Max Verstappen will start tomorrow’s race from pole position following an epic qualifying session that saw Lando Norris land his first front row start for the Austrian GP.
The young McLaren driver had an incredible outing this afternoon, pushing his MCL35M to the limit and bringing home results for the team.
The second Red Bull of Sergio Perez will be on the second row tomorrow in Austria in P3, followed by the Mercedes duo of Hamilton and Bottas in 4th and 5th as they continue to have difficulty in finding enough pace at the Spielberg circuit.
The Haas drivers are first out on track this afternoon for Q1, with Mick Schumacher around a second faster than Nikita Mazepin after their first laps.
Max Verstappen posted the fastest lap of the weekend during his first flying lap this afternoon on the soft Pirellis in 1:04.249 – he was 2.5 tenths of a second faster than Hamilton at the beginning of Q1.
With 9 minutes left, Valtteri Bottas was in third, a few hundredths down on his Mercedes team-mate, while Carlos Sainz was only just behind in fourth.
🔜 Q2 #AustrianGP pic.twitter.com/e2PzxSXbAh
— Mercedes-AMG PETRONAS F1 Team (@MercedesAMGF1) July 3, 2021
With 6 minutes to go, Lando Norris lifted his McLaren into second with a lap in 1:04.345 meanwhile his team mate Daniel Ricciardo was down in ninth, .7s off the fastest pace.
In the elimination zone when time ran out in Q1 was the Alfa Romeo of Kimi Raikkonen, Alpine’s Esteban Ocon and Nicholas Latifi as well as the two Haas drivers, Mick Schumacher and Nikita Mazepin.
With even softer tyre compounds this week compared to last week, the drivers were looking to sink their fastest laps in Q2 on the medium rubber so they could start the race on that more durable compound.
Sergio Perez was the out on track as Q2 began, and he was on the mediums.
With the track all to himself for his first flying lap, he posted a temporary fastest time of 1:04.554.
With nine minutes to go in Q2, all of the remaining 15 drivers were out on track.
In his first attempt to beat Hamilton once more this afternoon, the Dutch Red Bull managed to get ahead by 2 tenths of a second on his first flying lap on the medium tyres.
Lando Norris (2) and Sebastian Vettel (4) also managed to go faster than the Mercedes world champion, and moments later were joined by Perez in third – demoting Hamilton’s efforts to fifth.
What a lap on the mediums, Max!! 🟡 Both Bulls into the shootout in P1 and P6 👊 #AustrianGP 🇦🇹 pic.twitter.com/Cm03bAfYNM
— Red Bull Racing Honda (@redbullracing) July 3, 2021
Out in Q2 were the Ferrari duo of Charles Leclerc and Carlos Sainz, as well as McLaren’s Daniel Ricciardo, Alpine’s Fernando Alonso and Alfa Romeo’s Antonio Giovinazzi.
In the final shootout this afternoon, all ten drivers were on the soft compound tyre and grappling for the top spots for tomorrow’s battle.
After the first laps, Verstappen was fastest with Lando Norris in P2 and Hamilton in P3.
P4 Valtteri Bottas was in fourth early on in Q3 followed by the second Red Bull of Sergio Perez in fifth.
The order remained relatively the same as time ran out, with Verstappen taking pole position for the Austrian Grand Prix.
After an impeccable final flying lap, the McLaren of Lando Norris landed the best Qualifying results of his career so far and will take off from P2 tomorrow in Austria.
The second Red Bull of Perez will be in third, followed by Lewis Hamilton and Valtteri Bottas in fourth and fifth respectively.
Speaking after the Qualifying session in Austria, pole sitter Max Verstappen said; “I think Q3 was pretty bad. I’m of course happy to be first but not the way we got it. Something to look into, but nevertheless to be twice on pole here is very good.
“Hopefully we can finish it off tomorrow.
“Softer compounds compared to last week, so it will be tough to manage those in the race, but we’ll try to focus on our own race and we will try to win it. But it’s never as straightforward.”