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Lewis Hamilton sets fastest time in Austrian GP practice, sporting all-black livery to support BLM movement

Lewis Hamilton posted the fastest times in the first two practice sessions of the Austrian Grand Prix this morning. 

Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain steers his car during the second practice session at the Red Bull Ring racetrack in Spielberg, Austria Source: Associated Press

The reigning world champion was sporting a new, all-black livery in support of the black lives matter movement as Formula 1 made its official return after Covid-19 halted racing.

Hamilton has been vocal about racial profiling and police brutality in the wake of the killing of George Floyd.

The 35-year-old, recently called out his fellow Formula 1 drivers for their silence on the matter whilst highlighting the racial imbalance in a heavily white-dominated sport. 

Many people came forward lending their support to the Black Lives Matter cause after Hamilton's criticism of the Formula 1 community, including Mercedes, who had initially stayed silent.

Team mate Valteri Bottas, also driving an all-black Mercedes, set the second fastest time in practice as the Mercedes team utilises a heavily controversial Dual Axis Steering (DAS) system.

The DAS system was first on display in the silver arrows cars during winter testing in February, giving the driver the ability to adjust the alignment of the front wheels by pulling the steering wheel in and out.

DAS is already banned for F1's 2021 season however Mercedes has been given the green light to use it this season, prompting the Red Bull team to lodge a protest.

Sergio Perez, Sebastien Vettel and Daniel Ricciardo followed the Mercedes team mates as the next fastest drivers in practice 2.