Augusto fourth on day one in Austria
Team Estrella Galicia 0,0 Marc VDS made a dream start to the Austrian Grand Prix today, with Sam Lowes fastest in both sessions and Augusto Fernandez narrowly missing out on a place inside the top three.
Boosted by his season best fifth place in Brno just five days ago, Fernandez was quickly into a fast rhythm in FP1 and finished only 0.044s behind teammate Lowes to claim third spot in cool and cloudy conditions.
Fernandez found immediate confidence on a new set-up this morning and was satisfied with his race pace around the undulating 4.3km Spielberg track after completing 23 important data gathering laps.
The key target for Fernandez was to fire in a hot lap late in FP1 to secure a provisional place in Q2, with rain predicted to disrupt proceedings in the afternoon session.
Light rain fell in some sections at the start of FP2, but on slick tyres on a full dry track, Fernandez almost matched his time set earlier to comfortably claim his spot in the all-important top 14.
“I’m very happy with how this first day went. We have been competitive right from the beginning and I was strong in both sessions. My pace is strong and I’m really happy with how my team is working. We were missing a little bit to set a faster time in FP2 compared to this morning, but everything is clear for tomorrow in terms of how we can improve. We need to see what the weather will be like tomorrow because it can be very unpredictable at this track. But the most important thing is we showed that we are continuing to work in a very good way after the strong weekend in Brno.”