Formula 1

2024 Austrian Grand Prix: Magnificent Max Secures 5th Red Bull Ring Pole

3 Mins read
Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Max Verstappen was completely dominant in 2024 Austrian Grand Prix qualifying, securing pole position ahead of Lando Norris.

Oscar Piastri’s final lap in Q3 had put him third, but a track limits violation saw the Australian drop all the way down to seventh, handing George Russell a top three start for the race on Sunday around the Red Bull Ring.

It was another bad day for Aston Martin Armaco F1 Team, while Visa Cash App RB’s major changes to both cars massively improved their pace.

Q1 – Lance Stroll misses out, both Sauber’s off the pace again

Q1 started quickly with everyone getting out on track, being led out by Verstappen, who was looking for his second pole position of the weekend. While missing out on a place in Q2 isn’t an issue for the three-time world champion, it has been for Sergio Pérez.

The Mexican was under some serious pressure late on, only just getting through on his final lap of the session in twelfth. Fernando Alonso only just made it through to the second part of qualifying, which avoided a double Q1 exit for Aston Martin, with Lance Stroll having no qualifying pace on the weekend of his contract renewal, down in seventeenth. 

As we’ve seen on a number of occasions this season, Zhou Gunayu was the slowest qualifier with Logan Sargeant two tenths ahead of the Chinese driver. Stake F1 Team Kick Sauber continued their poor season, with Valtteri Bottas also missing out on Q2 – he’ll start eighteenth on Sunday.

Alex Albon was the final driver to be knocked out, making it a double exit for Williams Racing and a sixteenth place start on Sunday.

Up the top end, Carlos Sainz Jr. topped the session ahead of Piastri and Verstappen. After having one car knocked out in SQ1 on Friday, the RB’s were looking much quicker with Yuki Tsunoda eighth and Daniel Ricciardo ninth. 

The highlight from Q1 was Kevin Magnussen. The Dane just missed out on points in the Sprint, and put himself up in fifth during the first part of qualifying. 

Photo: Getty Images/Red Bull Content Pool

Q2 – So close for Ricciardo, Magnussen misses out

Q2 was just as exciting to watch as Q1, although the first few minutes were much more quiet. The Scuderia Ferrari and BWT Alpine F1 Team cars were the first on track, before everyone else headed out of the garage. 

After only just making it out of Q1, Alonso couldn’t do any better in the second part of qualifying, and will start Sunday’s race in fifteenth. The qualifying result makes Aston Martin the 8th fastest car on the grid, leaving lots of progress to be made if they want any chance of scoring points in the race.

It was another good day for Alpine, even with Pierre Gasly missing out on a spot in the top ten shootout. He’ll start thirteenth, with his teammate Esteban Ocon making it through into Q3. It was a disappointing session for Magnussen after such a good start to the weekend – the Dane couldn’t do any better than twelfth, missing out by less than a tenth.

It was heartbreak for Ricciardo missing out on Q3 by just +0.015s, but it was a positive session for the Australian and RB after a difficult weekend in Spain and a poor Sprint earlier in the day. Tsunoda had a bit of a tougher day than his teammate, and will start fourteenth.

Q3 – Verstappen unbeatable, track limit drama for Piastri

A delay caused by Gasly going into the gravel in Q2 meant there was a short wait before the top-10 shootout began. A near miss in the pitlane could’ve ended much worse – Lewis Hamilton hit a jack when exiting the garage and they’ll be an investigation after the session although it’s unlikely any action will be taken. Verstappen dominated Q3 from the start, setting the fastest lap of 1:04.326. After the first runs, Norris trailed in second, with Russell, Leclerc and Piastri in the top five.

Verstappen managed to go even quicker on his final run, putting the result beyond doubt. His time of a 1:04.314 was good enough for pole, once again ahead of Norris in the McLaren. Russell managed to get his Mercedes into fourth, with Hamilton taking sixth. 

Leclerc went wide on his final attempt, moving him down to seventh, but Piastri’s lap was deleted moving Russell, Sainz, Hamilton and Leclerc up a few places. Pérez, Hulkenberg and Ocon completed the top ten.

11Max VerstappenRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:05.3361:04.4691:04.31418
24Lando NorrisMCLAREN MERCEDES1:05.4501:05.1031:04.71820
363George RussellMERCEDES1:05.5851:05.0161:04.84018
455Carlos SainzFERRARI1:05.2631:05.0161:04.85118
544Lewis HamiltonMERCEDES1:05.5411:05.0531:04.90318
616Charles LeclercFERRARI1:05.5091:05.1041:05.04422
781Oscar PiastriMCLAREN MERCEDES1:05.3111:05.0701:05.04817
811Sergio PerezRED BULL RACING HONDA RBPT1:05.5871:05.1441:05.20221
927Nico HulkenbergHAAS FERRARI1:05.5961:05.2621:05.38521
1031Esteban OconALPINE RENAULT1:05.5741:05.2741:05.88324
113Daniel RicciardoRB HONDA RBPT1:05.5691:05.28915
1220Kevin MagnussenHAAS FERRARI1:05.5081:05.34715
1310Pierre GaslyALPINE RENAULT1:05.5981:05.35918
1422Yuki TsunodaRB HONDA RBPT1:05.5631:05.41215
1514Fernando AlonsoASTON MARTIN ARAMCO MERCEDES1:05.6561:05.63915
1623Alexander AlbonWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:05.7369
1877Valtteri BottasKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:05.8479
192Logan SargeantWILLIAMS MERCEDES1:05.8569
2024Zhou GuanyuKICK SAUBER FERRARI1:06.0619
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