedes duo, Sebastian Vettel led the charge ahead of Daniel Ricciardo, Max Verstappen and Kimi Raikkonen. Haas continued their fine form with Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen in 7th and 8th. Renault, who brought engine upgrades, finished in 11th and 15th with McLaren’s Fernando Alonso finishing in 19th while team-mate Stoffel Vandoorne was an impressive 10th. Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly broke his suspension and ended up beached in the gravel after going over the Red Bull Ring’s unforgiving kerbs.
For the first time in 2018, Sebastian Vettel topped a practice session ahead of both Mercedes of Lewis Hamilton and Valterri Bottas. Kimi Raikkonen was 4 tenths behind his Ferrari team-mate in 4th ahead of the Red Bull’s of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo. It wasn’t plane sailing for Verstappen though as the Dutchman pulled over due to a apparent hydraulic issue. There were also problems for Sauber’s Charles Leclerc who also pulled over in the dying seconds of the session due to a apparent gearbox issue. Both Renault’s of Carlos Sainz and Nico Hulkenberg were 9th and 11th with Toro Rosso’s Pierre Gasly in 12th.