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Max takes pole in sprint qualifying Austria: 'Good start to the weekend'

Published on 28 June 2024 by Kees-Jan Koster

Max Verstappen took pole position for the sprint race in Austria. The Dutchman was the fastest in all parts of the sprint qualifying. During the final part of qualifying, everyone went out late, making it all come down to one fast lap. Lando Norris will start next to Max tomorrow. McLaren teammate Oscar Piastri set the third fastest time. George Russell and Carlos Sainz completed the top five in Austria.

“It is great to be first here in front of the fans”, says Max after sprint qualifying. “Basically, my home Grand Prix. It was a good day so far. Nice to drive the car, the car was well balanced. Of course, you make some little adjustments going into the sprint qualifying, and everything has been working really well. Good start of the weekend. Still a lot of things to do, but I’m happy with today.”

Lando Norris will start the sprint race next to Max. The Dutchman was almost one tenth of a second faster than the McLaren driver. Looking ahead to tomorrow’s sprint race Max says: “We will find out tomorrow. I am not too stressed about it. I am going to enjoy my evening, and I will try again tomorrow. The sprint race will give us an early indication on the pace for the race. I am looking forward to that.”

Earlier in the day, Max Verstappen set the fastest time in the first and only free practice session of this sprint weekend, the third sprint weekend of the season. When the lights go green, there is initially little movement in the pit lane. No one seems to be in a hurry to go out. After a few minutes, it is Lewis Hamilton who comes out first. The Brit has a difficult start. He has an oversteer moment during his first attempt and then goes through the gravel. Max's first time is a 1:05.690, which is good for first place. After the flag is waved, Tsunoda briefly causes a yellow flag in the third sector after a spin. The Japanese driver can continue driving. At the end of SQ1, Verstappen is the fastest man on the track, followed by George Russell and Carlos Sainz. We say goodbye to Zhou, Albon, Bottas, Hulkenberg, and Ricciardo.

At the start of SQ2, Verstappen comes out immediately. His first time is a 1:05.186. Teammate Pérez takes the second spot, half a second behind, but the two Red Bulls are quickly split by the McLarens, Ferraris, and Mercedes, dropping Pérez to eighth position. Russell comes closest to Max's time but is still over a tenth behind. Lance Stroll is on a fast lap but has a moment in the final corner and can only manage a provisional ninth place. In the end, the Canadian does not make it, along with Sargeant, Tsunoda, Alonso, and Magnussen. Verstappen is once again the fastest in this session, followed by Russell and Piastri.

SQ3 is another 'waiting game'. For the first few minutes, there is no one on the track. Only with three minutes on the clock do the first drivers – the Mercedes cars – come out. With two minutes to go, there's a queue in the pit lane. With a minute and a half remaining, Verstappen also comes out. Charles Leclerc briefly pulls over at the end of the pit lane. There seems to be a problem, but shortly after, the Ferrari driver continues. However, the Monegasque is too late to set a time. Hamilton is the first to set a time with a 1:05.270, but he is quickly pushed to sixth position: both McLarens, Sainz, and his own teammate are faster. Verstappen clocks a 1:04.686, to loud cheers from the Dutch fans. He is almost a tenth faster than Norris in second place, securing pole position. Piastri qualifies third, while Russell and Sainz complete the top five.

Contest GP Austria: win a by Max Verstappen signed Racing cap!

Results sprint qualifying Austria:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:05.6901:05.1861:04.686
2Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:05.7861:05.5611:04.779
3Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:06.0811:05.3791:04.987
4George RussellRUSMercedes1:05.7641:05.3251:05.054
5Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:05.7811:05.4351:05.126
6Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:06.5041:05.5391:05.270
7Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:06.2561:05.6121:06.008
8Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:06.3431:05.6861:06.101
9Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:06.4651:05.7571:06.624
10Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:06.1491:05.526DNF
11Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:06.3871:05.806
12Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:06.0371:05.847
13Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:06.4871:05.878
14Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:06.5571:05.960
15Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:06.518DNF
16Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:06.581
17Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:06.583
18Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:06.725
19Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:06.754
20Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:07.197