Lewis Hamilton tops Austrian Grand Prix practice

Darko Bandic / AFP / POOL

Lewis Hamilton made an emphatic start to the Formula 1 season as it finally got under way at the Austrian Grand Prix.

The world champion topped both practice sessions at the Red Bull Ring.

Hamilton, wearing a ‘Black Lives Matter’ helmet in a black Mercedes with ‘End Racism’ written on it, finished two tenths clear of Mercedes team-mate Valtteri Bottas.

Racing Point's Sergio Perez was third, with Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel fourth and Daniel Ricciardo fifth for Renault.

"It’s great to be back. It’s been a long time coming," said Hamilton. "It was looking good out there today, but you can never take too much from practice."

The Formula One season is starting four months late due to the coronavirus pandemic, with a series of health and safety measures put in place.

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