SPIELBERG, Austria (AP) — Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest lap time as Mercedes’ upgraded cars dominated the first practice session for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday.
With a new side pod design and an adapted rear wing to their cars, the Formula One leader led fellow Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas by 0.127 seconds.
Red Bull driver Max Verstappen’s fastest lap was 0.233 behind Hamilton’s, while Ferrari’s Sebastian Vettel and Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo had the fourth and fifth best times, respectively.
Hamilton leads Vettel by 14 points going into Sunday’s ninth of 21 races this season.
Mercedes has won all four races here since the Austrian GP returned to the calendar in 2014. While Hamilton triumphed in 2016, Bottas won last year.
A second practice was scheduled for later Friday.