Formula 1

Formula 1: Verstappen storms to Styrian GP pole ahead of Mercedes duo.

Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter

Max Verstappen has taken his 6th pole position and Red Bull’s first at their home track. Lewis Hamilton lines up 2nd, while a penalty for Valtteri Bottas has moved Lando Norris into 3rd for tomorrow’s race.

Q1

The order was changing contantly throughout Q1 as the track rubbered in. Temperatures were soaring and this was causing havok with some of the set-up procedures.

With 6 minutes to go, Latifi’s strong performance caused every driver to reconsider their current lap times. This led to a huge amount of cars flirting with elmination in Q1. Ricciardo and Vettel both managed to just scrape through, while Latifi fell from 8th to 16th. The Canadian driver was unstandably frustrated as the Williams has been looking strong around the Red Bull Ring.

Verstappen headed the field, with the Mercedes just behind.

Eliminated:

  • 16th Latifi
  • 17th Ocon
  • 18th Raikkonen
  • 19th Schumacher
  • 20th Mazepin

Q2

Hamilton’s initial run left him 0.8s adrift of Verstappen, despite both drivers setting times on the medium compound. Verstappen’s time was later surpassed by Gasly on the soft tyre. Like Q1, this led to every driver doing another run, with only 0.25s separating the top 10.

Russell missed out by 0.008s, painfully close to his first Q3 appearance for Williams. Behind, were a host of drivers who were massively out of position. Sainz and Ricciardo were actually both a position lower until Vettel’s last run was deleted. All 3 drivers will have a busy race ahead of them to try and make up for a disappointing session.

Eliminated:

  • 11th Russell
  • 12th Sainz
  • 13th Ricciardo
  • 14th Vettel
  • 15th Giovinazzi

Q3

The initial runs put Verstappen in front of Hamilton and a storming Norris. Verstappen had a commanding advantage of 0.3s, possibly more than Red Bull were expecting coming into the weekend.

There was huge traffic as the cars prepared for their final laps. Bottas managed to steal 2nd from Hamilton, but will drop to 5th after his 3 place penalty is applied. Gasly and Norris had a quick scrap, with Norris coming out on top. Leclerc took a solid 7th, while Tsunoda, Alonso and Stroll have all taken reasonable positions on the grid.

Results:

  1. Verstappen
  2. Bottas
  3. Hamilton
  4. Norris
  5. Perez
  6. Gasly
  7. Leclerc
  8. Tsunoda
  9. Alonso
  10. Stroll

Yet again, Qualifying has set up another tantalising prospect for raceday tomorrow. Mercedes’ race pace is expected to be strong, but momentum is clearly with Verstappen. Just behind are two drivers on incredible form after podium finishes this year.

All this and rain is still predicted come raceday…

Featured Image Credit: @F1 Official Twitter

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