Max Verstappen won Saturday’s sprint at Red Bull Ring circuit to take pole for the Austrian Grand Prix. He also extended his lead in world championship. He started at the front of the grid and comfortably held off Carlos Sainz’s Ferraris. His army of Dutch fans lit flares in celebration. “It was great seeing the fans – there was a lot smoke at the finish!” Verstappen, after doing a lap for honour in a Red Bull buggy.
Verstappen won Sunday’s 11th race, and also took pole. Verstappen also added eight points in his drivers standings account.
He stated, “The car is great, there are a few things we can fine-tune, but overall it’s really competitive again this Saturday.”
Leclerc, who begins on the front row, hopes for a good start Sunday to “put a little more pressure on Max”.
George Russell from Mercedes finished fourth, ahead of Sergio Perez, Verstappen’s Red Bull teammate. Sergio Perez made it through most of the field after starting 13th.
Esteban Ocon from Alpine and Kevin Magnussen finished in sixth and seven respectively, with Lewis Hamilton finishing in eighth.
Russell and Hamilton only took part in the event after their mechanics had repaired their cars after they crashed in qualifying.
Drama at the start, when Fernando Alonso’s Alpine refused a move when the formation lap began. The race was over before it even started.
Zhou Guanyu was having a problem at the back as the group formed for the lights. The Alfa Romeo driver reported that the engine was “off” for his team. The field was sent on a second lap in formation.
Verstappen held off Ferraris at the first corner and won a smooth win. This was his third consecutive win at the circuit located in the Styrian Mountains after he took both the Spielberg grand prix.
Leclerc also beat him in the first sprint of the year in Imola. He will hope he can do the same in Italy and win the grand prix 24hrs later.
He won the 100km race by 1.675 seconds. However, he did not encounter any problems.
Hamilton was left frustrated for far more time than he appreciated by Mick Schumacher’s Haas. Later, the German reported that Hamilton’s battle with Magnussen had been “fun”, but that he would prefer to have been released by his team.
Verstappen leads Perez by 38 point, while Leclerc is 44 points behind.
Topics covered in this article