Piastri Russell Emerge as Challengers in Austria SQ3

Verstappen Edges Norris for F1 Sprint Pole in Austria


Max Verstappen narrowly defeats Lando Norris to secure the pole position for the F1 Sprint in Austria.

As is customary during each F1 Sprint weekend, Friday afternoon features the first competitive session. This year, the qualifications for the Sprint, also known as Sprint Shootout, serve as the venue for the weekend’s initial contest, aimed at setting the grid for the Sprint.

Max Verstappen posted the fastest time in Free Practice, but at the very short Red Bull Ring, it’s known that the hierarchy will be tight throughout the weekend. McLaren and Ferrari appeared close, while Mercedes played its cards close to the chest by not using soft tyres at the end of the session and only running on hard tyres.

This Sprint qualification also provides teams with an opportunity to gather data that will help refine settings for Saturday’s qualifying session, which will determine the grid for Sunday.

Indeed, the Parc Fermé rules are lifted between the Sprint and the qualifiers, and teams are allowed to work on the settings and specifications of the cars. Naturally, this work is limited as overly drastic changes often pose too great a risk before the qualifiers and the race.

Red Bull revealed that an oil sensor issue caused Verstappen’s engine problem in practice this morning, and it has been resolved. The team is not concerned about the issue recurring.

SQ1 – 12 minutes – Medium tyres

Drivers emerged after three minutes of this session, some planning to complete two fast laps without returning. As usual, especially on such a short track, the 12-minute qualification will be very intense on track.

Lewis Hamilton clocked a first time of 1’06″416, and Valtteri Bottas was second. Hamilton’s time was cancelled, and George Russell recorded a time of 1’05″764. Oscar Piastri placed second, while Yuki Tsunoda squeezed ahead of Bottas.

Carlos Sainz recorded the second fastest time and Kevin Magnussen the fourth. Lando Norris was third with the absolute best third sector. Charles Leclerc took fourth place, and Pierre Gasly was ninth, while Esteban Ocon moved up to sixth.

Max Verstappen did better than Russell with a 1’05″690, and Sergio Pérez recorded the sixth fastest time, half a second behind his teammate. Fernando Alonso only managed 14th fastest, and Lance Stroll fifth, well ahead of his teammate. Logan Sargeant positioned 12th, and Guanyu Zhou’s time was also cancelled.

Piastri improved and moved up to sixth place, while Hamilton launched into a second flying lap. The Brit recorded the 11th time, and Zhou did no better than 20th. Pérez moved up to eighth and Alex Albon took 15th place. Nico Hülkenberg recorded the 13th fastest time and Alonso the 11th.

Daniel Ricciardo moved up to 14th, and Sargeant recorded the 13th time, while Tsunoda made a mistake on his final lap. Gasly and Ocon were not hindered and finished 11th and ninth in this SQ1.

The eliminated were Ricciardo, Hülkenberg, Bottas, Albon, and Zhou.

SQ2 – 10 minutes – Medium tyres

The second part of these Sprint qualifications again features medium tyres, while SQ3 will be contested on soft tyres. A replay of Tsunoda’s exit in SQ1 shows the Japanese driver narrowly avoided an incident, particularly when he came close to the pit entry wall.

Verstappen completed an aggressive lap in 1’05″186, while Pérez clocked a 1’05″612, still nearly half a second behind. Norris placed second just ahead of Pérez, and Sainz was second, two and a half tenths behind Verstappen.

Leclerc recorded the third fastest time, and Piastri was second. Hamilton posted the fifth fastest time and Russell was second at 0″139 behind Verstappen. The top eight were within 0″426, and the leading four teams were again very closely matched. Other drivers in this SQ2 did not set a first lap time.

Stroll recorded the ninth fastest time, and Ocon was ahead of him. Tsunoda finished in 11th place, and Gasly was just behind Ocon. Alonso did no better than 12th, behind Stroll. Sargeant took the 14th time, and Magnussen recorded the best first sector overall, eventually placing 11th! Pérez did not improve but remained eighth and qualified for SQ3.

Eliminated were Magnussen, Stroll, Alonso, Tsunoda, and Sargeant.

SQ3 – 8 minutes – Soft tyres

No driver took to the track when the lights went green, clearly preparing for just one quick lap. The first drivers went out with less than 3 minutes on the clock, and it was the Mercedes drivers who took to the track first.

The Alpine drivers were among the last out, knowing they stood no chance of beating the top eight drivers on merit. There were just over 2 minutes left on the clock when the first drivers left the pits.

Leclerc pulled over to let the Alpine drivers pass due to his anti-stall system causing the engine to stop. And by the time he exited the pits, Hamilton was already launching his quick lap. Leclerc failed to cross the line in time to set a time!

Hamilton posted a 1’05″270, beaten by Russell with a 1’05″054! Piastri had the fastest time but Norris did better with a 1’04″799, and Sainz placed fourth. Verstappen improved to 1’04″686, taking pole position for the Sprint. Pérez qualified seventh, ahead of Ocon and Gasly.

Thus, Verstappen will again lead Norris, while Piastri and Russell will be on the second row. Sainz and Hamilton will start on the third row, ahead of Pérez and Ocon, then Gasly and Leclerc.

Pos.DriverTeam SQ1SQ2SQ3
01Max VerstappenRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:05.6901:05.1861:04.686
02Lando NorrisMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:05.7861:05.5611:04.779
03Oscar PiastriMcLaren Mercedes MCL381:06.0811:05.3791:04.987
04George RussellMercedes W151:05.7641:05.3251:05.054
05Carlos SainzFerrari SF-241:05.7811:05.4351:05.126
06Lewis HamiltonMercedes W151:06.5041:05.5391:05.270
07Sergio PérezRed Bull Honda RBPT RB201:06.2561:05.6121:06.008
08Esteban OconAlpine Renault A5241:06.3431:05.6861:06.101
09Pierre GaslyAlpine Renault A5241:06.4651:05.7571:06.624
10Charles LeclercFerrari SF-241:06.1491:05.526– :—.—
11Kevin MagnussenHaas Ferrari VF-241:06.3871:05.806
12Lance StrollAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:06.0371:05.847
13Fernando AlonsoAston Martin Mercedes AMR241:06.4871:05.878
14Yuki TsunodaRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:06.5571:05.960
15Logan SargeantWilliams Mercedes FW461:06.518– :—.—
16Daniel RicciardoRB Honda RBPT VCARB 011:06.581
17Nico HülkenbergHaas Ferrari VF-241:06.583
18Valtteri BottasStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:06.725
19Alex AlbonWilliams Mercedes FW461:06.754
20Guanyu ZhouStake F1 Kick Sauber C441:07.197

Piastri Russell Emerge as Challengers in Austria SQ3 Piastri Russell Emerge as Challengers in Austria SQ3. f1 2024 Piastri Russell Emerge as Challengers in Austria SQ3


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