The ninth round of the 2019 FIA Formula One World Championship began with practice Friday at Red Bull Ring in Spielberg, Austria, as teams prepared for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.
Two 90-minute sessions - FP1 and FP2 - were run in sunny conditions on the 4.318-kilometer (2.683-mile), 10-turn circuit located at the foot of the Styrian Mountains.
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team drivers Romain Grosjean and Kevin Magnussen ran exclusively on the Pirelli P Zero Red soft tire during FP1. Magnussen turned the ninth-best lap of 1:05.876 on his 20th of 27 laps completed during the session. Grosjean was two spots back on the timesheet with the 11th fastest lap of 1:06.135 on his 20th and final lap of the session.
FP2 was red flagged for a pair of incidents - one by Red Bull driver Max Verstappen and one by Mercedes driver Valtteri Bottas - but Grosjean was able to show marked improvement over FP1 with a sixth-overall lap time of 1:05.70. It was .434 of a second better than his best FP1 lap and came on a set of soft tires after starting the session on Yellow mediums. Magnussen began the session on a set of White hard tires before switching to softs and finishing the session on the set of hards. His best lap of 1:05.960 came on softs and was 11th fastest.
Rich Energy Haas F1 Team ran a total of 126 laps - 58 by Grosjean and 68 by Magnussen - during the two sessions.
Romain Grosjean: "It's been a good day. I think overall, we're happy with the car. We've made some progress and are working in a good direction - so that's a positive. It's super tight here, very few corners. It's quite exciting to fight with the boys. There are a few spots here where you can make up some lap time. We kept the car out of trouble, but we got a bit unlucky in FP2 with our first set of medium tires. There was a massive cut on them, we couldn't run them again in the session on the long run. That wasn't ideal, as I guess it's a tire you want to have some information on. Anyway, it is what it is, and I'm looking forward to tomorrow."
Kevin Magnussen: "I think it was a productive day. We got through everything, while a lot of people made mistakes - went off, we didn't, we stayed on track and learned the things we should. I think it'll be an interesting evening to go through everything and see what can be done for tomorrow. The temperatures were very high, it's looking like it's a little easier to manage for all the teams, not only us, than it was in Paul Ricard. The grip is a bit more consistent here, you don't have the patches of poor grip like we had in France. We have to get the maximum out of what we have, and that's what we're going to work on tonight."
Guenther Steiner: "It wasn't a bad day today, all things considered. But, that doesn't mean anything at the moment. It could all be completely different tomorrow with the ups and downs we have getting the tires to work or not. Today we are somewhat happy, certainly happier than we were in France. Let's wait until tomorrow and Sunday before we are really happy - hopefully."
Check out our Friday gallery from Spielberg, here.