Austrian Grand Prix: Lewis Hamilton hit with grid penalty for gearbox change

Max Verstappen was caught up in the first corner crash triggered by Daniil Kvyat- Credit Octane

Having lost victory at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix due to an issue with his headrest, Hamilton continued his impressive form from that weekend to go top on a 1:05.975.

Hamilton said a "road rage" furore that flared up after the race in Azerbaijan two weeks ago, with Vettel having steered at him and banged wheels after driving into the Mercedes behind the safety auto, had not affected his concentration or calm.

One minor gesture, by "liking" a reaction on Instagram, appears to be all Hamilton wished to say following the decision of the International Motoring Federation (FIA) to take no further action against Vettel for his deliberate wheel-banging.

The British driver, who won here from the front a year ago, was 0.147 seconds faster than championship leader Sebastian Vettel's Ferrari in the afternoon and 0.19 ahead of Max Verstappen's Red Bull in the morning.

Hamilton's teammate Valtteri Bottas came third in the time sheet, 0.370 seconds adrift from the British driver, who won the 2016 race.

"We had to swap out a spark plug during FP2 (the second session), but the guys did a great job to turn the auto around and we still managed to complete our programme", Hamilton said.

That may give Mercedes pause for thought heading into Saturday's final practice and qualifying. "The balance of the vehicle feels good and we'll fine tune the set-up some more to be ready for qualifying".

'Plenty of hiccups' expected with the arrival of biggest tax reform'
He added that he has also spoken to former Jammu and Kashmir chief minister Omar Abdullah and requested him to support the GST . However, GST will make India a common market with common tax rates and procedures and remove economic barriers.

Last time out in Baku, his title rival Vettel controversially collided with Hamilton during a heated race.

"This track punishes you if you make a mistake, and I tested those limits", added Bottas.

In P1, Vettel clipped the kerb at turn one.

Fernando Alonso was eighth best in P2 on an encouraging day for the struggling McLaren team.

Many may believe that he escaped lightly, but Mercedes boss Toto Wolff has made clear he believes it is now time to put the controversy to bed and forget it.

In the wake of the controversy that followed championship leader Sebastian Vettel's "road rage" attack at last month's Azerbaijan Grand Prix, Hamilton had chose to put the incident behind him and do his talking on the track.

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