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Verstappen clinches Austrian pole

SPIELBERG, AUSTRIA - JULY 08: Max Verstappen of the Netherlands driving the (1) Oracle Red Bull Racing RB18 on track during qualifying ahead of the F1 Grand Prix of Austria at Red Bull Ring on July 08, 2022 in Spielberg, Austria. (Photo by Adam Pretty - Formula 1/Formula 1 via Getty Images)

Max Verstappen has claimed Pole position at the Austrian Grand Prix for tomorrow’s Sprint Race.

The Red Bull Ring saw a clear, sunny sky for qualifying despite some rain in the morning. As a reminder, this qualifying session is for tomorrow’s Sprint Race, not for the Grand Prix.

British GP winner Carlos Sainz was the first driver to go out on track followed by half of the grid, which included his teammate, both McLaren cars, Sergio Perez, and others. The first flying lap by the Spaniard placed him on top with a 1:06.363s, followed by Perez +0.044s behind. However, the Ferrari’s time was later deleted due to track times, allowing Leclerc to take his spot.

Many drivers, including Lewis Hamilton and Lando Norris, struggled through turn 3 as they went off-track and were forced to re-join either through the sausage curb or after it.

Times were improving as the session progressed and Charles Leclerc was the first driver to place a time into the 1:05s, topping the time charts ahead of his teammate Sainz. Hamilton, with 4 minutes to go, placed P4 after a somewhat impressive lap for a team that’s been struggling so much in the first half of the season.

The drivers eliminated in Q1 were Latifi, Zhou, Stroll, Vettel, and Ricciardo. Bad luck once again for both Aston Martin cars, eliminated in the first part of the session as they were in England last weekend.

The second part of qualifying saw a fought-out midfield, with Gasly, Albon, Bottas, Tsunoda, and Norris all being eliminated.

Ocon was the first driver to go out, followed by both AlphaTauri cars and Lando Norris. Charles Leclerc continued to lead the session although Max Verstappen often challenged him.

Lewis Hamilton also tried to get in the mix but, even though it improved, his Mercedes car still has setbacks when compared to those at the top. However, the panorama for the Silver Arrows is looking much more promising than it did a few races ago.

The third part of qualifying saw huge drama as Lewis Hamilton crashed out of the session bringing out the red flags. He lost it through turn 7, going into the gravel and finishing in the barriers. The British driver got out of the car walking as fans in orange celebrated the incident in the stands.

The session resumed a few minutes later with 4 minutes to go. However, the red flag was quickly brought out once again as now George Russell, the second Mercedes, crashed out of the session breaking his suspension.

Once again we saw the green flag minutes after the incident. It was Max Verstappen who took pole position at Austria, with a time of 1:04.984, the only into the 1:04s. Leclerc and Sainz followed him.


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