After a qualifying session marked by two red flags, Max Verstappen took pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix sprint by less than a tenth of a second against Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr.
Max Verstappen washed away the affront! Beaten last weekend by Carlos Sainz Jr during qualifying for the British Grand Prix and then dominated on Sunday in the race at Silverstone, the world championship leader responded on the land of his team. Already dominating during the first free practice session, Max Verstappen snatched pole position in the Austrian Grand Prix, which will allow the Dutchman to lead the way this Saturday during the disputed sprint on the Red Bull Ring.
A 16th career pole position that the reigning world champion had to get in his very last attempt. While Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr settled for a while at the top of the hierarchy with a difference of 53 thousandths of a second between them, Max Verstappen gave everything in the last sector to get ahead of the Monegasque by 29 small thousandths. On the short course of Spielberg, the Top 3 of these qualifications are finally separated by only 82 thousandths of a second!
VERSTAPPEN TAKES POLE!!!
— Formula 1 (@F1) July 8, 2022
A Q3 to forget for Mercedes
If the pole position was played in the last lap, it is because the last part of the session was interrupted twice by the red flag. And, each time, it is because of a Mercedes in perdition. First of all, it was Lewis Hamilton who lost control of his W13 at the exit of turn 7. Then it was George Russell who spun in the last corner of the circuit. If the latter was able to set a decent time before making a mistake and will start from fifth place this Saturday for the sprint, which will be contested over the distance of 24 laps.
Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, will be tenth on the starting grid. Sergio Pérez, meanwhile, confirmed his difficulties at the wheel of the RB18, with the fourth time more than four tenths of a second behind his teammate and leader. Little in sight at the start of the day, Esteban Ocon took up the gauntlet to set the sixth fastest time ahead of the two Haas of Kevin Magnussen and Mick Schumacher, when his teammate Fernando Alonso will accompany Lewis Hamilton on the fifth row.
🗨️ “I’m so sorry for damaging the car”
Big mistake by Lewis Hamilton in Q3, he ends up in the gravel
— CANAL+ F1® (@CanalplusF1) July 8, 2022
Gasly should have been in Q3
A last part of the qualifying session in which Pierre Gasly could not take part. Beaten by nine thousandths of a second by Mick Schumacher for tenth place in Q2, the AlphaTauri driver should probably have participated in Q3. Indeed, on his best lap, Sergio Pérez obviously did not respect the rule that the track limits are the white lines of the circuit. If the stewards took up the case to judge it after the session, Pierre Gasly was forced to watch the final explanation from the paddock.
A qualifying session which confirmed the current difficulties of McLaren, with Lando Norris last in Q2 and Daniel Ricciardo first eliminated in Q1. Sebastian Vettel, meanwhile, could not do better than the 20th and last lap and did not see Q2 for the third consecutive time, unheard of in the career of the quadruple world champion. With the two Ferraris supervised by the two Red Bull Racing teams, this sprint already promises to be exciting.