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Rosberg paces second practice in Austria in mixed conditions

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Nico Rosberg completed a sweep of the two free practice sessions for this weekend’s Austrian Grand Prix, with the second session interrupted by rain before drying back out in the final half hour.

Rosberg paced the session at a 1:07.967 in the Mercedes W07, running on Pirelli’s supersoft, then ultrasoft tires before rain hit and a number of drivers spun off the road.

Kimi Raikkonen, Sergio Perez, Jolyon Palmer and Max Verstappen were among those caught out.

Drivers went out on Pirelli’s green intermediate tires to test conditions before the track began drying out and drivers started shifting back to slicks.

Hamilton got close to Rosberg’s time on a late ultrasoft run, at 1:07.986, but was unable to surpass the German’s best time from earlier in the session.

Nico Hulkenberg was third ahead of Sebastian Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo, the latter in his lederhosen overalls this weekend for Red Bull Racing.

Vettel then went off in a spin at Turn 2 at the end of the session, which put the session under Virtual Safety Car conditions.

Times are below:

FP3 is Saturday morning at 5 a.m. ET on the NBC Sports app and live streamed at NBCSports.com.

Valtteri Bottas wins chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix

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SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas won a chaotic season-opening F1 Austrian Grand Prix while six-time series champion Lewis Hamilton finished fourth after getting a late time penalty Sunday.

The Formula One race was interrupted three times by a safety car, and nine of 20 drivers abandoned, including both Red Bulls of Max Verstappen and Alexander Albon – who tried to overtake Hamilton on the outside with 10 laps left, touched wheels and flew off track.

Hamilton was given a 5-second time penalty for causing the collision, having earlier been hit with a three-place grid penalty after an incident in Saturday’s qualifying was reviewed by stewards.

SHOW OF SUPPORT: Drivers take knee before race

Bottas led all 71 laps in the eighth victory of his career. It was the second consecutive victory in the season opener for the Finn, though he won four months earlier in 2019 after this season’s start was delayed by the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Lando Norris of McLaren F1 celebrates after his first podium finish (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).

Bottas started from pole position and Hamilton from fifth, but it looked like a straight fight between the two Mercedes drivers as has been the case so often in recent years.

But late drama in Spielberg ensured otherwise and Hamilton’s time penalty meant Charles Leclerc took second place for Ferrari, and Lando Norris sent McLaren’s garage into raptures – and threw all social distancing rules out of the window amid the euphoria – with third place.

It was the 20-year-old British driver’s first career podium, and his superb final lap was the fastest of a dramatic season opener.

Norris became the youngest British driver to secure a podium finish and the third-youngest ever in Formula One.

Valtteri Bottas leads Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton during the Formula One Grand Prix of Austria (Mark Thompson/Getty Images).