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Qualifying report
Formula 1 Austrian GP

F1 Austrian GP: Verstappen pips Norris by 0.093s to grab sprint pole

World champion Verstappen beats Norris by less than a tenth

Sprint pole winner Max Verstappen, Red Bull Racing, celebrates in Parc Ferme

Red Bull's Max Verstappen beat McLaren pair Lando Norris and Oscar Piastri to top sprint race qualifying at Formula 1's 2024 Austrian Grand Prix.

After the SQ3 drivers had waited for almost all the final qualifying segment to pass by before heading out on new soft tyres, the Mercedes pairs led the pack out of the pits.

Lewis Hamilton posted a 1m05.270s before he was immediately beaten by his team-mate George Russell and then Piastri came through to shuffle them down.

Norris produced the fastest time in the middle sector to nip ahead on a 1m04.779s, but Verstappen's leading pace in the first and final thirds made the difference as he came through to top the session with a 1m04.686s.

"Great to be first here in front of basically my home fans, my home grand prix," Verstappen said afterwards.

"It was a good day. It's really been nice to drive the car. I think immediately the car was well balanced. And then you make some little adjustments going into the sprint quali and everything has been working really well.

"So, yeah, good start to the weekend. Still, of course, a lot of things to do, but I'm happy with today."

Behind, Carlos Sainz slotted his Ferrari between the Mercedes drivers to take fifth, with Sergio Perez, Esteban Ocon and Pierre Gasly ending up seventh, eighth and ninth and appearing to pay the price for being at the back of the traffic queue on the SQ3 out-lap.

Charles Leclerc ended up 10th without setting an SQ3 lap in the other Ferrari after he had pulled over from between the Alpines in the pitlane with an apparent technical issue.

He rectified this and headed out, but did not cross the line in time to start a flying lap.

In SQ2, Kevin Magnussen produced the best first sector of this segment but lost time as his sole run continued and he wound up 11th – ahead of Aston Martin pair Lance Stroll and Fernando Alonso, plus Yuki Tsunoda and Logan Sargeant.

Stroll saved a massive moment at the final corner on his only attempt in SQ2, with those eliminated, plus the Alpine pair, having to complete an extra run on the mediums compared to the frontrunners getting out of SQ1.

In that, Hamilton had a nervy ride through after losing his first lap for going wide and dipping his right-side wheels in the gravel at Turn 6, then had a traffic-heavy second attempt before he progressed in 13th behind Alonso.

Logan Sargeant led Alex Albon from the off for the Williams and the former's last-gasp improvement knocked Daniel Ricciardo out in 16th ahead of Nico Hulkenberg, Valtteri Bottas, Albon and Zhou Guanyu.

In the closing seconds of the opening session where the drivers are obliged to run the medium tyres throughout, as those that made it also were in SQ2, Tsunoda spun off dramatically at the final two corners but was able to carry on without damage.

Cla   Driver   Car / Engine   Time   Delay 
Max Verstappen Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'04.686  
Lando Norris McLaren/Mercedes 1'04.779 0.093
Oscar Piastri McLaren/Mercedes 1'04.987 0.301
George Russell Mercedes 1'05.054 0.368
Carlos Sainz Ferrari 1'05.126 0.440
Lewis Hamilton Mercedes 1'05.270 0.584
Sergio Perez Red Bull/Honda RBPT 1'06.008 1.322
Esteban Ocon Alpine/Renault 1'06.101 1.415
Pierre Gasly Alpine/Renault 1'06.624 1.938
10  Charles Leclerc Ferrari - -
11  Kevin Magnussen Haas/Ferrari 1'05.806 1.120
12  Lance Stroll Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'05.847 1.161
13  Fernando Alonso Aston Martin/Mercedes 1'05.878 1.192
14  Yuki Tsunoda RB/Honda RBPT 1'05.960 1.274
15  Logan Sargeant Williams/Mercedes - -
16  Daniel Ricciardo RB/Honda RBPT 1'06.581 1.895
17  Nico Hulkenberg Haas/Ferrari 1'06.583 1.897
18  Valtteri Bottas Sauber/Ferrari 1'06.725 2.039
19  Alexander Albon Williams/Mercedes 1'06.754 2.068
20  Zhou Guanyu Sauber/Ferrari 1'07.197 2.511

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