The Formula 1 (F1) world champion Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest time on Friday, July 3, 2020, in his Mercedes in the first practice session at the delayed start to the season in Austria.
The British driver was 0.356 seconds ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas on the 4.3 kilometer (2.7-mile) Red Bull Ring circuit in Spielberg nestled at the foot of the Styrian mountains in Southern Austria, both driving black cars to reflect support for anti-racism and diversity.
Austria is the first of a reconfigured season after the coronavirus laid original plans to waste.
It is the first of eight planned events in Europe, with more races to follow.
The shape of the rest of the season remains in flux, as a result of the differing impact of coronavirus around the world.
To restart the season, F1 has taken a series of measures to minimise the risks from coronavirus, with social-distancing protocols and a testing programme.
And the sport is making efforts to promote diversity as a result of the increased profile of the fight against racism following the global protests that were precipitated by the death of African-American man George Floyd in police custody in May.
Red Bull team boss Christian Horner has said he is seeking a “clarification” from governing body the FIA as to the system’s legality.