Verstappen outpaces McLaren duo to secure pole for Austrian Grand Prix Sprint

Verstappen outpaces McLaren duo to secure pole for Austrian Grand Prix Sprint

Max Verstappen edged McLaren duo Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to secure pole position for Saturday’s Austrian Grand Prix Sprint race.

Red Bull’s Max Verstappen went on from a solid morning practice session to top all parts of the Sprint qualifying Shootout and secure pole position for tomorrow’s Austrian Grand Prix Sprint at Spielberg, Austria.

Lando Norris was a close second while the second McLaren of Piastri ended up third fastest. Behind them was George Russell in fourth, with Carlos Sainz fifth and Lewis Hamilton sixth ahead of Sergio Perez.

Disaster struck for Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc, who lost drive as he made his way out of the pits and ran out of time to set a lap. He will start in P10 behind Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly.

At Red Bull’s home race, Verstappen would have been keen to flex his muscles and the Dutchman went less than tenth quicker than Russell in SQ1. There was a repeat in SQ2 as the Dutchman led the Brit at the top again with a 1:05.186, while four different teams taking the top four spots to underline the increased competition.

But Verstappen, whose mechanics worked to fix an issue with his rear wing, roared to pole by going 0.09 seconds quicker than Norris with a 1.04.686 – half a second quicker than his SQ2 time – to send the crowd into pandemonium in Spielberg.

As the 20 drivers set out on the medium tyres with only 12 minutes of running due to the sprint qualifying conditions, timing would be everything in setting the lap time due to track evolution and potential yellow flags.

His Mercedes team-mate Lewis Hamilton did not have such a comfortable ride, however, after dipping his car into the gravel at Turn 8 and having his time deleted. Hamilton was left up against it with only one opportunity to get himself out of the drop zone and his lap time was far convincing as he battled his way past traffic.

But the 39-year-old managed to squeeze through in P13 with Daniel Ricciardo, Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, Alex Albon and Zhou Guanyu knocked out. In a shock result at Williams, Logan Sargeant out-qualified Albon for only the second time.

Only eight of the 15 drivers went for more than one lap in SQ2, highlighting the need to save tyre sets for the race. And that proved to be costly for Aston Martin, with both Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso knocked out as Alpine duo Pierre Gasly and Esteban Ocon squeezed into SQ3.

2024 F1 Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Qualifying Results

1Max VerstappenNEDOracle Red Bull Racing1m05.690s1m05.186s1m04.686s
2Lando NorrisGBRMcLaren F1 Team1m05.786s1m05.561s1m04.779s
3Oscar PiastriAUSMcLaren F1 Team1m06.081s1m05.379s1m04.987s
4George RussellGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m05.764s1m05.325s1m05.054s
5Carlos SainzESPScuderia Ferrari1m05.781s1m05.435s1m05.126s
6Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team1m06.504s1m05.539s1m05.270s
7Sergio PerezMEXOracle Red Bull Racing1m06.256s1m05.612s1m06.008s
8Esteban OconFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m06.343s1m05.686s1m06.101s
9Pierre GaslyFRABWT Alpine F1 Team1m06.465s1m05.757s1m06.624s
10Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1m06.149s1m05.526sNo Time Set
11Kevin MagnussenDENMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m06.387s1m05.806s 
12Lance StrollCANAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m06.037s1m05.847s 
13Fernando AlonsoESPAston Martin Aramco F1 Team1m06.487s1m05.878s 
14Yuki TsunodaJPNVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m06.557s1m05.960s 
15Logan SargeantUSAWilliams Racing1m06.518sNo Time Set 
16Daniel RicciardoAUSVisa Cash App RB F1 Team1m06.581s  
17Nico HulkenbergGERMoneyGram Haas F1 Team1m06.583s  
18Valtteri BottasFINStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m06.725s  
19Alex AlbonTHAWilliams Racing1m06.754s  
20Zhou GuanyuCHNStake F1 Team Kick Sauber1m07.197s  

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