Hamilton dominates as Mercedes seal a pair of one-twos

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Lewis Hamilton made a strong start to the 2020 Formula One season by topping the timesheets as both free practice sessions finished with a Mercedes one-two.

In an all-black car and wearing a helmet adorned with the words "Still we rise" and "Black Lives Matter" as he and Mercedes made strong anti-racism statements ahead of the season-opening Austrian Grand Prix, Hamilton had an impressive day on track at the Red Bull Ring on Friday.

The six-time world champion was 0.356 seconds quicker than team-mate Valtteri Bottas in FP1, while the Finn reduced the gap to 0.197s in the second session.

Hamilton clocked a time of one minute, 4.304s in FP2 which proved to be the fastest lap of the day, with the dual axis steering (DAS) system Mercedes debuted in pre-season testing returning and helping them shave valuable milliseconds off their times.

However, Bottas was forced into the pits late on due to an issue with changing gears.

Max Verstappen won last year's Austrian Grand Prix and was third-quickest in FP1 despite spinning at turn one following some light rainfall early in the session.

Alex Albon lost control at the same place in FP2 and was 13th in the standings in the second session, five places behind Verstappen – who went off-track at turn six – at Red Bull's home circuit.

Racing Point's controversial RP20 again drew attention due to its similarity to Mercedes' 2019 title-winning car, which they have admitted to attempting to replicate in their design.

Sergio Perez impressed in what has been dubbed the 'Pink Mercedes', going fifth-fastest in FP1 and improving to third in the second session, when he was 0.641s slower than Hamilton.

Charles Leclerc outpaced outgoing Ferrari team-mate Sebastian Vettel in the morning but was over three tenths of a second slower than the four-time champion in FP2.