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Austrian GP: Practice notes - Haas

NEWS STORY
07/07/2017

The ninth round of the 2017 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at the Red Bull Ring in Spielberg as teams prepared for the Austrian Grand Prix Sunday. Two 90-minute sessions – FP1 and FP2 – on the 4.318-kilometer (2.683-mile), 10-turn circuit were held under partly cloudy skies.

Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen endured mixed fortunes in FP1.

A left-front tire puncture on Grosjean's Haas VF-17 seven laps into his second timed stint brought his session to an end with 25 valuable minutes remaining. Grosjean was riding on his second set of Pirelli P Zero Red supersoft tires when the puncture happened, and with teams unable to use their nominated first set of tires after the first 40 minutes of the session per FIA rules, Grosjean was forced to sit out the remainder of FP1. His quick time of 1:08.074 earned on his 18th lap placed him 16th overall. Grosjean ran two more laps before the puncture sent him to the garage.

Magnussen's FP1 proved to be more productive as he logged 30 laps with his best time coming on his penultimate lap – a 1:07.594 that placed him 12th among the field of 20.

Both drivers began FP1 making an installation lap on the Yellow soft tire before switching exclusively to the Red supersoft.

Leading the way in FP1 was Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton, whose lap of 1:05.975 broke his own track record – a 1:06.228 set last year during the second round of qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix. In addition to being .253 of a second better than the previous fastest lap ever recorded at the Red Bull Ring, Hamilton's quick time was .190 of a second better than the nest fastest driver, Red Bull's Max Verstappen.

FP2 went much more smoothly for the Haas F1 Team duo, with both drivers finishing among the top-10.

Magnussen bettered his FP1 mark by 1.003 seconds with a time of 1:06.591 on his 18th lap shod on a set of Purple ultrasoft tires. Grosjean also improved, shaving 1.311 seconds off his FP1 time with a 1:06.763 on his 23rd tour while also riding on a set of ultrasofts.

Both drivers ran the same program in FP2, beginning on Red supersofts and then switching to ultrasofts before ending the session on used supersofts. Magnussen ran 43 laps and Grosjean tallied 52 laps.

Hamilton remained the fastest driver, topping FP2 with a quick time of 1:05.483 that bettered his FP1 mark by .492 of a second. It was also .147 of a second better than the second-fastest driver, Scuderia Ferrari's Sebastian Vettel.

Romain Grosjean: "It's been a good day. We had a puncture this morning but a good afternoon. We've inherited a few things on the car, so there's some work to be done on it tonight. Overall, though, it's a pretty good feeling."

Kevin Magnussen: "I'm happy with our Friday. It's a fun track to drive and the car's handling well. I'm looking forward to tomorrow to see if our pace is representative for qualifying as well. Fingers crossed."

Guenther Steiner: "Not a bad day. We got a lot of laps in and learned a lot. There are still things to do because we had some damage on the floor of Romain's car in FP2, so we'll see how that works out. All in all, it's been a very positive day. I hope we can continue like this tomorrow."

Check out our Friday gallery from Spielberg, here.

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