Verstappen defeats Leclerc and track limits to take pole for Sunday in Austria; Norris stars in P4

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The Haas of Kevin Magnussen kicked off qualifying with a 1:06.006. However, World Champion Max Verstappen soon destroyed that on a 1:05.190, 0.7s quicker than Oscar Piastri and Sergio Pérez. Magnussen and Stroll completed the top 5 after five minutes.

Sainz, Hülkenberg and Norris all had their first lap times deleted for track limits.

A red flag was required with just under twelve minutes remaining as Valtteri Bottas spun on the exit of turn 1 and was stuck for a couple of minutes on the grass at pit exit as he struggled to get his Alfa Romeo going. Eventually he did and returned to the pits.

During the red flag period, Verstappen’s 1:05.190 was removed for track limits as well. Piastri now led Pérez, Magnussen, Stroll and Leclerc.

Due to the removal of so many times, only 11 drivers had registered a time when the session resumed.

Verstappen went again and logged a 1:05.116, 0.223s and 0.461s quicker than Sainz and Leclerc respectively. Norris, Alonso and Hamilton were the only other drivers within 0.6s of Verstappen.

Piastri, Pérez, Bottas and Guanyu completed the top 10 with seven minutes to go.

Stroll, Ocon, Sargeant, De Vries and Hülkenberg found themselves in the relegation zone with five minutes remaining. The Canadian moved up to P11 moments later with a purple final sector.

Sitting in P13, Sergio Pérez got things together and went 2nd behind his teammate, 0.061s covering the Red Bull duo.

Heading into the final attempts, Magnussen, Albon, Ocon, Sargeant and De Vries found themselves in the relegation zone. Albon and Ocon managed to pull out solid improvements to make their way through.

After his difficult start to Q1, Valtteri Bottas squeezed through in P15 by 0.021s.

Tsunoda, Guanyu, Sargeant, Magnussen and De Vries got knocked out. It was a painful final sector for Sargeant as he left too much margin on the table in the final turn after outpacing Albon in the first two sectors.


A 1:05.038 from Lando Norris put him fastest early in the session as both Red Bulls had their times deleted because of track limits. They had both been slightly faster than Norris.

Behind the Brit, Hülkenberg, Alonso, Sainz and Hamilton completed the top 5. Piastri, Leclerc and Russell completed the runners who set a time with nine minutes left.

Verstappen went again and did a 1:04.951 to go quickest, followed by Sainz, Norris, Leclerc and Hamilton. 0.237s covered the top 5.

Gasly, Hülkenberg, Alonso, Albon and Ocon completed the top 10.

Alonso had moved to within a tenth of Verstappen, but it was removed at turn 9. Pérez had another time taken away and it put him down in P15. The Mercedes of George Russell also saw his time binned.

It was a remarkable end to Q2 as track limits defeated Sergio Pérez, Oscar Piastri and Esteban Ocon all had times deleted. Pérez had gone P2 but a third time deletion saw him end up in 15th. Piastri also lot his Q3 spot because of it.

The big beneficiary was Alex Albon as he beat the Mercedes of George Russell to P10 by 0.041s.

Russell, Ocon, Piastri, Bottas and Pérez got knocked out after the deletion of so many laps.


A 1:05.823 from Alex Albon kicked things off in the final segment of qualifying.

However, the championship leader soon took over as a 1:04.503 from Verstappen put him 0.206s clear of Leclerc. Sainz, Norris, Alonso, Gasly, Albon and Hülkenberg completed the runners who set a time halfway through. Stroll’s time was removed for exceeding track limits.

Hamilton did his first lap in the gap and slotted into P5 following a purple first sector.

The Williams of Alex Albon moved into P6 but got his time removed for track limits.

A 1:04.391 from the World Champion leader gives Verstappen pole for Sunday’s Austrian Grand Prix as that improvement by just over a tenth on his second run was critical.

Photo credit: Red Bull Content Pool

Ferrari’s Charles Leclerc got unbelievably close and missed out by just 0.048s as he went right to the limit in his Ferrari. Sainz completed a good day for the Italian squad as he ended up 3rd.

The star of qualifying was Lando Norris as he’ll start 4th on Sunday thanks to another stunning lap around the Red Bull Ring.

Hamilton, Stroll, Alonso, Hülkenberg, Gasly and Albon completed the top 10 order.