Vettel set to face more trials of temperament

Sheri Evans
July 8, 2017

There had been calls for Vettel to be hit with penalties for this race after he drove his auto into Hamilton's at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in protest to what he considered a risky braking manoeuvre.

Sebastian Vettel leads Lewis Hamilton by 14 points in the Formula One Drivers' Championship as they prepare for Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix.

Hamilton had previously swept both Friday sessions in Australia and Spain in 2017, but he suggested the Mercedes W08 was better on the opening day in Austria than on any other Friday this year.

Hamilton had been in serene form around the Red Bull Ring on Friday, topping both sessions and out-pacing Vettel by nearly two tenths in Practice Two.

Hamilton said there were still some "driveability issues", and the team had started out in a good place with the balance of a vehicle that team boss Toto Wolff has called "a bit of a diva".

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Hamilton was fastest in Friday's free practice with Vettel a close second.

"Aerodynamically, we've made another step forward from Baku, which is encouraging". In the battle of the Saubers, Pascal Wehrlein finished 1.5s ahead of Marcus Ericsson, who only completed 12 laps after his vehicle spent much of the session being worked on in the garage.

The second Mercedes of Valtteri Bottas was third, with Vettel nearly half a second down on Hamilton.

"[Ferrari] seem to be close, but our vehicle is feeling good but it's still possible to make it better for tomorrow".

The German is sure to be put under scrutiny by the travelling global media corps in a paddock that will keep him under close observation, and he will likely be given an even more intense on-track examination when he and Hamilton restart their scrap for the drivers' world title. They seemed very quick whenever they went out today. There's already a nice balance and it feels good out on track. "The top five cars are within four tenths or something, so I would hope that would stay for qualifying then it would be a pretty exciting show for the weekend". "I think I'm done".

Other reports by TheSundaySentinel

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