Verstappen edged out Norris by less than a tenth

Red Bull Racing’s Max Verstappen beat the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to take pole position for the sprint race at the Red Bull Ring.

After the SQ3 drivers had waited for almost all the final qualifying segment to pass by before heading out on new soft tyres, the Mercedes duo led the pack out of the pits.

Lewis Hamilton posted a lap time of one minute, 05.270 seconds before he was immediately beaten by his teammate George Russell and then Piastri came through to shuffle them down.

Norris produced the fastest time in the middle sector to go ahead on a time with one minute, 04.779 seconds, but Verstappen’s leading pace in the first and final sector made the difference as he came through to top the session with a time of one minute, 04.686s seconds

Behind, Carlos Sainz slotted his Ferrari between the Mercedes drivers to take fifth position, with Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly ending up seventh, eighth and ninth and appearing to pay the price for being at the back of the traffic queue on the SQ3 out-lap.

Charles Leclerc ended up in tenth position without setting an SQ3 lap after he had pulled over from between the Alpines in the pitlane with an apparent technical issue.

The Ferrari driver fixed this and headed out, but did not cross the line in time to start a flying lap.

In SQ2, Kevin Magnussen produced the best first sector of this segment but lost time as his single run continued and he ended up in P11 – ahead of Aston Martin pair Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, plus Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant.

Stroll saved a massive moment at Turn 10 on his only attempt in SQ2, with those eliminated, plus the Alpine pair, having to complete an extra run on the mediums compared to the frontrunners getting out of SQ1.

In that, Hamilton had a nervy ride through after losing his first lap for going wide and dipping his right-side wheels in the gravel at Turn 6, then had a traffic-heavy second attempt before he progressed in P13 behind Alonso.

Logan Sargeant led Alex Albon from the off for the Williams and the former’s final improvement knocked Daniel Ricciardo out in P16 ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, Albon and Zhou Guanyu.

In the closing seconds of the opening session where the drivers are only allowed to run the medium tyres throughout, as those that made it also were in SQ2, Tsunoda spun off dramatically at the final two corners but was able to carry on without damage.

Austrian Grand Prix, sprint qualifying results:
1 Max Verstappen Red Bull 1:04.686
2 Lando Norris McLaren 1:04.779
3 Oscar Piastri McLaren 1:04.987
4 George Russell Mercedes 1:05.054
5 Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1:05.126
6 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1:05.270
7 Sergio Perez Red Bull 1:06.008
8 Esteban Ocon Alpine 1:06.101
9 Pierre Gasly Alpine 1:06.624
10 Charles Leclerc Ferrari No time
11 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:05.806
12 Lance Stroll Aston Martin 1:05.847
13 Fernando Alonso Aston Martin 1:05.878
14 Yuki Tsunoda RB 1:05.960
15 Logan Sargeant Williams No time
16 Daniel Ricciardo RB 1:06.581
17 Nico Hulkenberg Haas 1:06.583
18 Valtteri Bottas Sauber 1:06.725
19 Alexander Albon Williams 1:06.754
20 Zhou Guanyu Sauber 1:07.197

3 thoughts to “Verstappen edged out Norris by less than a tenth”

  1. Max Verstappen will line up in pole position for the Sprint in Austria, having stormed to the top of the timesheets ahead of the McLaren pair of Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri in a busy Sprint Qualifying session.

    With every driver in SQ3 posting just one flying lap in the final minutes, the pressure was on to deliver. And deliver Verstappen did, pumping in a time of 1m 04.686s in the Red Bull to go just 0.093s clear of McLaren’s Norris in second.

    Fellow McLaren driver Piastri took third, with the Mercedes of George Russell slotting into fourth ahead of the lead Ferrari of Carlos Sainz in fifth. Mercedes’ Lewis Hamilton will share the third row with the Spaniard in sixth place.

    Sergio Perez put his Red Bull in P7, ahead of the Alpine pair of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly in P8 and P9 respectively. Charles Leclerc, meanwhile, had a disastrous end to Sprint Qualifying, having failed to set a time after stopping in the pit lane before being unable to cross the line before the chequered flag, leaving him in P10.

  2. Leclerc failed to set a time in the last part of qualifying for the Red Bull Ring sprint race because of the issue.

    Charles Leclerc’s failure to set a lap time in Formula 1’s Austrian Grand Prix sprint SQ3 was caused by an anti-stall problem aboard his Ferrari cutting its engine.

    Leclerc pulled out of the queue for sprint qualifying’s top 10 runners as they massed at the end of the pitlane with the clocking ticking down at the Red Bull Ring, where Max Verstappen would go on to claim the top spot on the grid for the first of two races at his team’s home race this weekend.

    Leclerc was therefore confined to 10th place as the only SQ3 runner not to set a time, which afterwards he described as “disappointing” despite feeling Ferrari was not “super strong” in any case here.

    “I don’t know what happened,” he said of what had caused the anti-stall and engine issue in the pits. “I was in the pitlane and I got the anti-stall and then everything switched off.

    “The team told me that we will speak when I’ll be back in the garage, but obviously I went straight from the car to here so I don’t know.”

  3. Lando Norris is feeling positive about his chances of taking the fight to Max Verstappen in the Sprint at the Austrian Grand Prix, having only narrowly missed out on pole position to the Dutchman in Sprint Qualifying.

    With every driver opting to rely on one flying lap only in the final minutes of SQ3, Norris initially looked to be on course for P1 after a strong lap in the McLaren.

    However, he was soon displaced by Verstappen, who went fastest of all in the Red Bull with a time of 1m 04.686s, just 0.093s ahead of Norris.

    Asked about his feelings on the session after jumping out of the car, Norris reflected: “I think reasonably good, to be honest. I never got quite comfortable probably until my final lap, so I’m happy with that.

    “[It was] close, as it has been the whole year, so no difference. It must have been a nice lap by Max. A good position for the race tomorrow.”

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