Race Weekend Central

Max Verstappen Qualifies on Pole in Austria, Mercedes Wrecks Out

Max Verstappen returned to the Red Bull Ring and responded to Ferrari’s victory last week at Silverstone Circuit with a pole at his team’s home race.

It’s the third pole in Verstappen’s 2022 season and the 16th pole in the Dutchman’s career.

Verstappen is officially the polesitter for the Austrian Grand Prix, but the lineup for the Austrian Grand Prix on Sunday (July 10) will be decided by the sprint race at the track the day prior on Saturday.

There were two incidents in the three sessions, both involving Mercedes drivers in Q3. First, Lewis Hamilton went off straight in turn 7, causing a red flag and kicking the seven time champion out of qualifying. Hamilton will start ninth in the sprint.

The second of these came on George Russell’s outlap following the red flag, after taking turn 10 very hard and spinning out into the wall on exit. Russell qualified fourth. It’s unclear quite how much damage both Mercedes took in its unrelated incidents and if it will be 100% in time for P2 on Saturday morning (July 9) prior to the sprint.

The FIA also stated during the session it will be investigating Russell for entering the track without permission after Russell got out of his car and simply walked back to the nearby pit road on the track surface. No penalty has been announced as of press time, but Sebastian Vettel was fined €5,000 for a similar infraction during the Australian GP weekend in April.

See also
F1 Midweek: Silverstone Protest, Porpoising Intervention, First-Time Winners & Ferrari Drama

Ferrari drivers Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz qualified right behind Verstappen in second and third respectively, with Verstappen’s teammate Sergio Perez in fourth.

Long after the qualifying session was completed, Perez’s Q3 lap times and his final Q2 lap time were deleted, dropping him to 13th.

Esteban Ocon will start the sprint in a solid position in fifth, with the two Haas drivers right behind him. Kevin Magnussen will start sixth and Mick Schumacher follows up his first points finish last week with an seventh-place effort in qualifying. Fernando Alonso ended up eighth on the grid.

Race control was extremely strict across all three Formula series, with multiple lap times being deleted in F3 and F2 qualifying due to exceeding track limits. F1 was no different, with plenty of drivers having lap times deleted throughout the sessions, including last week’s winner Sainz and points leader Verstappen in Q1 alone.

Q2

Lando Norris had a pretty miserable day in Austria, first having his lone pre-qualifying practice run short due to engine issues, then qualifying far below where he wanted to be in 15th. The Scuderia AlphaTauri cars didn’t make it into Q3, with Pierre Gasly qualifying 10th and Yuki Tsunoda in 14th. Alex Albon overperformed in his Williams and will start 11th in the sprint, and Valtteri Bottas will start right behind him in 12th.

Q1

The bad run of results Aston Martin has had in qualifying continued this week, with both Lance Stroll and Vettel losing multiple laps in this session and ending in 17th and 20th, respectively, knocking them out of qualifying. Daniel Ricciardo qualified a disappointing 16th, and Nicholas Latifi ended up 19th. Zhou Guanyu returned to the track after his violent wreck at Silverstone Circuit last week but couldn’t make it out of Q1 and will start 19th in the sprint.

F1 Qualifying Results at Austria

The Austrian Grand Prix Sprint Race will take place on Saturday, July 9, at 10:30 a.m. ET, with TV coverage provided by Sky Sports and presented by ESPN on ESPN2, with the Grand Prix itself on Sunday, July 10, at 9 a.m. ET on ESPN2.

About the author

Michael has watched NASCAR for 15 years and began covering the sport five years ago. He is a graduate of Salisbury University and a proud member of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA).

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