While Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz Jr were aggressive at the first corner, Max Verstappen was able to hold on and then fly away to win the sprint of the Austrian Grand Prix in front of the Ferrari drivers.
Max Verstappen made the “orange tide” roar with pleasure! The day after a pole position snatched against the Ferrari drivers, the reigning world champion was able to be incisive to seek victory during the disputed sprint on the Red Bull Ring. While the start was delayed due to technical issues with Guanyu Zhou’s Alfa Romeo on the formation lap, Max Verstappen didn’t make the same mistake as in the first sprint of the season at Imola.
Under pressure from Charles Leclerc, who tried everything to get through the first corner, then Carlos Sainz Jr, the Red Bull Racing driver was able to keep the advantage. Max Verstappen then took advantage of the internal struggle between the Ferrari drivers to take off and take a three-second lead after only seven of the 23 laps on the program for this sprint. The gap being made, the Dutchman was then able to manage his tires to calmly see the finish line.
The beautiful rise of Pérez
Despite his Ferrari’s good pace after seeing his team-mate drop ground, Charles Leclerc was unable to endanger Max Verstappen, who took the eight points awarded to the winner. Carlos Sainz Jr, for his part, did what was necessary to retain third place but this sprint in the Austrian Grand Prix will not reduce the mounting pressure within the Scuderia. George Russell takes fourth place ahead of… Sergio Pérez!
Relegated to 13th place on the grid by the FIA stewards, the Mexican rolled up his sleeves on the first lap to begin his comeback. Eighth on the second lap, “Checo” then reviewed the Haas drivers then Esteban Ocon, sixth at the finish, to finish fifth. Lewis Hamilton, meanwhile, got the better of Mick Schumacher at the very end of the race to finish eighth and take the last available point.
Gasly still unlucky
Sprint races, Pierre Gasly definitely doesn’t like it! Already making a mistake in the exercise last season, the AlphaTauri driver saw his hopes of doing well come to an end at the first corner. In a contact with Lewis Hamilton reminiscent of the one who sent Guanyu Zhou flying last weekend at Silverstone, the Frenchman spun, leaving 18th.
Whipping despite a damaged single-seater, Pierre Gasly was able to move up three positions and will start 14th this Sunday, taking advantage of the engine penalty from Valtteri Bottas, tenth in this sprint. The only other incident to report during this sprint was the collision between Sebastian Vettel and Alex Albon on lap 11, which saw the Aston Martin driver go off the track and then finally retire on the edge of the last lap. With an unchanged leading quartet and 71 laps on the programme, the Austrian Grand Prix promises to be lively.