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Austrian GP Qualifying Verstappen vs McLaren

Verstappen Dominates Dull Austrian GP Qualifying

29/06/2024

In a stunning display, Max Verstappen clinched pole at the F1 Austrian Grand Prix, outstripping competitors Norris and Russell.

So far, the Austrian Grand Prix weekend has been fairly consistent. In free practice, Sprint qualifying, and the Sprint itself, Max Verstappen has led, closely followed by a McLaren F1 driver. Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri are now the ones disrupting the Dutchman’s rhythm.

However, it was Verstappen who clinched pole during the Sprint Shootout, then went on to win the Sprint. Now, his goal is to continue his perfect weekend and beat McLaren again.

Behind them, the battle between Mercedes and Ferrari rages on, even though the Scuderia showed disappointing pace during the Sprint. Behind them, Alpine will, of course, aim to be the best team in the pack once again.

Currently, there are no penalties to be applied following the qualifications, and the biggest challenge of this timed session will be managing track limits. Indeed, despite measures to curb abuses, several laps were canceled yesterday during Sprint qualifying.

Q1 – 18 minutes

Verstappen sets an initial time of 1’06″054, with Sergio Pérez close behind, less than two-tenths away from his teammate, marking a tighter gap than usual. Pierre Gasly is third ahead of Lance Stroll, the Frenchman just eight-tenths behind Verstappen. Fernando Alonso is placed third.

Esteban Ocon improves, and Alex Albon does even better. Carlos Sainz outperforms Verstappen with a 1’05″941. Charles Leclerc beats his teammate with a 1’05″901, and Lando Norris slots between the two Ferraris, just 0″009 behind the Monégasque. Oscar Piastri is third, only 17 milliseconds back, pushing Sainz, who is 40 milliseconds away, into fourth place.

And Yuki Tsunoda fits into fourth place, 28 milliseconds from Leclerc! The margins are incredibly tight among the leaders. Behind them, Daniel Ricciardo is eighth, and Kevin Magnussen seventh.

The Mercedes drivers took staggered starts, with Lewis Hamilton logging the sixth fastest time, and George Russell topping everyone with a 1’05″614! Mercedes and Ferrari appear to have improved their performance since the Sprint.

Verstappen went out again to improve and did so with a time of 1’05″336, placing him in the lead. Pérez also improved to the third fastest time, three-tenths behind his teammate. Sainz outdid everyone with a 1’05″263.

Gasly too made progress, moving up to eighth place. Leclerc rose to third, and Alonso improved on his previous best to claim sixth place. Ocon completed his lap and advanced with a strong sixth fastest time. Stroll only managed the 13th fastest time.

Ricciardo moved up to seventh, with over 7 minutes remaining before the chequered flag. Albon positioned himself in eighth, and Sargeant did not improve beyond the 17th fastest time. Magnussen advanced to ninth.

Tsunoda moved up to eighth, but his time was cancelled. Piastri climbed to second, just 0″048 behind Sainz, and Norris also bettered his time to take fourth place.

With less than 4 minutes left in this Q1, the gap between first and last was less than a second, forcing drivers to head out to secure a spot in Q2.

Gasly took sixth place, with Hamilton moving up to the Frenchman’s position shortly after. Russell slotted between the two men. Hülkenberg clocked the ninth fastest time, and Magnussen made an impressive run to fifth place! Hamilton commented on his slow pace on the track.

Ricciardo moved up to eighth, Tsunoda finished his lap in eighth position. Norris was on the track but returned before his fast lap, while Sainz, Piastri, and Verstappen did not go back out. Albon did no better than 15th.

Stroll did no better than 16th, and Alonso finished in 15th place, narrowly eliminating Albon. Pérez improved to the 12th fastest time, three-tenths off the top time! Albon, the first eliminated, finished 0″473 behind Sainz!

The eliminations included Albon, Stroll, Bottas, Sargeant, and Zhou.

Q2 – 15 minutes

Ocon set the first benchmark at 1’05″582, and Gasly was just 0″075 behind. Sainz recorded the third-fastest time on worn tyres, while Leclerc outperformed Ocon with a time of 1’05″532. The first run did not clearly define the hierarchy, as some drivers opted for used tyres.

Verstappen attacked Ferrari’s times and improved to 1’04″577 on new tyres. Tsunoda placed second, outdone by Hamilton. Russell secured second place, but half a second slower than the Dutchman who excelled with his time.

Ricciardo slotted between Hamilton and Tsunoda, and Piastri took third place among the Mercedes. Norris captured the fourth-fastest time, half a second off, and Pérez managed only fifth, six-tenths behind his teammate.

Already under investigation after Q1 for not maintaining his position exiting the pit lane, Hülkenberg repeated the offence. Magnussen was placed 12th and Ocon seventh. The Ferrari drivers returned to the track, this time on new tyres.

Sainz finished in second place, but more than four-tenths slower than Verstappen. Gasly moved up to tenth, and Leclerc was sixth, pushing Gasly out of the provisional top 10.

Alonso is not satisfied: “I nearly crashed in turns 7 and 10.” Indeed, the Spaniard clocked the slowest time in the first run of Q2. Aston Martin’s fortunes do not seem to be improving in this second phase of qualifying.

Hülkenberg took ninth place, and Magnussen did no better than 12th. Alonso did not improve and remained 15th, while Ricciardo was 11th, just 15 milliseconds behind Ocon. Gasly advanced but only managed 12th. His time was disqualified, and he was relegated to 13th position.

Eliminated are Ricciardo, Magnussen, Gasly, Tsunoda, and Albon.

Q3 – 12 minutes

The Mercedes F1 drivers were the last to leave the pits for this first run of Q3, and Hamilton nearly took the rear jack with him as he exited his box. Ocon, Hülkenberg, Leclerc, and Pérez went out on worn tyres.

Verstappen set a time of 1’04″426, even faster than in Q2, and Norris could do no better than close to three-tenths. Piastri was six-tenths behind, and Sainz eight-tenths. Leclerc also managed to close to within six-tenths, a respectable time given his tyres.

Pérez was unable to do better than one second off his teammate, with the worn tyres not helping. Russell secured the third-fastest time, and Hamilton the sixth, while Ocon and Hülkenberg finished ninth and tenth, respectively.

Verstappen clinched the top spot with a time of 1’04″314, while Hülkenberg recorded the eighth fastest time. Piastri took second place at 0″472, and Sainz did no better than fourth. Norris outperformed his teammate with the second-fastest time.

Verstappen drove too slowly and may be under investigation. Leclerc went wide in his final sector and did not improve. Hamilton secured the fifth-fastest time, and Russell the fourth. Piastri’s time was disqualified!

Verstappen is therefore on pole, followed by Norris, then Russell and Sainz on the second row. Hamilton and Leclerc are on the third row, ahead of Piastri and Pérez, with Hülkenberg and Ocon starting from the fifth row.

Pos.DriverTeamQ1Q2Q3
01Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:05.3361:04.4691:04.314
02Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:05.4501:05.1031:04.718
03George RussellMercedes W151:05.5851:05.0161:04.840
04Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:05.2631:05.0161:04.851
05Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:05.5411:05.0531:04.903
06Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:05.5091:05.1041:05.044
07Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:05.3111:05.0701:05.048
08Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:05.5871:05.1441:05.202
09Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:05.5961:05.2621:05.385
10Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:05.5741:05.2741:05.883
—————-————————-———-———-
11Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:05.5691:05.289
12Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:05.5081:05.347
13Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:05.5981:05.359
14Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:05.5631:05.412
15Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:05.6561:05.639
—————-————————-———-———-
16Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:05.736
17Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:05.819
18Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:05.847
19Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:05.856
20Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:06.061
Austrian GP Qualifying Verstappen vs McLaren

Austrian GP Qualifying: Verstappen vs. McLaren. f1 2024 Austrian GP Qualifying: Verstappen vs. McLaren. f1 Austrian GP Qualifying Verstappen vs McLaren.

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