Rosberg Quickest In Practice After Wet Weather Chaos

Nico Rosberg was the quickest man in both practice sessions for the Austrian Grand Prix today.

The Mercedes driver broke records in both sessions when switching to the Ultra Soft tyre, posting a 1m07.373s which is nearly a second quicker than the official record set by Michael Schumacher in 2003.

Lewis Hamilton was a close three tenths behind struggling with front tyre graining, with Sebastian Vettel six tenths back in third place.

There was quite a bit of talk about the new kerbs put in place on the entry and exit of some high speed corners around the circuit. Namely at Turn 5 and Turn 8, where Max Verstappen found out the hard way that they can break your car if you run over them.

In the first instance it was just a front wing endplate coming out of Turn 8, but later on the Red Bull suffered front suspension failure when Verstappen ran out onto the kerbs at Turn 5. That put him out for the rest of the session, while his team mate Daniel Ricciardo went fifth fastest.

Hamilton was also finding it difficult to stay within the confines of the track after spinning on the exit of Turn 3. The Haas of Romain Grosjean had to take avoiding action, causing him to spin to the inside of the circuit.

Elsewhere the Toro Rosso of Carlos Sainz showed impressive pace on Red Bull’s home ground, getting into the top six on a 1m08.824s on the Ultra Soft tyre. Wehrlein also went 16th fastest, despite receiving a reprimand for not sticking to the VSC delta time.

In the second session Rosberg was quickest again, although only due to the best part of the session getting taken up by the deluge of rain that hit the track 20 minutes into the session.

With the track sodden, it took until the last 30 minutes until we seen drivers emerge from the pits on Intermediate tyres in an attempt to dry the track.

Some drivers then made the switch to the Ultra Soft in the closing stages, one being the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg who went third fastest behind Hamilton.

Vettel attempted to improve his lap time, but as the chequered flag came out the Ferrari drive spun on the entry to Turn 2 under braking in what he described as a “brake balance shift” which caught him out.

Photo Credit: XPB

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