It’s a Red Bull 1-2 at Red Bull Ring, as Verstappen takes pole in Sprint Shootout

Spread the love

Photo credits: Red Bull Racing

Sprint weekend for Formula 1 in Austria that kicked off with a very close and chaotic Qualifying session, that saw Max Verstappen ultimately taking pole position only 0.048s ahead of Charles Leclerc. But can he double it and take the top spot for this afternoon’s Sprint as well?

A struggling Mercedes, impressive upgrades for the Ferraris and Lando Norris’ McLaren, rather tricky track limits and an asphalt that has got to dry out from Friday night rain.

The premises for a session full of action certainly seem to be there, but let’s take a look at how things went down in the Sprint shootout.


As cars line up in the pitlane exit, the track seems to be slowly drying out from the heavy rain that fell down throughout the night.

Most of the grid comes out on Slicks for the kick off of this Q1, while Williams opted for Intermediates.

Few minutes pass by and Carlos Sainz opens the radio to report a “brake by wire” failure on his Ferrari and – as he is called back in the garage – smoke comes out the rear, problems for Zhou as well as he spins.

Meanwhile on track we have the first time deleted for going over the limits and it’s Max Verstappen’s first effort that gets canceled.

As the first half of this first stint approaches it’s Lando Norris leading the way in 1m07.755s, it’s elimination zone so far for Gasly, Bottas, Zhou, Sargeant and Sainz.

Red Bull takes the top with Sergio Perez who is sporting a set of Softs and as Hulkenberg climbs up to second there is a close come for Piastri and Leclerc as the Monegasque is heading to the pits.

A possible impeding that will be investigated at the end of the Shootout.

Only 90 seconds on the clock when Sainz finally makes his return to the track on a set of used Softs, on a mission to climb up from the very back of the grid. And he does much more than that, taking the top spot with a 1m06.187s effort.

A last chance for his teammate Charles Leclerc who goes 8th and manages to make the cut in P15 as the last car crosses the line.

Just less than one-tenth put Perez inside, closing just ahead of Leclerc.

Quite less lucky around the Mercedes garage. After a deleted lap that was worth the top Lewis Hamilton gets stuck in traffic on his last run and it’s the end of quali for his W14 that will start the Sprint from P18.

Out in Q1: Zhou, Piastri, Hamilton, Bottas and Sargeant.


Soft tyres for everyone for this first Q2 run and it’s Verstappen opening the timesheet with a 1m05.624s lap, Lando Norris is close behind.

It just doesn’t seem like Mercedes’ weekend, as George Russell is forced to park in the garage and retire after he had reported an “hydraulic failure” on his car at the end of Q1.

While Sainz climbs up to second place, Leclerc is struggling to find pace and sits in P12.

An impressive effort for Haas so far with Magnussen rising to third, just as Ocon takes the lead.

One last tyre change and at the end of the last run it’s Verstappen that goes P1 ahead of Sainz, a track limit infringement leaves De Vries out, while it’s Q3 for both Haas and P4 for Leclerc who ultimately finds pace.

Out in Q2: Albon, Gasly, Tsunoda, De Vries and Russell.


The last fragment of the Shootout session gets underway as drops of rain start to fall on the circuit and an investigation for unsafe release is issued to Nico Hulkenberg.

Nonetheless, an impressive effort from him as he takes the second row, at least on track, behind Norris in P4. A mix of Softs and Medium compounds and we have quite a bit of teammates pairings, as the Red Bulls line up on the front row, it’s third row for the two Ferraris and P7 – P8 for the Astons.

Yet another pole position for Max Verstappen, who will start both races from pole position.