Lewis Hamilton praises Mercedes for practice speed at Austrian GP

Verstappen's luckless run continues with Turn 1 DNF in Austria

Hamilton is on 66 poles, meaning another in Spielberg on Saturday would have set him up to equal the record at Silverstone, his home British Grand Prix, next week.

The document also revealed that Mercedes informed Bauer of the change on Tuesday morning, meaning Hamilton entered the weekend with prior knowledge of his impending sanction.

Lewis Hamilton led both practice sessions and Valtteri Bottas was third in both.

The British driver, who won here from the front past year, was 0.147 seconds faster than championship leader Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari in the afternoon and 0.19 ahead of Max Verstappen's Red Bull in the morning.

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third, with Vettel nearly half a second down on Hamilton.

The only glitch for Hamilton, meanwhile, was to come in to the pits briefly for a spark plug change in P2.

"Most importantly, the auto feels fantastically fast here".

Saudi foreign policy pushes Iran, Turkey closer
At the start of the crisis, Kuwait also pointed out that Qatar needs to understand the "fears and reservations of its brothers". He added: "We have heard that these demands are non-negotiable , but this violates the principles of worldwide relations".

Last time out in Baku, his title rival Vettel controversially collided with Hamilton during a heated race.

"It's a short track, so you imagine it'll be close", he said. Not only did the Belgian outpace Fernando Alonso, but McLaren looked competitive with Honda's Spec-3 engine, which has been introduced ahead of the week.

Rarely are the fortunes of the fourth and fifth-placed drivers in a race so tightly scrutinised but, then again, it is also just as uncommon to see a driver deliberately spear his vehicle into an opponent as Vettel did to Hamilton in Baku.

In P1, Vettel clipped the kerb at Turn 1.

Despite that run he still trails Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel - with whom he clashed behind the safety vehicle in Azerbaijan last race - by 14 points in the championship.

Sebastian Vettel and Kimi Raikkonen both recovered from early spins to finish P4 and P6 respectively, with four tenths separating the two Ferrari drivers on the supersofts.

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