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Max Verstappen will start from pole position for the fourth race in a row. The reigning two-time champion edged out Charles Leclerc to secure the top spot in qualifying for the Austrian GP.
F1 Austrian GP Qualifying: Who Will Be on Pole?
Max Verstappen will line up on pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix. The Dutchman scored his fourth consecutive pole position of the season, and fourth consecutive Red Bull Ring pole, with a 1:04.391s. Charles Leclerc squeezed every thousandth out of his Ferrari in his final attempt, but missed out on beating Verstappen by just 0.048s.
Q1: Verstappen Leads from Perez, Norris
Sergio Perez was the first driver to set a fast lap. As expected, plenty of drivers had their banker lap deleted for track limits. The surprise among the list was Max Verstappen, who had briefly gone to the top of the timesheet by over half-a-second.
Verstappen was quick to make up for it in his second run, going top courtesy of a 1:05.116. The Ferraris of Sainz and Leclerc slotted into second and third, respectively, but over two tenths down on Verstappen’s time. Perez and a surprising Lando Norris later jumped to second and third, just under a tenth behind Verstappen.
George Russell and Lance Stroll narrowly avoided the Q1 dropoff, while Valtteri Bottas squeezed in a late attempt to bump Yuki Tsunoda out. Joining Tsunoda were Zhou Guanyu, Logan Sargeant, Kevin Magnussen and Tsunoda’s teammate Nyck de Vries, who will line up last – but with Liam Lawson growing ever bigger in his mirror.
Q2: Verstappen on Top, Perez Fails to Make Q3 Again
Verstappen and Perez went 1-2 in the first run, but both Red Bull drivers had their laptimes deleted. Norris went top at the end of the first set of runs, leading Gasly and Hulkenberg.
Just like in Q1, Verstappen made up for the early mistake and again went to the top of the sheets, scoring the fastest lap of the weekend in the process with a 1:04.951. Sainz also jumped Norris for second place, just over 0.06s down on Verstappen.
Perez, on the other hand, again had his laptime deleted, and found himself under pressure again for the fourth weekeend in a row. The Mexican driver briefly got himself into second place, but yet again had his laptime deleted for exceeding track limits on turn 10. As a result, Perez found himself 15th and out before Q3 for the fourth consecutive time.
Russell also failed to make it to Q3, his final attempt only good enough for 11th. Ocon, Piastri and Bottas joined the Mercedes and Red Bull in the Q2 drop zone. Gasly also had his laptime deleted, but still managed to secure a transfer spot in eighth place. On the other end, Hulkenberg and Albon both managed to advance.
Q3: Verstappen Narrowly Beats Leclerc to Pole
Verstappen was the first driver to set a lap in Q3 with a 1:04.503, re-setting the mark for the fastest lap of the weekend. Leclerc and Sainz went third and fourth, with Norris and Lewis Hamilton rounding off the top 5 at the end of the first run.
The Dutchman lit up the timing screens once again in his final run, going even faster with a 1:04.391s. But it was far from over, as Leclerc found enough pace in his SF23 to go purple in sector two on his final attempt. The Monegasque ultimately narrowly missed out on his second pole of the season, going just 0.048s slower than Verstappen.
Sainz secured a solid 2-3 for Ferrari, with Norris, Hamilton, Stroll, Alonso, Hulkenberg, Gasly and Albon rounding off the top 10.
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