F1 Austrian GP 2024 Free Practice 1 – Verstappen tops times after red flag PU scare

Follow all the F1 action on the Total Motorsport live blog as teams and drivers take to the Red Bull RIng for FP1 at the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix

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Welcome to Total-Motorsport’s live F1 coverage of the Austrian GP 2024 Free Practice 1 session. Held at the iconic Red Bull Ring, today’s session marks the beginning of an exciting Formula 1 Sprint weekend, where teams will gather vital data and refine their setups ahead of Sunday’s race. Stay with us as we bring you real-time updates and insights from the track.

This race marked the second leg of the first triple-header of the season. The Red Bull Ring features the lowest number of corners (10) and the shortest lap time on the F1 calendar. Despite its 4.318 km length making it the third shortest track, the Red Bull Ring boasts a significant altitude change of 63.5 metres, second only to Spa-Francorchamps.

The Austrian GP has a storied history, with 37 races held at the Red Bull Ring and its predecessor circuits. The Styrian hills have been the home of Formula 1 in Austria since 1964, evolving through different eras from the Osterreichring to the A1-Ring, and finally, the Red Bull Ring. 

Max Verstappen, already the most successful driver at this venue with four previous wins, will be aiming to add another victory to his tally. This weekend’s Austrian GP will feature the Sprint format which includes a single free practice session on Friday, followed by Sprint qualifying Then the Sprint race on Saturday ahead of Qualifying, with the main Grand Prix on Sunday.

F1 Austrian GP 2024 FP1 LIVE: News and Latest Updates

Stay tuned to Total-Motorsport.com for all the live action from the 2024 Austrian GP with this one and only practice session at the Red Bull Ring as we begin another F1 Sprint weekend.


REPORT: Verstappen tops FP1 after PU scare

Max Verstappen shook off a power unit failure to top FP1 by posting a 1:05.685 just half an hour after he was left rolling backwards on the pit-straight without any drive in his championship-leading Red Bull.

The Dutchman, at what is basically a third “home” GP, made a differential change on his car as he headed on into Turn 9 before the power seemed to switch off, leaving him stranded by the finishing line with a 10-place grid penalty looming large on the horizon.

But with some quick thinking, he allowed his car to roll back towards a gap in the pit-wall under the red flag and reported his last changes to his engineer so the team quickly fixed the problem and sent him back out and if there was any fears of a performance impact, forget about it, as he smashed the times to go faster than both Ferrari’s and Oscar Piastri.

It was also a good session for Mercedes who showed encouraging pace on the hard tyre and led the vast majority of FP1, although George Russell’s one-lap pace didn’t seem to be stellar meanwhile Lewis Hamilton opted not to bother as he kept his soft tyres for Sprint Qualifying.

McLaren and Ferrari were largely anonymous, as were Aston Martin who continue to be regressing under the pen and paper of Dan Fallows with the CEO, Lawrence Stroll, appearing to begin to grow frustrated at their lack of progress.

But that’s it as far as it goes for trying to improve set-ups as F1 heads immediately into a Sprint Qualifying session that will be under Parc Ferme so find out who takes Sprint pole later on today!

Lando Norris is punished by the Red Bull Ring

Lando Norris looks good through Sector 1 on the upgraded McLaren but he can’t hold it all together and he runs wide at Turn 4 with a trip across the new gravel to go with it.

He’s the big unknown heading into competitive sessions with nobody really sure of how fast he actually is.

Five minutes to go: Timing board updates!

Max Verstappen’s one-lap pace looks good as he dips into the 1:05s with a .685 to go faster than Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz by 0.370 and 0.443 as the grid runs some qualifying simulations now!

Lance Stroll’s Aston Martin is now almost seven tenths off the pace.

Seven minutes to go: Stroll’s on a glory run

Lance Stroll posts a qualifying sim and we finally have a change to the upper part of the timing board after about half an hour of nothingness!

The Aston Martin posts a purple sector one on the soft tyres but can only go 0.130 slower than Lewis Hamilton as he pops into second place.

What year is this? Lewis Hamilton lights up the track!

It’s purple, purple, purple for the most successful driver of all-time as Lewis Hamilton looks good through FP1 at the Red Bull Ring in Austria!

20 minutes to go: Mercedes still on top

The red flag caused by Max Verstappen’s power failure interrupted running for a few minutes so there has been no change at the top of the standings as a result.

It means Lewis Hamilton still leads George Russell, then Max Verstappen, Sergio Perez, Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc in the top six.

21 minutes to go: Scary moment for Tsunoda

Alex Albon is told one car is pushing close behind him so he moves out of the way but he doesn’t know Yuki Tsunoda is also thundering towards Turn 9 and as the Williams jinks back to the right to the racing line it leaves Tsunoda in a very scary predicament that he expertly manages to avoid!

22 minutes to go: Verstappen’s back on track

Red Bull have quickly fixed whatever the issue was and his car sounds normal again as he starts his latest push lap on the medium tyres.

That’s a, frankly, astonishing turn around to get this driver back out onto the track.

23 minutes to go: Green flag

Max Verstappen is back in his race garage and the session is back underway. We don’t know if the Dutchman will be out of the session yet but that is absolutely the last thing he needed with this one hour session being the only time to practice before Sprint Qualifying.

RED FLAG: MAX VERSTAPPEN OUT OF THE SESSION

Max Verstappen stops his car on the pit-straight and reports the same engine fault as what can only be the 2024 Canadian Grand Prix when his electronics failed! His race engineer frantically tries to find a solution but the marshals have touched his car and he is OUT of the session!

Will that be a 10-place grid penalty for the Dutch driver if he has to take a fourth engine of the season?

30 minutes to go: Russell annoyed as no update to times

George Russell complains at Mercedes sending both cars out at the same time again as the drivers switch up their run plans meaning no faster times have been set in the previous ten minutes.

Lewis Hamilton’s 1:06.254 is still quickest on the board as he leads George Russell by 0.132 and Verstappen by 0.391.

Will Red Bull be challenged this weekend?

It’s a beautiful backdrop at the Austrian GP so will we also see a beautiful race with a multi-team fight for the win at the Red Bull Ring?

35 minutes to go: George Russell pushes to the limit and then some…

George Russell heads on up to Turn 3 at maximum speed in eighth gear but when he begins to brake for the hairpin his front-right locks up and he goes straight on to the escape road.

That’s the first mistake from the frontrunners in this F1 weekend.

40 minutes to go: Mercedes on top!

Mercedes are looking good in the opening stages as they look to build on the form they had in Monaco, Canada and Spain as they continue to lead the way at the Red Bull Ring in Austria too.

George Russell’s got a 1:06.386 on the board and Lewis Hamilton’s just beaten that by going 0.132 faster as both cars run a brand new beam-wing. We’re still a few seconds off the pace and Mercedes are on the hard tyres but it’s looking good for the moment as Hamilton continues pushing his car.

42 minutes to go: Road rage from Leclerc

Charles Leclerc gets angry at Nico Hulkenberg for hanging around on the racing line at Turn 4 and intentionally brakes deep to make a point to the Haas driver, who then overtakes him back at the exit to wave his hand in a, “What are you doing” gesture.

Hulkenberg adds: “I aborted but I didn’t know the Ferrari was on a lap. All these cry-babies here with the traffic.”

What do the old school racers think of the new track limits?

Charles Leclerc is optimistic and Max Verstappen is cautiously hopeful, but what do the old school drivers like Sky Sports F1’s Martin Brundle think of the changes? Brundle raced against Ayrton Senna and Michael Schumacher in his time in F1 back in the 1980s and 1990s and he’s all for the changes…

“It’s a corner where they’ve move the track limit out a bit and it’s now consistent with the rest of the track,” Brundle told Sky Sports F1. “Basically, if you breach track limits you’re dipping a tyre in the gravel and I really like that.

“I think that will reward the drivers who can carry the speed, remain accurate and keep their cars under control, and punish those who can’t. That’s good – you can’t make up you’re own race track when you’re going around.”

Update: It doesn’t take times long to drop…

Lewis Hamilton was momentarily fastest and now he finds himself down in third as the drivers begin to gain more confidence and begin to push to the limits of the track more and more.

George Russell now leads with a 1:06.386 from Verstappen, a further 0.259 back from the Mercedes.

48 minutes to go.

50 minutes to go: Hamilton leads the way in Red Bull’s backyard

The first 10 minutes of the weekend have come and gone and it’s a 1-2 for Mercedes as things stand with Lewis Hamilton’s 1:06.925 leading George Russell by 0.088 as Max Verstappen slots into third behind the pair.

53 minutes to go: Hamilton impeded

Every lap counts in this FP1 session, even if Mercedes are running the hard tyres, and Lewis Hamilton is blocked by an Aston Martin deciding to dawdled and amble around on the racing line in the approach to Turn 3’s hairpin.

He throws an annoyed hand up at the driver and lets his fury loose on the next lap by smashing in a 1:06.925 to become the first driver of the weekend to dip below the 1:07s.

55 minutes to go: Good or bad news for Lando Norris?

Lando Norris sounds calm on the radio as he tells his engineer that his steering wheel appears to be out of sync, reminding him of back when he won his first Grand Prix of the year.

“The steering reminds me a little bit of Miami, a little bit harder to turn right and much easier to turn left,” Norris tells his F1 race engineer.

Moments later, Yuki Tsunoda runs wide at the exit of Turn 1 and also complains about steering problems on his RB as they look to bounce back from a woeful 2024 Spanish GP…

57 minutes to go: Max Verstappen’s first flying lap of the day

The world champion bangs in a 1:08.044 on the medium tyres on his first run of the day, before he is quickly displaced by Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes and George Russell.

The first runs are always finder laps so don’t expect these times to be representative unless something has gone really wrong.

GREEN FLAG: FP1 GETS UNDERWAY!

Remember that this is the only chance teams have to get their cars dialled in for the Sprint Qualifying session later today at the Red Bull Ring, making it one of the most important FP1s of the entire year!

All cars should be out on track pronto and, of course, they are as Max Verstappen queues up in the pit-lane waiting for the all-important green light for the one hour session…

Mercedes makes lawnmowers now? Bottas tests track limits…

Valtteri Bottas took an off-road excursion in his all-conquering W11 Mercedes back in 2020, so will we see other drivers start to cut the grass and re-arrange the gravel at the Red Bull Ring in Austria?

Free Practice 1 starts in FIVE minutes! Get live updates here with Total-Motorsport.com.

Where can you watch the 2024 Austrian GP FP1 session?

If you’re in the United Kingdom, United States, Canada or Australia and you’re wondering where you can get your latest fix of Formula 1, don’t worry!

Total-Motorsport.com has you covered. Here are the broadcasters in your area of the world for ALL of the sessions at the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring.

New track limits! Are the drivers fans?

After the fiasco in 2023 which saw 1200 reports of track limits violations (60 per driver!), the FIA have introduced gravel at the exits of Turns 9 and 10, the final two corners of the lap.

With natural limits in place, it’s what some drivers have been calling for for years, but what do Max Verstappen and Charles Leclerc think?

Welcome to the blog for the 2024 Austrian Grand Prix FP1 session!

Total-Motorsport.com welcomes you and will provide you with live updates and news from the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg for the latest round of the 2024 Formula 1 World Championship as Max Verstappen bids for his fourth win in five races at this circuit.

With Free Practice 1 being the only practice session of this sprint weekend, pressure is firmly on the teams so expect a lot of action at 12:30 local time in Austria!

Austrian GP 2024 Pirelli Tyre Info

Pirelli has selected the three softest compounds from their 2024 range for this race—C3 as Hard, C4 as Medium, and C5 as Soft. The Spielberg track, with its older and highly abrasive surface, requires meticulous tyre management to prevent overheating, especially given the variable ambient temperatures. Traction out of the slow corners and stability under braking are crucial for a competitive edge.

Tyre information and data for the 2024 Austrian GP | Pirelli
Tyre information and data for the 2024 Austrian GP | Pirelli

Where to Watch the F1 2024 Austrian GP

Sky Sports F1 remains the home for live Formula 1 racing in the UK. The channel will provide comprehensive coverage of the 2024 Austrian GP, including practice, qualifying, and the race itself. Meanwhile, F1 fans in the USA can catch all the action from the Red Bull Ring across ESPN.

Brandon Sutton
Brandon Sutton
Brandon is an alumni of an NCTJ and BJTC Liverpool John Moores University course, and has been with Total-Motorsport.com for over a year now. He enjoys covering all forms of motorsport but particularly focuses on Formula 1, and Brandon loves to debate various topics of the sport and other interests, especially if that topic doesn't have an open/shut answer such as the GOAT debate.
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