Upgrades galore but not for McLaren’s nose


Updated Mercedes bodywork, MGU-K for Renault and even an upgraded livery for Max Verstappen while some would argue the Williams’ upgraded driver should stay on.

A quick rundown from Force India on what’s required to succeed at the Red Bull Ring…

Robert Kubica was in action for Williams, as the test driver replaced Sergey Sirotkin for the session.

Max Verstappen introduced his upgraded helmet, sporting a livery designed in tribute to his first-ever sponsor. Can you all say “ahhhh!”

Renault are debuting a new MGU-K this weekend which Carlos Sainz, Nico Hulkenberg and Stoffel Vandoorne are all running. Renault are expected to unleash a “party mode” of their own come Saturday’s qualifying.

Stoffel Vandoorne will be investigated after FP1 for an unsafe release as McLaren released the driver into the path of the oncoming Ferrari of Sebastian Vettel.

Vandoorne’s troubles were compounded as he cracked his nose and broke his front wing on the rumble strips.

Lewis Hamilton set the pace in his upgraded W09, featuring new rear wing, sidepods and bargeboard.

A certain ex-Formula 1 owner was spotted in the paddock ahead of FP2. That disguise is fooling nobody, Bernie.

Meanwhile, back out on track, Hamilton continued to set the pace in the afternoon session.

Not everyone was enjoying the Red Bull Ring, though, as Pierre Gasly brought out the red flags after damaging his car via the unforgiving kerbs.

Thanks to the good work of the Toro Rosso mechanics, Gasly was able to get back out again before the end of the session.

But the Haas mechanics clearly need to work on their pit stops some more after a close shave with Kevin Magnussen.

The day belonged to Mercedes and their upgraded car. Can they continue the momentum through Saturday and Sunday?