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Max Verstappen dominantly claims pole at Red Bull Ring: 'A great feeling'

Published on 29 June 2024 by Florence Cobben

Max Verstappen has dominantly claimed pole in anticipation of the Austrian Grand Prix. In previous qualifications the competition came down to the wire, but this week Max was lord and master. With a time of 1:04.314, the Oracle Red Bull Racing-driver ended up going four-tenths faster than Lando Norris in P2. Max claims his eighth pole of the season, and the 40th of his Formula 1 career. George Russell went third fastest in his Mercedes.

After qualifying Max spoke to tens of thousands of Dutch fans, saying: "The qualifying went really well. We tried to adjust the car a little bit after the things we learned this morning. I think it went well. Ofcourse the track is a little bit warmer than yesterday, which made it all a little bit trickier to drive. The car felt a lot better today, I could attack the corners a bit more. Every run was on point and it was just enjoyable out there." 

After a couple of challenging weekends, this victory was hard-earned: "It's been a while since we've been on pole. So it's a great feeling. The team has been working really hard to try and make the car more competitive. So I think this is a great statement, and hopefully we can also show that tomorrow in the race."

Despite his dominant performance, Max is keeping his eye on the competition: "It's always nice to race and hopefully it'll be a tight battle tomorrow again. But we'll see. I'm not thinking about that too much, I'm just very happy with how the car was performing today, and hopefully that will also translate in racepace."

After the sprintrace, the teams and their drivers had three hours to prepare for the qualifying session. At the start of Q1, the temperature at the 4318 meter long Red Bull Ring in Spielberg hovered around 31 degrees. Max, just like all the other drivers, makes his appearance on soft tyres and sets a time of 1:06.054. This secures him first place, but it's not long before other drivers start surpassing him. Max is in P8 by the time he starts his second flying lap. He improves to a 1:05.336, once again reclaiming P1, before Carlos Sainz and Oscar Piastri run their laps and demote him to P3. Max drives a third flying lap, but proceeds to Q2 in P3. The drivers to exit stage left after Q1 are: Alexander Albon (P16), Lance Stroll (P17), Valtteri Bottas (P18), Logan Sargeant (P19) and Zhou Guanyu (P20).

In Q2 Max is on new soft tyres and sets a lightning fast time of 1:04.577, comfortably securing him P1. Although he's far in the lead, Max heads out again and improves his time to 1:04.469, finishing Q2 in P1. Sainz is second with a 0.5 second gap to Max, followed by George Russell in P3. The losers of this second round are: Daniel Ricciardo (P11), Kevin Magnussen (P12), Pierre Gasly (P13), Yuki Tsunoda (P14) and Fernando Alonso (P15).

In Q3, Max immediately takes the bull by the horns and sets a newer fastest time of 1:04.426. Norris follows at three-tenths of a second, with George Russell in P3. The drivers head out for their second flying lap, and Max once again improves on his time by a tenth, placing him confidently in first place. Lando Norris drives into P2, four-tenths behind Max, while George Russell goes third fastest. Carlos Sainz and Lewis Hamilton follow in P4 and P5, while Charles Leclerc goes over the track limits and through the gravel in turn nine and has to abort his lap, leaving him in sixth. Oscar Piastri was demoted from third place to seventh for going over the track limits. Sergio Perez, Nico Hulkenberg and Esteban Ocon complete the top ten.

The Grand Prix of Austria starts on Sunday at 15:00.

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

Results qualifying Austria:

1Max VerstappenVERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:05.3361:04.4691:04.314
2Lando NorrisNORMcLaren Mercedes1:05.4501:05.1031:04.718
3George RussellRUSMercedes1:05.5851:05.0161:04.840
4Carlos SainzSAIFerrari1:05.2631:05.0161:04.851
5Lewis HamiltonHAMMercedes1:05.5411:05.0531:04.903
6Charles LeclercLECFerrari1:05.5091:05.1041:05.044
7Oscar PiastriPIAMcLaren Mercedes1:05.3111:05.0701:05.048
8Sergio PerezPERRed Bull Racing Honda RBPT1:05.5871:05.1441:05.202
9Nico HulkenbergHULHaas Ferrari1:05.5961:05.2621:05.385
10Esteban OconOCOAlpine Renault1:05.5741:05.2741:05.883
11Daniel RicciardoRICRB Honda RBPT1:05.5691:05.289
12Kevin MagnussenMAGHaas Ferrari1:05.5081:05.347
13Pierre GaslyGASAlpine Renault1:05.5981:05.359
14Yuki TsunodaTSURB Honda RBPT1:05.5631:05.412
15Fernando AlonsoALOAston Martin Mercedes1:05.6561:05.639
16Alexander AlbonALBWilliams Mercedes1:05.736
17Lance StrollSTRAston Martin Mercedes1:05.819
18Valtteri BottasBOTKick Sauber Ferrari1:05.847
19Logan SargeantSARWilliams Mercedes1:05.856
20Zhou GuanyuZHOKick Sauber Ferrari1:06.061