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Formula 1

Max Verstappen takes pole ahead of the Mercedes drivers



pole Australian Grand Prix

Verstappen stuns with pole position in Australian GP qualifying, but teammate Perez faces a disastrous start at the back.

Outpacing the Mercedes drivers, Max Verstappen clinched the pole position for the Australian Grand Prix. Unfortunately, his teammate Sergio Perez crashed in the initial part of Formula 1 qualifying and will begin the race from the last spot on the grid.

Verstappen was the fastest driver in both Q1 and Q2, but faced a tough competition in Q3 as he struggled with an issue that left him only slightly faster than a group of five drivers who were separated by less than three tenths of a second after the initial runs.

Ultimately, Verstappen was able to enhance his lap time by half a second on his final flying lap, and secured his second pole position of the season with a time of 1m16.732s.

Meanwhile, his teammate Perez, who is only one point behind him in the standings, will start the race 19 positions behind him on the grid.

Perez faced a difficult time during the final practice session, struggling with multiple off-track moments and voicing frustration over a car issue that persisted into qualifying.

Unfortunately, Perez’s qualifying session was cut short when he locked up his RB19 into the Turn 3 right-hander and skidded into the gravel, resulting in a red flag and ultimately failing to set a time. Consequently, he will begin the Grand Prix from the last position on the starting grid, in 20th place.


Meanwhile, George Russell achieved his first front row start of the year by narrowly beating his Mercedes teammate Lewis Hamilton. Russell’s lap time was only 0.236 seconds slower than Verstappen’s pole position time, with Hamilton a further tenth of a second behind.

Fernando Alonso of Aston Martin secured the fourth position on the grid, while Carlos Sainz took the fifth spot, followed by his teammate Lance Stroll in sixth place, who managed to outperform Charles Leclerc.

In a surprising turn of events, Alex Albon secured a fantastic eighth place in Q3 for Williams, while Pierre Gasly of Alpine and Nico Hulkenberg of Haas completed the top 10 on the grid.

On his final Q2 lap, Esteban Ocon missed out on qualifying for Q3 by an incredibly slim margin of only 0.007 seconds, partly due to encountering Lando Norris and Charles Leclerc at the penultimate corner.

AlphaTauri’s Yuki Tsunoda qualified in 12th position, beating Norris’s McLaren and Kevin Magnussen, who experienced his third consecutive qualifying loss to his new Haas teammate Nico Hulkenberg.

Despite competing in his first qualifying session at his home circuit, F1 rookie Oscar Piastri failed to progress beyond Q1 and secured the 16th spot on the grid. He finished ahead of Zhou Guanyu’s Alfa Romeo, another F1 rookie Logan Sargeant, Valtteri Bottas, and Sergio Perez, who will start from the back of the grid due to his crash earlier in qualifying.

On a positive note, F1 rookie Nyck de Vries managed to secure a spot in Q2 for the first time as a driver for AlphaTauri.


The qualifying results for the Australian Grand Prix:

01Max VerstappenRed Bull1:17.3841:17.0561:16.732
02George RussellMercedes1:17.6541:17.5131:16.968
03Lewis HamiltonMercedes1:17.6891:17.5511:17.104
04Fernando AlonsoAston Martin1:17.8321:17.2831:17.139
05Carlos SainzFerrari1:17.9281:17.3491:17.270
06Lance StrollAston Martin1:17.8731:17.6161:17.308
07Charles LeclercFerrari1:18.2181:17.3901:17.369
08Alex AlbonWilliams1:17.9621:17.7611:17.609
09Pierre GaslyAlpine1:18.3121:17.5741:17.675
10Nico HülkenbergHaas1:18.0291:17.4121:17.735
11Esteban OconAlpine1:17.7701:17.768
12Yuki TsunodaAlphaTauri1:18.4711:18.099
13Lando NorrisMcLaren1:18.2431:18.119
14Kevin MagnussenHaas1:18.1591:18.129
15Nyck de VriesAlphaTauri1:18.4501:18.335
16Oscar PiastriMcLaren1:18.517
17Guanyu ZhouAlfa Romeo1:18.540
18Logan SargeantWilliams1:18.557
19Valtteri BottasAlfa Romeo1:18.714
20Sergio PérezRed Bull

Verstappen takes pole for Australian Grand Prix F1 2023 Verstappen takes pole for Australian Grand Prix F1 2023 Verstappen takes pole for Australian Grand Prix F1 2023