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Verstappen can beat Hamilton on Sunday - Wolff

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on Saturday set themselves apart from the rest of the Formula 1 field in Austria's rain, according to Ralf Schumacher.

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen on Saturday set themselves apart from the rest of the Formula 1 field in Austria's rain, according to Ralf Schumacher.

"They were in their own league," the former F1 driver, referring to the respective Mercedes and Red Bull drivers, told Sky Deutschland.

"The difference to their teammates was clear," Schumacher added.

Indeed, Hamilton's advantage over championship leader Valtteri Bottas was a huge 1.5 seconds, while Verstappen was half a second clear of Alex Albon.

However, Red Bull's Verstappen was a full 1.2 seconds behind Hamilton.

"I don't remember when there was such a gap in Formula 1 between first and second," Mercedes boss Toto Wolff told ORF.

But Red Bull boss Dr Helmut Marko said that, given the conditions, the big gap is "not meaningful", even though he admits Hamilton has the advantage for Sunday's race.

"The weather forecast is bad news for us," he said. "In the heat, the chances would be 60:40 for Verstappen. In cooler conditions, it's 60:40 for Hamilton."

Wolff insisted: "Max is on the front row, so anything is possible. He can win the race."

As for Bottas' 1.5 second deficit, another former F1 driver, JJ Lehto, said the conditions and traffic are no excuse.

"It may not have been optimal for him, but you can't hide behind that," he told Iltalehti newspaper.

Wolff said the rain painted an illuminating picture of the current state of F1.

"In a session like that, you really can see the driver talent we have out there," he said. "It's not just Lewis and Max, but Esteban Ocon in fifth, Carlos Sainz with third place, and George Russell P12 in the Williams.

"That was a great performance by the young drivers," Wolff added.

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Valtteri Bottas celebrates winning the Austrian Grand Prix on July 5, 2020
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Monday's key events


TRIATHLON
· Jonny Brownlee will look to make the most of his brother Alistair's absence as he goes for gold in the men's triathlon (10.30pm-1am)

RUGBY SEVENS
· Team GB get their campaign underway with two matches, against Canada and Japan (from 1.30am)

SWIMMING
· One of Team GB's biggest gold medal hopes, Adam Peaty, will take part in the 100m breaststroke final. (3.12am)
· Ariarne Titmus and Katie Ledecky go head to head for gold in the women's 400m freestyle final (3.20am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley and Matty Lee take part in the men's 10m synchro final (7am-8am)

ARTISTIC GYMNASTICS
· The men's team final takes place (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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