Formula 1

Verstappen gives Red Bull comfortable home pole in Austria

by Matt Beer
3 min read

Max Verstappen claimed pole position for Formula 1’s Styrian Grand Prix, where he will share the front row with world championship rival Lewis Hamilton.

Verstappen set the fastest time on his first run in Q3, and while his second attempt could not improve on his best, it was still quicker than anyone else managed.

Valtteri Bottas was the fastest of the Mercedes drivers, ending Q3 in second, but he will fall to fifth on the grid due to picking up a penalty for spinning in the pitlane during practice.

That moves Hamilton onto the front row, after his final lap went wrong with a small off at the penultimate corner.

Hamilton had been keen to get that lap started, charging through the pack of cars going slowly to find space to move up the queue, but the lap didn’t look particularly quick even before he went off.

Lando Norris was fourth fastest in Q3 so will take third on the grid, sharing the second row with the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez.

Pierre Gasly got another Red Bull-owned car into the top six at the Austrian firm’s home track, with the Ferrari of Charles Leclerc sitting between the Frenchman and his AlphaTauri team-mate Yuki Tsunoda, though Tsunoda is under investigation for potentially impeding Bottas.

The two slowest runners in Q3 – completing the top 10 – were Fernando Alonso and Lance Stroll.

George Russell missed out on a first Q3 appearance for Williams by eight thousandths of a second, having to make do with being 11th-fastest in Q2.

Russell briefly climbed to 10th in the closing moments of the session, but his time above the cut-off was shortlived as an improvement from Alonso a few seconds later bumped him back out.

Russell’s time put him ahead of Carlos Sainz’s Ferrari, which gained a place when Sebastian Vettel’s final lap was deleted due to track limits.

However, Vettel’s lost lap wasn’t quick enough to get through to Q3, only dropping him from 12th to 14th.

Daniel Ricciardo also gained a place from Vettel’s demotion, but that would have come as little consolation given he was eliminated while his team-mate Norris progressed with the second-fastest time in Q2.

Antonio Giovinazzi’s Alfa Romeo was the slowest car in Q2 to take 15th place.

Nicholas Latifi narrowly missed out on making it two Williams drivers in Q2 by three hundredths of a second to Ricciardo who made a late improvement in Q1.

Latifi got himself into the top 10 with a few minutes remaining in Q1 with a time that prompted 15 of the 19 other cars to head back out as it hinted at the track getting significantly faster. But unfortunately he couldn’t cling to a spot in the top 15 by the chequered flag.

Behind him, Esteban Ocon was the big casualty of Q1 and another victim of the final two improvements from Ricciardo and Vettel, who were the last two drivers to claw their way out of the drop zone.

Kimi Raikkonen and the Haas drivers were the slowest runners in Q1 to complete the grid.

Qualifying Results

Pos Name Car Q1 Q2 Q3
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull-Honda 1m04.489s 1m04.433s 1m03.841s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1m04.537s 1m04.443s 1m04.035s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1m04.672s 1m04.512s 1m04.067s
4 Lando Norris McLaren-Mercedes 1m04.584s 1m04.298s 1m04.12s
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull-Honda 1m04.638s 1m04.197s 1m04.168s
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri-Honda 1m04.765s 1m04.429s 1m04.236s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1m04.745s 1m04.646s 1m04.472s
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri-Honda 1m04.608s 1m04.631s 1m04.514s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine-Renault 1m04.971s 1m04.582s 1m04.574s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m04.821s 1m04.663s 1m04.708s
11 George Russell Williams-Mercedes 1m05.033s 1m04.671s
12 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1m04.859s 1m04.8s
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren-Mercedes 1m05.142s 1m04.808s
14 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin-Mercedes 1m05.051s 1m04.875s
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m05.092s 1m04.913s
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams-Mercedes 1m05.175s
17 Esteban Ocon Alpine-Renault 1m05.217s
18 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo-Ferrari 1m05.429s
19 Mick Schumacher Haas-Ferrari 1m06.041s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas-Ferrari 1m06.192s
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