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Austrian GP: Early days for Russell and Latifi

By Andrew Hooper
July 3 2020

The Williams Racing Team would complete their first session of the 2020 Formula One season for the Austrian GP. Both drivers would have uneventful sessions as they worked through various tyre combinations. George Russell would finish in 17th and Nicholas Latifi 18th. Both drivers would set their quickest times on soft tyre runs. It is very early days for the team as they start their road to recovery after a disasterous 2019. The FW43 is in its infancy in terms of development so any small signs of improvement are a positive.

 Williams Racing Austrian GP Friday 1st Practice

Team Summary:
With the start of the opening Friday practice for the 2020 Austrian GP both Williams racing drivers would complete their instillation laps using the soft tyre. The first driver to return would be Norris followed by Bottas. The first time from Norris was a 1m:10.251. He would improve with a 1m:08.206 with Bottas second, both on the hard tyre. Sainz was third on the medium tyre. Bottas was now quickest with a 1m:07.578 as he pitted. With a small amount of rain having fallen more drivers were coming out but on the intermediate tyre, including both Williams. Both Williams drivers would pit after two laps. Hamilton would move into fourth but he would improve with a 1m:06.994 to be quickest.

More times were been set as Sainz moved into second. It was all changing rapidly with Stroll going quickest with a 1m:06.692 only to see Hamilton move ahead with a 1m:06.547. But Stroll would have his time deleted due to track limits. Ricciardo was now second followed by Sainz and Leclerc. For Williams Nicholas was 14th dropping to 15th. A 1m:06.205 from Hamilton from Vettel, Perez, Sainz, Leclerc, Norris, Ricciardo and Stroll eighth. Ricciardo was now quickest with a 1m:06.075 running on the medium tyre. The Williams drivers were 15th and 19th but on split tyre runs using the soft and the hard. Forty minutes remaining and Perez was now quickest on the soft tyre with a 1m:06.052.

Bottas had gone quickest on the soft tyre but Hamilton would move ahead with a 1m:04.968. The Williams drivers were back in their pits currently 13th and 19th with Nicholas leading George. For McLaren Sainz and Norris were 3rd and 5th. Hamilton had improved with a 1m:04.816 with twenty minutes remaining. With just over ten minutes remaining the Williams drivers were 15th and 16th, dropping to 16th and 17th. Nicholas would drop to 18th. An improved lap from George would see him 17th just 0.091 behind Gasly. Hamilton would remain fastest from Bottas, Verstappen, Sainz, Perez, Norris, Albon, Ricciardo, Magnussen and Leclerc tenth.

George Russell:
George would take to the track for his installation lap running on the soft tyre. With a small amount of rain having fallen George would return but back on the intermediate tyre. George would pit after two laps. George was now back out with forty five minutes remaining running on the hard tyre. A 1m:10.943 from George to be 18th. George would improve with a 1m:08.533 after a seven lap run on the hard tyre. With just under twenty minutes remaining George would return this time on the soft tyre. George would set an improved 1m:06.947 to be 17th. But his next time would be a 1m:06.689 to move ahead of team-mate Nicholas. George would have to take evasive action to avoid the car of Kvyat. An improved 1m:06.574 to be 15th dropping to 16th. He would improve with a 1m:06.495 to finish the session in 17th.

Nichols Latifi:
Nicholas was out for his install lap also on the soft tyres. Nicholas would also come out for his first run also on the intermediate tyre. Nicholas would also pit after a two lap run. Nicholas would return this time on the soft tyre. He would set a 1m:09.044 to be 14th. he would improve with a 1m:08.488 now 15th. He would improve with a 1m:07.996. Further improvement with a 1m:07.329 now in 16th. But he would find a lot of time to improve with a 1m:06.906 to be 12th. Nicholas would pit after an 11 lap run. Nicholas would return for a second run this time on the medium tyre. But Nicholas would drop to 17th then 18th. Nicholas would finish his session remaining in 18th..

Pos Driver Car Gap
1 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m04.816s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 0.356s
3 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 0.602s
4 Carlos Sainz Jr. McLaren-Renault 0.615s
5 Sergio Perez Racing Point-Mercedes 0.696s
6 Lando Norris McLaren-Renault 0.805s
7 Alexander Albon Red Bull-Honda 0.885s
8 Daniel Ricciardo Renault 1.044s
9 Kevin Magnussen Haas-Ferrari 1.091s
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1.108s
11 Lance Stroll Racing Point-Mercedes 1.258s
12 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari 1.261s
13 Esteban Ocon Renault 1.454s
14 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1.544s
15 Kimi Raikkonen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1.549s
16 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1.588s
17 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1.679s
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 2.090s
19 Daniil Kvyat AlphaTauri-Honda 2.127s
20 Romain Grosjean Haas-Ferrari 41.545s

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Austrian GP: Early days for Russel and Latifi
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