Hamilton sets pace in Austrian GP practice


SPEILBERG, Austria — Lewis Hamilton in a Mercedes set the pace in both practice sessions Friday for Sunday’s Formula One Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton clocked a best lap of 1 minute 5.483 seconds on the Spielberg circuit, 0.147 seconds ahead of title rival Sebastian Vettel of Ferrari in second spot.

Hamilton’s team-mate Valtteri Bottas followed ahead of the Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Daniel Ricciardo, with Ferrari’s Kimi Raikkonen sixth.

Hamilton was 0.449 seconds quicker than Vettel in the morning session, when the German finishing fourth behind Verstappen and Bottas.

It was the first F1 action since the Azerbaijan Grand Prix when Vettel served a 10-second time penalty for running into the back of Hamilton in a safety-car phase.

Earlier in the week governing body FIA decided against further action over the incident.

Vettel apologized for the manoeuvre and said on Thursday: It was the wrong move and I made the wrong decision. There’s not too much more to say.”

Hamilton said: “It’s the end of the matter for me – I’ve accepted [Sebastian’s] apology and moved on.”

Vettel leads the drivers’ standings on 153 points, 14 ahead of Hamilton, with Bottas on 111 and Ricciardo on 92.

A third practice session is scheduled Saturday before qualifying at 1200 GMT, which will determine grid positions for Sunday’s race.