FORMULA ONE stars are at the Red Bull Ring for the second week running as the Styrian Grand Prix gets underway.
Lewis Hamilton only finished fourth in the season opener after a controversial five-second penalty, with Mercedes teammate Valtteri Bottas taking the chequered flag after an action-packed race.
- Practice one result: 1) Perez 2) Verstappen 3) Bottas
- Practices start at 10am and 3pm today.
- Coverage is live on Sky Sports F1.
Follow all the latest build-up in our live blog below…
Red Bull boss Christian Horner has shut down any talk of Sebastian Vettel returning in 2021.
He said: “Unfortunately it's not something we are going to be able to accommodate.
“That is a definite no, I'm afraid. Sebastian I think is aware of that.”
Meanwhile, Max Verstappen says he believes there is no room at Red Bull for Vettel as the team are happy with his partnership with Alex Albon.
He said: “I am really happy with Alex as a team mate. He's first of all a very nice guy in the team, which is good for everyone.
“He's good with setups, so we both give good feedback to the team. And he's a fast guy.
“So I don't think there is any reason to change, and I think Christian and Helmut can back that up. It's also not up to me to decide these things.”
VETT'S GOT HIS WINGS
Sebastian Vettel says he would jump at the chance to rejoin Red Bull next season.
When quizzed if he would go back to Red Bull if there was an offer on the table, he said: “It's a winning car, I'm here to compete, I'm here to win, so probably the answer would be yes.”
Vettel added: “I'm of the conviction that if you want to win you have to be happy to take on anyone.
“I know the team very, very well from my past, so of course I am still in contact with a lot of people there whether Christian, Helmut [Marko, Red Bull advisor] or others.
“Red Bull has a winning car, they are a very strong team. I know how strong they are from the past.
“It's not fair to say I know the team inside out because it has also changed and moved on, but I know why they were strong back then and they are still an F1 contender and it's a car that you can win races in, so for sure that would be interesting.
“Everything is an option at the moment: Carry on, have a break or retire. I haven't made a decision yet. It depends what options are around.”
FP1 IS DONE
And it it Sergio Perez on top.
Max Verstappen in second place and Valtteri Bottas in P3.
No improvement for Ferrari, who are in P10 and P12.
SPIN FOR KVYAT
Daniil Kvyat spins in his AlphaTauri as the Russian makes yet another mistake
FINAL 10 MINUTES OF FP1
Perez leads, Verstappen, then Bottas then Hamilton. A solid show from the top four, but Ferrari… still way, way down the field.
SLIPPING UNDER THE RADAR
Brit Jack Aitken is making his F1 debut today in the Williams. Currently doing a solid job.
FERRARI GOING BACKWARDS?
Today should have been the day for some renewed hope for Ferrari. New parts on the car in the hope of an improvement.
They are currently P10 and P12.
PEREZ GOES TOP
I told you that Racing Point is quick. Sergio Perez now tops the timesheets. That pink Mercedes is looking great again.
LEWIS HAMILTON GOES QUICKEST
Not for the first time, but Hamilton has just banged in a lap of 1:05.120 to move top of the timesheets ahead of Valtteri Bottas.
Lance Stroll moves second but his time is then deleted as he exceeds track limits. That said, his Racing Point looks quick again.
SPEED TRAP DATA
We are go again and we have just under an hour remaining.
A stop in play here. The session is stopped as the marshals recover Latifi's car.
IS THERE A MERCEDES PROBLEM?
That is another engine failure for Williams, who use Mercedes engines.
Worth remembering that George Russell and Lance Stroll also had engine issues last week.
Could that power unit be vulnerable?
RED BULL SETTING THE PACE
Max Verstappen leads Alex Albon as Red Bull to avenge their reliability woes from last week.
The team have been digging over their double failures in the Austrian GP.
Meanwhile, an engine failure for Williams, as Nicholas Latifi comes to a halt at the side of the track.
But Alex Albon is top of the timesheets followed by Carlos Sainz.
At the other end of the table, just the one lap for Lewis Hamilton so far.
We knew about those two races, to be fair. I expect the race in the Algarve to be confirmed soon, too.
However, big question marks over China. It was on, then off, then back on… it now looks off.
HERE IS THE PRESS RELEASE
Mugello Circuit to host Scuderia Ferrari’s 1000th Grand Prix
The FORMULA 1 PIRELLI GRAN PREMIO DELLA TOSCANA FERRARI 1000 will take place at the Mugello track owned by Ferrari on September 13 – the ninth round of the 2020 F1 World Championship and the Scuderia’s 1,000th race in the pinnacle of motorsport.
GO, GO, GO…
Light goes green here in Austria and it is a busy start to the session.
Meanwhile, the TV shows Red Bull's Christian Horner and Helmut Marko deep in conversation with someone…obviously lots of focus on Sebastian Vettel's future and a potential to rejoin Red Bull.
Good morning from the Red Bull Ring, it is a lovely day here. Sunny and warm and I am expecting to see plenty of running.
There better be, because tomorrow's forecast looks, well, it looks like the end of the world. Downpours all day.
It could me that FP2's lap times could decide the grid, should there be no running on Saturday.
So hopefully a busy one out on track.
Charles Leclerc has been quizzed about what he did between the two races at the Red Bull Ring and said: “I did come back home.
“I've been tested twice before coming back so in two days, testing twice, both negative. And that's it.
“Yes, I went back home for two days and then the two tests to be sure of the results.”
When asked the same question, cryptically his Ferrari teammate, Sebastian Vettel said: “I stayed in the bubble…”
Meanwhile Valterri Bottas also said he did nothing wrong, adding: “I found out if it's allowed to go back, and yes it is.
“It doesn't make a difference if I stay with the same people in the same bubble: whether I'm here or back home in Monaco, so I decided to go back home.”
VALT ARE YOU DOING
Valtteri Bottas and Charles Leclerc have been warned by F1 bosses for putting the sport at risk by jetting back to Monaco.
The sport's governing body, the FIA, wrote to both drivers to remind them about acting responsibly as they attempt to maintain their record of zero positive coronavirus tests.
Drivers, teams, media and operational staff have all signed a COVID Code of Conduct and, while neither Leclerc or Bottas have broken the rules, their decision to leave their “bubbles” has angered paddock insiders.
Romain Grosjean, who drives for the Haas team, said: “The message was that we had to stay here, so I was a bit surprised to see that people had gone home.”
Leclerc posted pictures on social media of him hugging fans in an art gallery in Monte Carlo after the Austrian GP, where he finished second.
And race-winner Bottas was filmed on a speedboat in the principality celebrating his girlfriend, Tiffany Cromwell's birthday.
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