Verstappen beats Ferraris to start on pole at Red Bull Ring

Max Verstappen scored an important pole position from Formula 1 rival Charles Leclerc by snatching pole position in the final few moments of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring.

The defending champion and local favourite looked to have been beaten by a last-second Ferrari threat that peaked after two red flags in Q3 that were caused by Lewis Hamilton then George Russell crashing.

With the Red Bull driver dropping time during the first half of the lap on his final dash, Leclerc might have seized top position when he ran over the line to move into first place.

But Verstappen pulled it out of the bag by recovering the lost ground through the final sector to score what might have been an unlikely pole. He was the only driver to dip into the 64 seconds mark.

Effectively, qualifying had boiled down to the final two minutes, 30 seconds following the Mercedes crashes.

Verstappen’s Q3 banker had him provisionally fastest as he left the Red Bull Ring pits behind both Ferraris.

Leclerc was first across the line to begin his final thrust for pole, only to drop a tenth in the first sector to Verstappen.

But he recovered that with a fastest overall final sector, while Verstappen was seemingly off the pace.

Leclerc therefore leapt to the top of the leaderboard on a one minute, 05.013 seconds effort.

Sainz was a little adrift with a one minute, 05.066 seconds, completed with three personal best sectors, that appeared to have confirmed pole for Leclerc.

But then Verstappen pulled out a personal best final sector that was enough to offset the damage earlier in the lap and he recorded an impressive one minute, 04.984 seconds which means he will start at the front of the pack in the sprint race.

Sainz will be joined on the second row of the grid by Sergio Perez as Russell’s pre-crash effort was suffice for fifth ahead of Esteban Ocon.

But Perez will be moved back several positions after race control found that the Red Bull driver took track limits.

Kevin Magnussen had the advantage on his Haas teammate Mick Schumacher to end a close-run intra-team fight in seventh, while Fernando Alonso was ninth.

Hamilton, meanwhile, was shuffled down to P10 as a legacy of his incident that occurred inside the first half of the final ten minutes part of qualifying.

In the first of the Mercedes shunts, Hamilton had brought out the red flags in Q3 with five minutes, 29 seconds to go after shunting into the barrier at Turn 7.

The seven-time world champion, who had just oversteered out of Turn 6, was marginally wide of the apex, which caused the rear of his Mercedes W13 to snap out of control.

Hamilton was quick to correct it but as the car gripped, the steering lock applied projected him off the road and across the gravel.

He slammed sideways into the wall and breaking parts of his car.

The shunt was met by cheers from the Dutch-heavy crowd, Hamilton having been a credible front-row threat after leading the times for much of Q2 as he whittled his time down to a one minute, 05.475 seconds before being shuffled to third behind Leclerc and Verstappen.

After the 11-minute interruption, Russell followed Alonso out of the pits to enjoy the clean air as he sought to improve on his fifth-fastest effort.

But despite the unhindered run, he ran slower than his personal best in the first sector to sit 0.42 seconds adrift of Verstappen’s benchmark before flashing a green second sector.

Then not unlike his teammate, Russell lost the rear through final corner as it too snapped violently to flick Russell towards the outside tyre wall, eventually damaging his rear wing.

Russell remains under investigation for entering the track without permission at Turn 10 as he walked across the track under the red flag to return to the Mercedes garage.

He then progressed into the final part of qualifying at his last attempt, finishing Q2 in sixth, only to then be noted for running over the white lines at the left-right transition through the Turn 7-8 open chicane after the session had ended and positions 11-15 decided.

Norris had been the major casualty of Q2, having ended the first part of qualifying in eighth, despite running off road at Turn 3, to massively put teammate Ricciardo in the shade.

But the driver who caused the first of two red flags in FP1 after reporting smoke under his seat then ended up last in Q2, the Briton off the boil having been “scared to hit the brakes”.

The McLaren driver started the 15-minute dice by oversteering at Turn 3 before enduring masses of understeer at Turn 4 to clip the gravel and have his lap time deleted.

At his next attempt, he ran well deep at Turn 1 and had to abort the corner.

That left him last and without a time as he then messed up three of the seven defined corners, albeit the FIA recognises 10 turns.

He locked up at Turn 3 and Turn 4 before again tagging the kitty litter on the exit of Turn 6.

Norris had one final attempt possible but pitted to end the session 15th.

Further ahead thanks to setting a one minute, 06.160 seconds, Pierre Gasly had been the first driver to miss out on Q3.

He toured round 0.11 seconds slower than Schumacher to set the P11 ahead of the rapid upgraded Williams FW44 of Alex Albon and the Alfa Romeo of Valtteri Bottas.

Yuki Tsunoda ran P14, having ruined his final attempt by sliding off at Turn 1 – which was greeted by anger over team radio by the AlphaTauri racer.

Ricciardo’s difficult season and uninspiring form from Silverstone lingered on as he became the first person to miss out on Q2, the honey badger missing the cut off by 0.024 seconds.

As teammate Norris ended the first 18-minute part of qualifying in eighth, despite running off road at Turn 3, Ricciardo managed only P16 to lose out to the AlphaTauri of Gasly.

Meanwhile, Lance Stroll had appeared on the cusp of progressing into the second part of qualifying, running inside the top 15 for much of the opening gambit, only to slip to P17.

Stroll was a multiple track limits offender, running wide at Turn 10 – the final corner – to have his current and next lap scrubbed off before he then pushed his luck at Turn 1.

He still kept ahead of the Alfa Romeo of Zhou Guanyu, while Nicholas Latifi took the old-spec Williams to P19 ahead of four-time champion Sebastian Vettel.

The Aston Martin driver had initially lapped quicker than his teammate only to be sent to the bottom of the times when he exceeded track limits at Turn 10 to have his time deleted.

So a very close qualifying battle between the Ferraris and yet the local hero Max Verstappen rise to the challenge and scored an important pole position. The sprint race is going to be interesting and it is going to be a long race at the Red Bull Ring. Bring it on!

Austrian Grand Prix, qualifying results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:04.984
2 Charles Leclerc Ferrari 1:05.013
3 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:05.066
4 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:05.404*
5 George Russell Mercedes 1:05.431
6 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:05.726
7 Kevin Magnussen Haas 1:05.879
8 Mick Schumacher Haas 1:06.011
9 Fernando Alonso Alpine 1:06.103
10 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:13.151
11 Pierre Gasly AlphaTauri 1:06.160
12 Alex Albon Williams 1:06.230
13 Yuki Tsunoda AlphaTauri 1:06.851
14 Lando Norris McLaren 1:25.847
15 Daniel Ricciardo McLaren 1:06.613
16 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:06.847
17 Zhou Guanyu Alfa Romeo 1:06.901
18 Nicholas Latifi Williams 1:07.003
19 Sebastian Vettel Aston Martin 1:07.083
20 Valtteri Bottas Alfa Romeo 1:06.319

*Lap time deleted due to track limited. Perez will start the sprint race in P13.

5 thoughts to “Verstappen beats Ferraris to start on pole at Red Bull Ring”

  1. Austrian Grand Prix qualifying review as reported by

    Max Verstappen took pole position ahead of the Sprint in a dramatic Friday evening qualifying session – with both Mercedes drivers crashing out – at the Red Bull Ring.

    Sunny skies welcomed the drivers after rain in the morning and a drenched lead-up to the Austrian Grand Prix, with qualifying setting the grid for Saturday’s Sprint – which in turn will set the grid for Sunday’s Grand Prix.

    Mercedes entered Q3 perhaps hoping for pole seeing as Lewis Hamilton was third in the previous session, but the seven-time champion went into the barriers at Turn 7 to bring out a red flag in the middle of the top-10 shootout to leave him a provisional 10th.

    Team mate George Russell (P5) followed suit minutes later with a spin then crash at the final corner, capping off a miserable afternoon for the Silver Arrows.

    Following the second stoppage of Q3 came a stunning fight for pole, Verstappen raising the proverbial roof off the Red Bull Ring with his final flying effort, leaving Leclerc second by just 0.029s and Carlos Sainz third by 0.082s.

    Sergio Perez took fourth for Red Bull by 0.420s, with Russell fifth despite crashing out.

    Next on the board was Alpine’s Esteban Ocon; his team mate Fernando Alonso was ninth. Between them were Kevin Magnussen in seventh and Mick Schumacher eighth in a stunning showing for Haas.

    AlphaTauri suffered a double elimination in Q2, with Pierre Gasly missing out by under a hundredth of a second and Yuki Tsunoda furious to qualify a provisional 14th. Alex Albon took 12th for Williams ahead of Alfa Romeo’s Valtteri Bottas in P13, while Lando Norris was 15th for McLaren having had numerous Q2 laps delete for exceeding track limits.

    Daniel Ricciardo will start behind his team mate in the Sprint having been eliminated in P16. Lance Stroll was next on the board, 17th for Aston Martin as he shares the penultimate row with Zhou Guanyu of Alfa Romeo on Saturday.

    Williams’ Nicholas Latifi qualified 19th for the Sprint, with Aston Martin’s Sebastian Vettel last and 20th having also had a lap chalked for track limits.

    Q1 – Ferrari set the pace as Ricciardo and Aston Martin bow out

    Teams wasted no time emerging for Q1, the track abuzz with activity under clear, blue skies.

    With eight minutes left on the clock, Verstappen briefly went top but had his lap chalked off, leaving team mate Perez first – ahead of Alpine’s Alonso and Ferrari’s Leclerc in a top-three split by just 0.057s. Sainz was fourth having also had his first flyer struck off for track limits.

    With Verstappen and Hamilton yet to set a time by that point, and with track conditions still set to ramp up, there was plenty of time on the table – both Williams (Albon going wide at Turn 9) and Aston Martins in the drop zone along with the championship leader.

    Verstappen got his time in with five minutes to go top thanks to a lap of 1m 05.852s. However, the Ferraris bumped him down the order soon after, Sainz going second and Leclerc first by 0.433s to the third-place Red Bull driver.

    Alonso took fourth ahead of Hamilton, while Red Bull’s Perez finished sixth in front of the other Mercedes of Russell.

    With a new engine (part of his existing pool) after his FP1 stoppage, McLaren driver Norris ended up eighth in Q1 ahead of the Haas duo (led by Magnussen over Schumacher in P10) and Bottas in 11th for Alfa Romeo.

    Tsunoda of AlphaTauri and Ocon in the Alpine were next in the order, behind them the Williams of Albon.

    AlphaTauri driver Gasly was the last man to make it to Q2 by 0.024s over McLaren’s Ricciardo in 16th. Neither Aston Martin progressed to the next session either, Vettel 20th with a deleted lap time while Stroll fared better in P17.

    Between them were Alfa Romeo’s Zhou, 18th, and Williams driver Latifi in P19.

    Knocked out: Ricciardo, Stroll, Zhou, Latifi, Vettel

    Q2 – Leclerc and Verstappen keep Hamilton at bay

    Mercedes’s Hamilton topped the charts early in Q2, his team mate Russell third, while Verstappen split the pair, 0.033s off the pace. That left the Ferraris in P4 and P5 but there was still time on the clock, time to find, and seven drivers yet to turn a flying lap.

    With five minutes remaining, Bottas was the driver at risk in P10 with Red Bull’s Perez 0.139s behind having gone wide at Turn 9, and Norris having had two lap times deleted thanks to separate excursions at Turn 1 and Turn 4 to sit last. Albon and the AlphaTauri pair were the other drivers at risk of elimination. Meanwhile at the top, Hamilton had improved to keep Verstappen 0.093s behind… for the time being.

    Leclerc and Verstappen improved, the former 0.087s ahead of the latter, while Hamilton was third by a margin of 0.188s to keep Sainz fourth. Russell rounded out the top five and Perez made it out of the drop zone in sixth.

    Both Haas drivers moved into Q3, Magnussen seventh and Schumacher 10th, with Ocon and Alonso making it a double Q3 appearance for Alpine in eighth and ninth respectively.

    Gasly improved but only to 11th (missing out on Q3 by 0.009s), with Albon up next, and Bottas 13th. Tsunoda got tail-happy at Turn 1 and his frustration was audible as he took a provisional P14 for the Sprint – with Norris last having had three laps struck off. “I’m scared to hit the brakes,” said the McLaren driver.

    Knocked out: Gasly, Albon, Bottas, Tsunoda, Norris

    Q3 – Both Mercedes crash out before Verstappen pole

    No one rushed out to set a time in Q3 but it soon became apparent that Perez may have gone wide at Turn 8 in his successful effort to emerge from Q2 – leading him to be summoned to the Stewards after the session.

    Leclerc led Russell and Ocon early on while Hamilton backed off his second effort (almost backing into a fast-moving Leclerc) despite a purple first sector – before a roar from the raucous orange sea of fans welcomed Verstappen. And the Dutchman delivered, taking provisional pole by 0.091s over Leclerc, with Sainz third for Ferrari ahead of Perez in P4 for Red Bull.

    Then came the red flag and pause – for Hamilton. A snap of oversteer at Turn 7 saw him go skating into the gravel, the right-hand side of his W13 hitting the barriers. He walked away, but will start a provisional 10th for the Sprint.

    After a lengthy stoppage, the session resumed with around five minutes left. But there would be another red flag. And this time for the other Mercedes driver – Russell walking away from this one – who spun and crashed at the final corner to pause proceedings with two-and-a-half minutes on the clock.

    What followed was a stunning battle for pole, Sainz shooting to the top, Leclerc improving to take provisional pole, and then Verstappen beating both Ferraris to top spot, leaving his Monegasque rival just 0.029s behind and the Spaniard 0.082s back.

    Perez was 0.420s – investigation forthcoming – behind his team mate in P4, Russell a provisional fifth, and then Ocon sixth for Alpine. Haas’s pair put on a brilliant show, Magnussen seventh ahead of Schumacher in eighth – to leave Alonso ninth in the other Alpine.

    Cue scenes of jubilance in the Red Bull garage (and in the grandstands) – while Mercedes’s crews will have a long night ahead of them before FP2 and the Austrian Sprint on Saturday.

  2. Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen admitted he was “on edge with track limits” to score Austrian Grand Prix pole lap. has the news story.

    Max Verstappen says he was “more on the edge with track limits” on his Austria Formula 1 pole lap as he pushed to recover time lost earlier in the lap.

    He eclipsed chief 2022 rival Charles Leclerc in the dying moments of a session twice red-flagged, owing to crashes from both Mercedes drivers, who had been a credible pole threat.

    The Ferraris left the pits ahead of the Red Bull for the final 2m30s qualifying shootout.

    Leclerc set a personal best first sector, lost time in the middle part of the lap but then set the fastest run of the session through the final sector to snatch provisional pole with a 1m05.013s.

    Verstappen, meanwhile, had missed his personal bests in the first and second sectors – albeit his slower time in S1 was still 0.07s up on Leclerc before he ceded 0.03s to the Ferrari in S3.

    The Red Bull driver then snatched the top spot for the sprint race away from his rival, a personal best final sector just 0.002s slower than Leclerc to post a 1m04.984s benchmark.

    Explaining his lap, Verstappen knew he had dropped time early on and therefore had to be “pretty spot on” and did so being aggressive with track limits through the final corners.

    Verstappen said: “It was a bit tricky. I think the long wait [after the red flag] is never amazing.

    “Then we went out. My Turn 1 and 3 were not the best, so I knew that the rest of the lap needed to be pretty spot on here to be able to do something.

    “And I think especially the last sector was a lot better than what I’ve done before, and more on the edge of course with the track limits.

    “It was good. It was close. I knew it was going to be close but of course, it’s always nice to just be ahead.”

    A second pole in three races comes after Verstappen asked Red Bull to give him a quicker car for qualifying in Azerbaijan, having watched Leclerc seize fours poles in a row between Miami and Baku.

    That one-lap advantage combined with the RB18’s race pace underlined Verstappen’s confidence for the sprint contest.

    He continued: “I think we have a great car normally. Qualifying is not our strongest point.

    “So, I just hope of course, to have a clean Turn 1, a good getaway and from there onwards anything can happen. But I feel confident with the car we have.”

  3. Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc “just wants a clean race” following Ferrari Formula 1 disaster especially what happened at Silverstone, the previous race. has the full details.

    Charles Leclerc “just wants a clean race” when he starts Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix sprint contest from second after Ferrari unreliability and strategy have created “a bit of a disaster” in the past few races.

    Leclerc narrowly missed pole for the second sprint race of the 2022 Formula 1 season after a strong final sector from home favourite Max Verstappen wrested top spot in the dying seconds of qualifying.

    The Monegasque driver had sat provisionally in first place after his final run in a twice red-flagged Q3, owing to shunts from both Mercedes drivers, before being eclipsed by Verstappen by 0.029s.

    When asked for his mindset for the sprint race, though, Leclerc did not specifically target the win but instead touted an upturn in form.

    This follows his two engine failures while leading in Spain and Azerbaijan before strategy errors that cost Ferrari possible 1-2s at Monaco and Silverstone – the latter giving cause for team principal Mattia Binotto to address his driver and attempt to quell some frustration before facing the media.

    Leclerc said: “I just want to have a clean race. Obviously, there’s been five races that it’s [been] a bit of a disaster on my side.

    “So, I just hope that everything will go clean, and that we can finally score the points that we deserve.”

    Reflecting on the thrilling qualifying session in Austria, Leclerc said he had potentially lost out by a drop in tyre temperatures as a legacy of the two red flag interruptions.

    He reckoned: “I think we are all three very, very close, so it was an exciting qualifying.

    “In the last lap I struggled a little bit bringing the tyres back after such a long time in the pits.

    “But Max was just a little bit quicker. So, congrats to him. Hopefully we’ll have an exciting race tomorrow.”

    Teammate Carlos Sainz, who will start the sprint contest in third, similarly suffered from tyre warm-up issues that meant he found it difficult to ‘trust’ the car.

    He added: “When you look back, and you see how close it is, you go back to the lap and find places where you’ve left that tenth of a second that could have given us pole.

    “But I’m sure these two guys [Verstappen and Leclerc] also know more or less where they lost it or where they gained it.

    “The good thing is that we put a good lap there at the end of Q3.

    “It wasn’t easy because the tyres were very cold after the red flag. “Trusting the car into Turn 1, into Turn 3 wasn’t the easiest.

    “I know where the lap time is. I just wish I could have done it a little bit better.”

    Verstappen reckoned: “It was very long wait, of course, between the two runs. That’s never great. Once you are in a rhythm, it’s nice to just keep on going.

    “There are not that many corners. But the corners you have are quite tricky and easy to make a mistake.”

  4. Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton had no answer for Q3 crash that cost him the chance to at least a top three starting position. provides the story.

    Lewis Hamilton says he has no answer for his Formula 1 qualifying crash in Austria on Friday that left him “incredibly disappointed”, believing a top-three finish was possible.

    Mercedes F1 driver Hamilton looked competitive through Q1 and Q2 on Friday evening, challenging Red Bull’s Max Verstappen and Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc towards the top of the timesheets.

    But after setting a quick time through the first sector at the Red Bull Ring during Q3, Hamilton lost control of his Mercedes W13 through the left-hander at Turn 7, causing him to crash into the barrier on the right-hand side of the track.

    Hamilton was unharmed in the incident, but will now start Saturday’s sprint race from 10th place on the grid after abandoning his initial effort in the final stage of qualifying due a small mistake at Turn 3.

    Hamilton called the crash “a big hit” but confirmed he was OK, although he felt “incredibly disappointed in myself.”

    “I’m so sorry to the team, everyone worked so hard to put this car together and I never like to damage it, bring it back damaged,” Hamilton said.

    “We were fighting for top three, I think. I don’t have an answer for it. I just lost the back end in Turn 7 and that was that.”

    The setback came after Mercedes appeared to take another step forward with its car performance over the British Grand Prix last weekend after bringing a raft of updates to Silverstone.

    Things went from bad to worse for the Silver Arrows later in qualifying as Hamilton’s teammate, George Russell, also crashed out, losing control at the final corner. His initial lap time was good enough to still take fifth place on the grid for the sprint race.

    Russell felt concerned about the possible crash damage sustained, but explained that he was pushing to try and break into the top three on the grid.

    “[I] could have been P4 for sure, I was a tenth up on my lap and absolutely went for it, because I thought there was an opportunity for third,” Russell said.

    “As it turned out, probably not. But we just need to see how much damage is done. Sorry to the team and to the guys in the garage.”

    Mercedes team principal Toto Wolff said on Sky Sports that Hamilton and Russell “should never beat themselves up” over crashing out, taking heart from the pace displayed through qualifying.

    “We’ve given them a car that wasn’t on par for 10 races in a row,” Wolff said.

    “Now we’re starting to come to terms and we’re able to drive in front, and then it can happen that you just lose the car.

    “I’d rather have a fast car and then a qualifying like this than not having the pace to be in the top four.”

  5. Red Bull Racing’s Sergio Perez will start Saturday’s Austria Formula 1 sprint race from 13th on the grid after all his Q3 lap times were deleted for a track limits breach in Q2.

    Perez made it through to the final session of qualifying at the Red Bull Ring with his final Q2 lap after his initial time was deleted when he exceeded track limits.

    But it emerged in the aftermath of the session that Perez appeared to have breached the track limits on that last lap as well, resulting in a stewards’ investigation.

    Perez qualified fourth for Red Bull, but will now move down the order after he was found to have exceeded track limits on his Q2 lap, resulting in all of his Q3 times being deleted.

    The stewards admitted it was “not identified until the moment before Q3 started” meaning he took part in Q3 because there were “many situations to examine in each session.”

    It was also accepted the situation where a driver advances through a round of qualifying only to later be found to have breached track limits “does not happen regularly and certainly not recently”, prompting it to be investigated as a “new situation”.

    “The team made the point that they took both risk and expended resources to compete in Q3,” the FIA bulletin reads. “The stewards accept this point. However, in assessing a penalty after a session, this is no different than any other situation.

    “The usual penalty is deleting the lap time concerned, and the stewards order the same penalty here.

    “However, as a consequence, the driver would not have proceeded into Q3 and therefore, in fairness to all the other competitors, the stewards order that all the lap times for Q3 for the driver also are deleted.”

    The bulletin also confirms that the Q2 lap in question from Perez was also deleted, resulting in him lining up 13th.

    Perez’s penalty will move Mercedes’ George Russell, who crashed in qualifying, onto the second row of the grid, starting fourth behind Max Verstappen and the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz.

    One of the biggest losers from the failure to delete Perez’s lap immediately was AlphaTauri’s Pierre Gasly, who dropped out in 11th place in Q2 after finishing just 0.014s shy of Mick Schumacher’s time in 10th.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *