Photo: Honda Racing F1
Max Verstappen has taken pole position at the Red Bull Ring for the Styrian GP, the first of two F1 races in Austria. Lewis Hamilton will start from the front row next to the Dutchman.
In the final practice session, Lewis Hamilton managed to outpace Max Verstappen for the first time this weekend, heralding a thrilling battle for pole?
There was tension at the Red Bull Ring anyway, especially during the first qualifying part. With twenty cars and a very short F1 circuit in which a lap lasts just over a minute, it is looking for a ‘free track’.
At the end of Q1, Max Verstappen was ultimately only a handful of thousandths than Valtteri Bottas in the Mercedes. The differences were also very small as the entire top ten was within four tenths of each other.
The drivers are constantly looking for the smallest improvement and sometimes things go wrong. Kimi Raikkonen went too wide and was killed in an eighteenth time.
Also in the second qualifying part the times were extremely close and it was a battle for every thousandth of a second.
In the end, Sergio Perez was fastest on the soft tyre, with Red Bull clearly opting to give the Mexican a different strategy than Verstappen and both Mercedes drivers during the race. Verstappen, Hamilton and Bottas will start the race on the medium tyre.
That promised for Q3 and the ultimate battle for pole position in which a few thousandths could not only be decisive for pole but could even make a difference by a few places.
Lewis Hamilton was the first of all drivers to take to the track. Of course he also set the fastest time, but Max Verstappen was more than three tenths faster than Hamilton. So provisional pole position for Verstappen, but of course another attempt followed.
On his second attempt, Hamilton improved his time but stranded just over two tenths behind Verstappen. However, Hamilton was the only one of the toppers who went for three attempts.
However, Hamilton was unable to improve his time, so Max Verstappen was certain of pole position. Valtteri Bottas still managed to set the second fastest time. However, Bottas will only start the race in fifth due to a three-place grid penalty.
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:04.489s 1:04.433s 1:03.841s
2 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes 1:04.537s 1:04.443s 1:04.035s
3 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:04.672s 1:04.512s 1:04.067s
4 Lando Norris McLaren 1:04.584s 1:04.298s 1:04.120s
5 Sergio Pérez Red Bull 1: 04.638s 1: 04.197s 1: 04.168s
6 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:04.765s 1:04.429s 1:04.236s
7 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1: 04.745s 1: 04.646s 1: 04.472s
8 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1: 04.608s 1: 04.631s 1: 04.514s
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:04.971s 1:04.582s 1:04.574s
10 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:04.821s 1:04.663s 1:04.708s
11 George Russell Williams 1:05.033s 1:04.671s
12 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1: 04.859s 1: 04.800s
13 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:05.142s 1:04.808s
14 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:05.051s 1:04.875s
15 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo 1: 05.092s 1: 04.913s
16 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:05.175s
17 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:05.217s
18 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo 1:05.429s
19 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:06.041s
20 Nikita Mazepin Haas 1:06.192s
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