Formula 1

Verstappen Takes Pole for Austrian Grand Prix as Norris Stars with Front Row Grid Slot

3 Mins read
Credit: Christian Bruna - Red Bull Content Pool/Getty Images

Max Verstappen took pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix on Saturday afternoon, with the Dutchman confirmed the kind of pace he had shown all weekend long during the free practice sessions.

The Red Bull Racing driver will be joined on the front row by the impressive Lando Norris, with the McLaren F1 Team racer securing his best Qualifying position of his career.

Q1 – Räikkönen, Ocon Exit

The opening session at the Red Bull Ring saw a thrilling conclusion, with Kimi Räikkönen the first of those to be eliminated, the Alfa Romeo Racing ORLEN driver finishing just over three-tenths back on team-mate Antonio Giovinazzi, who comfortably made it through in the second C41-Ferrari.

Also eliminated, and well adrift of his team-mate was Alpine F1 Team’s Esteban Ocon in seventeenth, with the Red Bull Ring again proving a difficult circuit to get right for the Frenchman.  Team-mate Fernando Alonso was an encouraging third fastest!

Nicholas Latifi was unable to break into Q2 for Williams Racing, with the Canadian continuing his run of being out-qualified by team-mate George Russell, who was able to make it into Q2 for an eighth consecutive race weekend.

Filling the back row of the grid will be the two Uralkali Haas F1 Team drivers, with Mick Schumacher over half a second faster than team-mate Nikita Mazepin.

Verstappen set the best time of the session with a 1:04.249 ahead of Norris and Alonso.

Q2 – Alonso Falls after Vettel Block

Traffic played a part in proceedings at the end of Q2, with Alonso finding a slow Sebastian Vettel on the apex of the final turn as he looked to break into Q3.  The stewards will look at the incident after the session, but it is likely the German will take a penalty.

As a result of the block, Alonso was unable to make it into Q3, with the Spaniard ending only fourteenth, ahead only of Alfa Romeo’s Giovinazzi, who’s pace in Q2 was not as strong as it had been earlier in the day.

Scuderia Ferrari gambled on both drivers getting through to Q3 on the medium tyre, but the plan backfired as Carlos Sainz Jr. and Charles Leclerc ended eleventh and twelfth respectively, while Daniel Ricciardo’s struggles continued as the McLaren driver found himself only thirteenth.

Russell made it through to Q3 for the first time as a Williams driver, with the Briton also advancing on the medium compound tyre.  It meant Williams were represented in Q3 for the first time since the Italian Grand Prix of 2018!

Verstappen again led the way, with the Dutchman the only driver to set underneath sixty-four seconds in the session.

Q3 – Verstappen Takes Pole, Norris on Front Row

Verstappen ensured the took pole position with a best lap of 1:03.720, although it was a close-run thing as Norris put in a superb final effort to get to within 0.048 seconds for his first ever front row grid slot.

It was not the best of laps for Verstappen, with the Dutchman critical of his final lap in Q3, but it was a good day for him and Red Bull as his main championship rival Lewis Hamilton could only finish fourth behind Norris and Sergio Pérez.

The Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team will start fourth and fifth, Hamilton just ahead of team-mate Valtteri Bottas, while Pierre Gasly will start sixth for a third consecutive race, although he will be looking to do better on race day than he did last weekend after he retired at the end of lap one after contact with Leclerc.

His Scuderia AlphaTauri Honda team-mate Yuki Tsunoda will start seventh after a quietly impressive session by the Japanese racer, while Vettel is provisionally eighth for Aston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team, although he remains under investigation after his Q2 block on Alonso.  The top ten was rounded off by Russell and the second Aston Martin of Lance Stroll.

Red Bull Ring Qualifying Result

133Max VerstappenNEDRed Bull Racing1:04.2491:03.9271:03.720
24Lando NorrisITAMcLaren F1 Team1:04.3451:04.4151:03.768
311Sergio PérezMEXRed Bull Racing1:04.8331:04.4831:03.990
444Lewis HamiltonGBRMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:04.5061:04.2581:04.014
577Valtteri BottasFINMercedes-AMG Petronas Formula  One Team1:04.5631:04.3761:04.049
610Pierre GaslyFRAScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:04.8411:04.4121:04.107
722Yuki TsunodaJAPScuderia AlphaTauri Honda1:04.9671:04.5181:04.273
85Sebastian VettelGERAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:04.8461:04.4931:04.570
963George RussellGBRWilliams Racing1:04.9071:04.5531:04.591
1018Lance StrollCANAston Martin Cognizant Formula One Team1:04.9271:04.5471:04.618
1155Carlos Sainz Jr.ESPScuderia Ferrari1:04.5961:04.559 
1216Charles LeclercMONScuderia Ferrari1:04.9061:04.600 
133Daniel RicciardoAUSMcLaren F1 Team1:04.9771:04.719 
1414Fernando AlonsoESPAlpine F1 Team1:04.4721:04.856 
1599Antonio GiovinazziITAAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:04.7821:05.083 
167Kimi RäikkönenFINAlfa Romeo Racing ORLEN1:05.009  
1731Esteban OconFRAAlpine F1 Team1:05.051  
186Nicholas LatifiCANWilliams Racing1:05.195  
1947Mick SchumacherGERUralkali Haas F1 Team1:05.427  
209Nikita MazepinRUSUralkali Haas F1 Team1:05.951  
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Thirty-something motorsport fanatic, covering Formula 1, Formula Renault 2.0 and Formula 3. Feel free to give him a follow on Twitter at @Paul11MSport.
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