The world champion took pole position in qualifying for the Austrian Grand Prix on Friday June 30.
Untouchable, the leader of the Formula 1 world championship Max Verstappen (Red Bull) signed a sixth pole position out of nine possible this season, beating Charles Leclerc (Ferrari) by nothing on Friday at Spielberg before the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday .
Behind the reigning Dutch double world champion and the 2022 Monegasque vice-champion, Carlos Sainz Jr (Ferrari) and Lando Norris (McLaren) will start on the second row on the Red Bull Ring. Seven-time world champion Lewis Hamilton (Mercedes) will start just behind, in 5th place, followed by the Aston Martins of Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso. Nico Hulkenberg (Haas), Pierre Gasly (Alpine) and Alexander Albon (Williams) complete the top 10 on the grid.
A sprint race on Saturday
For the second time this year after Baku, a sprint race will take place on Saturday before the Grand Prix on Sunday (there will be six in total this season). If the qualifications on Friday defined the starting grid for Sunday (3 p.m.), a proper qualification will take place on Saturday noon for the sprint, which will start at 4:30 p.m. for half an hour of racing.
Already in search of a seventh victory this season, the Dutchman is 69 points ahead of Sergio Pérez, his teammate at Red Bull, the only other driver to have won this season (Saudi Arabia and Azerbaijan). – Pérez only 15th – Winner of the last four races to date, “Mad Max” is all the more favorite as he is here at home.
Esteban Ocon will leave 12e
On the Red Bull circuit, in front of his supporters who always come in large numbers, he has already won four times (three Austrian GPs and one Styrian GP). To achieve a double at home, the Austrian team will however have more difficulty. Blame Pérez. The Mexican is no longer there: for the fourth time in a row, he fails to qualify in Q3, the last part of qualifying. This time it’s because of his misreading of the track. His time was indeed canceled because his single-seater went out of the limits of the track. He will start 15th.
Like Pérez, Frenchman Esteban Ocon (Alpine), Australian Oscar Piastri (McLaren) and Finn Valtteri Bottas (ALfa Romeo) saw their times canceled in Q2. They will start 12th, 13th and 14th. On this fairly short circuit (4.318 km), with very small gaps, the Englishman George Russell (Mercedes) did not have the level and only took the 11th time, far from his teammate Hamilton.