Bottas, Verstappen crashes overshadow Austrian GP practice

Ferrari driver Sebastian Vettel of Germany is handed the car's steering wheel in the team box during the first free practice session for the Austrian Formula One Grand Prix at the Red Bull Ring racetrack in Spielberg, southern Austria, Friday, June 28, 2019. The race will be held on Sunday. (AP Photo/Ronald Zak)

Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen both crashed during the second practice session ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix

SPIELBERG, Austria — Valtteri Bottas and Max Verstappen both crashed Friday during the second practice session ahead of the Austrian Grand Prix.

Bottas slammed his Mercedes into the barriers after he lost the rear and spun off the track at Turn 6, leaving the front of his car heavily damaged.

The mishap came less than 15 minutes after Verstappen slid off the track backward in Turn 10, badly damaging the right rear of his Red Bull.

Bottas and Verstappen are the last two winners of the race, in 2017 and 2018, respectively. Neither was hurt in the crashes.

A third big-name driver narrowly avoided a similar crash as Sebastian Vettel also spun off the track but his Ferrari came to a standstill just before the barriers, limiting damage to his tires only.

Before his crash, Bottas posted the second-fastest time of the session, trailing Ferrari driver Charles Leclerc by 0.331 seconds.

Championship leader Lewis Hamilton, who was fastest in the first session, had the fourth-best time, 0.443 behind Leclerc.

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