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Mercedes boss lashes ‘cheering’ fans as Hamilton returns after crash — F1 Sprint LIVE

Mercedes boss lashes ‘cheering’ fans as Hamilton returns after crash — F1 Sprint LIVE

Carlos Sainz topped the times in second practice on Saturday ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.

The Spaniard, fresh from his maiden Formula One win at Silverstone, led a Ferrari 1-2 at Spielberg with his teammate Charles Leclerc in second at 0.05sec.

Max Verstappen, on pole for the sprint, came next at 0.168 ahead of the two Alpines of Fernando Alonso and Esteban Ocon.

Sergio Perez, demoted from fourth to 13th in the sprint grid after incurring a penalty for breaking track limits, came next.

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Mercedes’ mechanics were faced with a race against time to get both their cars out on track following crashes for Lewis Hamilton and George Russell in Friday’s qualifying.

Russell’s side of the garage had their man’s car in shape to get back out on the track 10 minutes into the session.

But Hamilton’s car, which required a spare chassis to be fitted, was still being worked on feverishly.

The Mercedes cars returned after qualifying crashes. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)The Mercedes cars returned after qualifying crashes. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)
The Mercedes cars returned after qualifying crashes. (Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

The seven-time champion finally joined the fray with less than 15 minutes left on the clock.

Russell ended up seventh fastest with Hamilton in ninth.

The sprint starts at 11/.30pm AEST with the result shaping the grid for Sunday’s grand prix.

Leclerc starts alongside Verstappen on the front row with Sainz now joined by Russell on the second row following Perez’s demotion.

Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff has “questioned the attitude” of fans who rejoiced when Lewis Hamilton and George Russell both crashed at Austria’s Red Bull Ring circuit on Friday.

A loud cheer erupted when Hamilton hit a wall hard at turn seven in the top 10 qualifying shoot-out for Saturday’s Austrian Grand Prix sprint race.

Shortly after sections of the capacity crowd, largely made up of orange-clad Dutch supporters of world champion Max Verstappen, celebrated again when Russell also crashed.

“It’s not very sportsmanlike,” Wolff said at a press conference at the circuit owned by Verstappen’s Red Bull team on Saturday.

“Fans cheering when a driver crashes out, you should question the attitude and understanding of sport.”

Lewis Hamilton crashes during F1 Grand Prix qualifying. (Photo by Guenther Iby/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)
Lewis Hamilton crashes during F1 Grand Prix qualifying. (Photo by Guenther Iby/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)Source: Supplied

Last weekend at the British Grand Prix at Silverstone Verstappen was vociferously booed, behaviour which was criticised by Hamilton.

“Booing is not good either,” said Wolff.

“As teams we fight, but booing is a personal attack on a driver. Fans should put themselves in the same position.

“We want fans to be emotional and passionate but maybe when it becomes personal it shouldn’t happen.”

His Ferrari counterpart Mattia Binotto echoed those sentiments.

“F1 is a sport with a lot of passion around it but you should not forget it should be enjoyable -- booing is never great, never right.”

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