window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);} gtag('js', new Date()); gtag('config', 'G-QV9HFVZD64'); Verstappen Edges Norris for Austrian GP Sprint Pole author - TELCOTELCO

Verstappen Edges Norris for Austrian GP Sprint Pole

Max Verstappen clinched pole position for the sprint race at the Austrian Grand Prix, narrowly beating Lando Norris by just 0.093 seconds.

Verstappen, who was the last of the leading drivers to finish, expressed dissatisfaction with his tyres due to the chaotic session’s end and the crowded track conditions.

Oscar Piastri secured third place, making it a McLaren two-three, trailing the Dutchman by 0.301 seconds. He was followed by George Russell’s Mercedes and Carlos Sainz in his Ferrari.

Charles Leclerc, Sainz’s teammate, couldn’t start his flying lap before the session ended and will begin in 10th place.

Lewis Hamilton, who went off track multiple times, ended up sixth, just ahead of Red Bull’s Sergio Perez.

Perez, feeling the pressure after several underwhelming performances, was affected by the scramble for track positioning as all 10 drivers took to the track in the final minutes.

The Alpines of Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly finished in eighth and ninth, respectively.

The last two races have seen a fierce competition between Verstappen and Norris, and the sprint qualifying at the Red Bull Ring continued this trend.

While Norris claimed pole in Spain the previous weekend, Verstappen dominated every session in the sprint qualifying at the Red Bull Ring and was always the favorite for pole.

Norris, who struggled in the first two sessions, finishing fourth and seventh, managed to deliver a strong lap when it counted.

Initially, Russell and then Piastri set the pace, but Norris set a new benchmark before Verstappen secured the top spot with the final lap.

The crowd, many of whom had traveled from the Netherlands, cheered Verstappen across the line at Red Bull’s home race on their own track.

Verstappen commented, “It is great to be first here in front of basically my home fans my home grand prix, it has been a good day so far. It has been nice to drive the car. Immediately it was well balanced. Of course you make some small changes before spring qualifying and everything has been working really well.”

Norris reflected, “I never got quite comfortable until my final lap so I am quite happy with that. Close. It must have been a nice lap by Max and (it’s) a good position for the sprint tomorrow.”

Leclerc encountered an engine issue at the end of the pit lane as cars went out for the single lap determining the sprint qualifying session. His car went into anti-stall and then the engine stopped. By the time he restarted the car, he did not have enough time to complete his lap before the chequered flag.

Hamilton ran off track twice in the first session, first at the first corner and then at Turn Six. The second incident damaged his floor, costing him about 0.2 seconds, according to Mercedes’ initial assessments, with more investigations to follow. The seven-time champion ended up 0.216 seconds behind Russell’s time.

Hamilton said, “I wasn’t in the mix the whole session. It was pretty disastrous from my point of view. Car felt good, I don’t think we had the pace to be on pole but very bad laps.”

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